The Duchess, Marylebone

Greetings. Whilst you continue to await my no doubt fascinating opinions on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, I am ready to offer you a review of The Duchess in Marylebone.

You may have noticed that I tend to have a bit of a theme for each roast dinner review, or at least inject some irreverent bullshit – as nobody is likely to be currently reading their 235th review otherwise. You have read all 234 so far, right?

In recent years, I used to be able to rely on Brexit, Boris Johnson or Liz Truss to have produced some wisdom during the previous week that I could sprinkle my blog with – or at least have a rant about masks, TFL or the stock-market…even in Britain.

But Rishi Sunak is proving not to be such a liability (so far and comparitively), the Met line is reliable nowadays, nobody wears a mask except everyone in the one country I really want to go on holiday to, Japan, and the stock-market is rising.

You may wonder why I cannot just settle for a roast dinner related theme every week. Other food bloggers come up with a food-related theme – but other bloggers tend to review more than one cuisine.

However – there is a potential roast dinner-related theme this week:

The Duchess, Marylebone, Sunday Roast platter though you can only really see the huge, pointless, Yorkshire puddings
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

The Duchess Of Slough

Yes. Sharing boards. Roast dinner sharing boards.

I have an actual roast dinner topic for you! Maybe you want to see the rest of the food instead of pretty much just the over-sized Quavers masquerading as Yorkshire puddings:

The Duchess, Marylebone, Sunday Roast platter that you can see the food.
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

There are reasons why I don’t often have sharing roasts. I’m not sure I’ve ever purposefully ordered one on duty? The Blacklock all-in from a few years back was just for one person, and The Little Blue Door’s roast was on a platter – take it or leave it.

Firstly, I now have to describe pork, beef, chicken, pigs in blankets and stuffing to you, instead of just one meat.

Secondly, the politics. How do we split two slices of pork between three people? How does four pigs in blankets work between three people? Who gets the crispiest-looking roast potatoes?

Thirdly, I’m a customer. I don’t want to plate it up myself. Even worse when the offer is something like a whole chicken between 2/3 people – so you mean we have to cut a whole chicken at the table ourselves?

However – The Duchess appeared to be offering too good a deal:

The Duchess, Marylebone, Sunday Roast menu
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

£60 for the family roast dinner – enough to serve 4-6 people apparently. And there were 3 of us, so this seemed such a bargain.

The Duchess Of Doncaster

Now, I don’t want to moan. OK, I absolutely fucking want to moan and whinge and inject the sunlit uplands into Andrew Bridgen’s ass.

But would a family of 4-6, also paying £60, have also received 3 jugs of gravy? Would they have also received 3 portions of chicken? And would they also have received just 3 over-sized Quavers masquerading as Yorkshire puddings?

I quibble, because it was still a decent deal – I would have paid £18.50 for leg of pork, £21.00 for beef rump or £19.50 for chicken supreme – plus I was feeling very attracted in advance for the smoked cauliflower and leek cheese, at £5.50. And one of my accomplices doesn’t like roast potatoes, which one can often empathise with in London.

The Duchess wasn’t actually on my to-do list, but Sunday’s logistics required somewhere either near King’s Cross or maybe Islington.

I see your puzzled look, as King’s Cross is most definitely not just off Oxford Street – however I’d done some research for pubs near the afore-mentioned two areas and I struggled to find anywhere that definitely does Sunday roasts, wasn’t a chain and that I hadn’t already reviewed.

I was about to suggest The Duchess Of Kent, near Highbury & Islington, a Young’s pub (sigh…but who knows, could be one of their few really good ones) – when I accidentally searched for The Duchess on Google Maps, and it found this place.

Sufficiently intrigued by the smoked cauliflower and leek cheese, we booked it.

The Duchess Of Bracknell

Upstairs at The Duchess, Marylebone
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

The Duchess is split onto two floors – kind of a pub feel on the ground floor, though modernised with a restaurant area upstairs that definitely had a please photograph your hair extensions and bottom-boob cut-out dress with our seat covers for Instagram vibe.

Apparently the pub is not named after my grandmother’s favourite Royal but named after the BBC drama The Duchess of Duke Street – no I’m none the wiser either, as I don’t have a television, something I inform my grandmother to her great shock every few months. But what do I do with my life if I don’t have a television? Well, I write bullshit for the internet. Oh and I lied, she doesn’t like Meghan.

