Petrol shortages, sewage discharges, inflation, the reappearance of Mark Francois…the list of shit going wrong in this country is growing. And then on Sunday, we got a call from the venue that we’d booked – “I’m really sorry, but the kitchen is closed today”. One could panic. Or one could call in help from the colonel…no, not that one…The Colonel Fawcett.
We were tied into a fairly small area logistically this Sunday. I was on call so I prefer to keep things “local” just in case (not one call out all week – freemoneytastic), one accomplice was due into work nearby late afternoon, and another refuses to go anywhere that isn’t near where he lives. Thank fuck I don’t have that attitude – Roast Dinners In Harrow would have a very limited shelf-life. Though you’d read me still, wouldn’t you?
I mean, maybe you are interested in finding good new places to go for a roast dinner, or just to have your favourite places judged by me, but really I think you are interested in me. Lord Gravy. I actually have proof. Kind of. This is what people search for on Google that then go on to visit the website:
A whole 49 people searched for Lord Gravy in the last 3 months. Not sure how long I’ll be able to contain my ego for. At this rate my ego might get to the point where I am persuaded that I would do a better job of running the country than Boris Johnson. We are allowed to slag off politicians again now aren’t we? Oh except Saint Jeremy, of course.
I wonder if Jeremy Corbyn’s claim to have won the 2017 election inspired Donald Trump?
OK, I hear you. I feel your stare, dear London reader. Be nice to Saint Jeremy. I profusely apologise more even more than Boris Johnson did that time he cheated on his wife. Which wife? Which affair? Not sure.
I have a hangover. I need a bacon sandwich. See ya later.
Colonel Harland Sanders
Right, it’s Tuesday now and I can still just about remember what I did on Sunday. And I remember eating a roast dinner. Wish I had taken more notes, but hey.
The Colonel Fawcett was the third time that I’d been to Camden this year for a roast dinner – the other two times were the overpriced, disappointment of The Farrier, and the respectable, no more, roast at York & Albany. Also overpriced. Was hot and sunny that day. Ahhh summer 2021, those two weeks were glorious.
It’s an aging venue, with two fairly small but cosy seating areas downstairs, some secluded picnic tables outside and then a larger dining room upstairs – we were seated in the dining room. They had a few spare tables (hence we were able to book at short notice) but it was reasonably busy.
Their relative popularity perhaps helped by somehow managing to keep their roast dinners below £20 despite the apparent hyper-inflation, at least according to anyone desperate to sell you Bitcoins. Yes I said Bitcoin was in a bubble at $8,000 last year. But at least my oil and gas stocks are doing well. Don’t tell Greta. Oh do I have to be nice about her too?
One person I can definitely be nice about is our waiter who was top-notch throughout – charming and funny, yet tellingly hungover. I asked him who Daphne was, which rather spun him out until he noticed that I was talking about the menu – apparently Daphne is the cow. With that knowledge, I ordered Daphne’s lamb at £17.00.
It wasn’t just that that persuaded me – I fancied beef (Greta gonna…sorry…be nice to lefties on your London blog, Lord Gravy) or lamb – but topside is pretty crap in my opinion, plus the beef came with red cabbage and the lamb came with tenderstem broccoli. Broccoli over gravy pollution every day of the week. See, I do care about pollution. Gosh two mentions of the environment in one post, Carrie will be proud.
Our roasts took around 20 minutes to arrive.
Yes, you do see crispy roast potatoes, but let’s start with the carrot – nicely roasted but with some slight aniseed flavouring. Nothing too heavy, I guess the flavour came from the “agave” on the description but I’ve never heard of it. And I’m supposed to be a food writer, yeah I know. Go to Instagram and then compare that to me. At least I gave you a vague flavour.
The kale was nicely done also. Kind of buttery in texture though not flavour.
Finally for the vegetables, the tenderstem broccoli was soft but with a slight crunch still. It was also nice.
Not only did the crispy roast potatoes look crispy, but they actually were crispy. And unlike last week’s, I didn’t need a steak knife to cut them with. Which was a good job as our knives were pretty crap. The larger one was probably the best one, it was a tad fresher too – but these were all good roast potatoes.
Even the Yorkshire pudding was pretty good. Quite oily in feel, edges crispy, the bottom nicely softened with the gravy. I seem to be using the word “nice” a lot, don’t I?
I guess the lamb was nice too. It wasn’t anything special in terms of cut, quite ordinary quality really. Yet it was a little rare, browned around the edges, quite tender.
Thankfully I’d made the right choice as both my accomplices reported the beef being pretty crap – neither came close to finishing theirs.
The gravy tasted of lamb which was quite useful – we think we had different gravies, mine did seem a bit thinner than theirs. It was of plate-lickable quality – a proper meat stock kind of gravy, though could have done with being a bit thicker.
So, there you go. A nice roast dinner with nothing to really complain about. Portion size on the light side, the lamb fairly ordinary but nice enough.
The vegetables all…hmmm…nicely done, the roast potatoes were the star of the show (though still only very good) – The Colonel Fawcett do do the best roast dinner that I’ve had in Camden. Certainly worth a visit if you are reasonably local.
I’m scoring it a 7.62 out of 10. My two accomplices who were disappointed with their beef, scored it a 6.90 and 6.50 respectively – like me, they were warmly complimentary about everything else.
Goodbye Colonel Fawcett
As I mentioned earlier, our waiter was great and earned his tip (service charge wasn’t added), the beer choice was pretty good – I chose an Australian-hopped pale ale, though never found out what it had to do with Australia.
The Colonel Fawcett itself is a decent pub too. Oh and the desserts were special – I’m avoiding cake and chocolate but my accomplices loved their desserts – 9/10 kind of level. I did have a spoonful of the sticky toffee pudding and it was wow. And I don’t even like sticky toffee pudding. I could be persuaded though at that standard.
So The Colonel Fawcett is worth a visit in a don’t expect to be bowled away kind of way, and don’t come all the way from the other side of London kind of way. And maybe they need to sort out their meat supplier – Daphne ain’t cutting it, at least in my view. But it was a good roast in a good pub – and a really enjoyable afternoon there too.
Afterwards we went to a Brewdog that didn’t announce it was a Brewdog until you got inside – how sneaky. Though they gave me a fortune cookie:
Yeah, I definitely shouldn’t have slagged off Saint Jeremy.
I’ll be back next week. It’s going to be spooky. And very scary. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The Colonel Fawcett, Camden
Station: Camden Road
Tube Lines: Overground
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Well, it was all pretty nice. And I actually got good crispy roast potatoes - the shock.
Loathed: The beef was crap but I had the lamb so I was fine. Lamb was nice but ordinary, portion size a tad small.