It being Dry January and me being the kind of stubborn bastard who actually does these things in full (except next weekend which is my birthday, I look forward to all your donations via Patreon to my happy birthday house-buying fund), I didn’t even think of checking what beer/wine they sold – but I can confirm that their apple juice was fine.

The Duchess, Marylebone, Roast dinner
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

Our roasts took around 20 minutes to arrive, and 5 minutes to plate up. My presentation skills improving, yo?

Starting with the red cabbage, of which there was easily enough for 4-6 people, and you can easily see how much I like red cabbage by the amount I chose to add to my plate. However, I quite liked it, especially how much I could control the portion, and the fruitiness was pleasant – as opposed to the usual overbearance.

Then we had a plethora of roasted carrots – again easily enough for 4-6 people. I wouldn’t have complained with a little more flavour, the odd herb or something, but otherwise these were very respectable roasted carrots – soft but not too soft.

The purple sprouting broccoli wasn’t purple, but otherwise was cooked to allow a bit of a crunch, and had the usual weak broccoli flavour.

The Duchess Of Dalmuir

Just think, someone probably got paid to design this Dalmuir estate:

Some estate in Dalmuir
Image from Greenend – free to use

Despite my excitement beforehand, I didn’t really get to eat enough of the smoked cauliflower and leek cheese to give you an opinion – one pot didn’t really go well between three. I do vaguely remember a smokiness and a creaminess – none of this watery sauce nonsense. Though I do wish I had a whole bowl to myself.

For the sides that I do remember more of – the apricot and pork stuffing ball seemed more of a meatball to my eyes, though was pretty ace nonetheless. The pig in blanket somehow lost its blanket, yet it was photographed so I’m not sure what I did there – the sausage bit had more of a texture of hot dog with flavour towards German sausage. I guess that is a compliment.

The Duchess, Marylebone, Sunday Roast
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

There are no compliments available for the Yorkshire pudding, which was huge yet just a huge mass of dried-out batter that had been sitting under a heat lamp for far too long. It very much had the texture of a Quaver, and we all ate very little of it. Thank fuck they didn’t bring enough for 4-6 people.

Thankfully the roast potatoes were pretty good. All fairly soft inside, some had some crispy sides – others were just rounded and ordinary, but overall, especially compared to much of what we receive, this was a good standard.

Now I have to remember all the meats? Sigh. The chicken was the highlight, plump and juicy with some gorgeous skin – at least on my third of a quarter chicken.

Yet both the beef and pork leg were…searches “other words for good”…menschy. Yeah. The beef rump had a slightly course flavour which I appreciated, whilst being rather silky – the pork leg was very similar in structure to pork belly though I’d suggest with less fat, whilst still feeling gluttonous to tongue.

Finally, unless I’ve forgotten something, the gravy. The menu described it as roasted red wine gravy, and I’m not sure I picked up either the roasted part, or the red wine part but it was proper gravy. Nothing stand-out and I wished it were thicker (and there was more of it) but it was certainly menschy, though not quite enough for me to go panegyric.

The Duchess

Gosh, is 2023 my year?

3 roasts so far, all good, and each better than the other.

The only item of food I can complain about is the Yorkshire pudding, which was an over-sized Quaver of heatlampitis. Everything else was menschy, nah, everything else was good. Good or better.

Sure, the gravy could have been thicker, the roast potatoes could have been crispier. There could have been enough cauliflower for me to understand whether it was as delightful as it sounded on the menu.

I’d say that the meats were the highlight, though everything except the yorkie was commendable.

Scores on the table were an 8.70 from our very occasional accomplice, an 8.20 from my regular accomplice and a very healthy 8.13 from me – which puts it in the top 20% of roast dinners in London. And it’s relatively affordable for Marylebone and central London. Gosh am I really thinking that a £20 roast dinner is in the relatively affordable category? Yikes.

Will my good run continue into my birthday weekend? It damn well better do and you can find out next week.

One question though – why don’t we have Dukes And Duchesses of places like Doncaster?

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The Duchess, Marylebone

Station: Bond Street

Tube Lines: Central, Elizabath, Jubilee

Fare Zone: Zone 1

Price: £20.00

Rating: 8.13

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Meats were particularly good - juicy chicken supreme, great texture on pork leg and silky beef.

Loathed: Yorkshire pudding was just a huge mass of dried-out batter that had been sitting under a heat lamp for far too long.

One response to “The Duchess, Marylebone

  1. I have severe anxiety just thinking about trying to divide that up equally 🤣. I’m refusing to even acknowledge the existence of that “Yorkshire” 😱

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