It’s Tuesday morning and I’m only just starting to write my review of The Duke Of Hamilton, in Hampstead.
Yet I’m stuck for words. I don’t know what to say. There’s a danger that Sue Gray’s report might even be finally released before I get around to finishing this.
Maybe time to subcontract the writing:
Yes I’ve reached so low into the pit of ideas that I’m in danger of writing a Nadine Dorries special. This is roast dinner 208. You try writing a blog every week on the same subject.
And it isn’t like the government are giving me any new ideas whilst the remoaner media are banging on about whether Boris Johnson had a glass of wine at what was clearly a work event, and just popped in to say a few words that weren’t “why aren’t you fucking social distancing”. But oh my word, Kier Starmer – EVIL.
Oh crap, I might have slipped into character. Apologies. Obviously I still think Boris Johnson is a lying, cheating, cretinous moron. Yes it does matter that he lied to parliament. Yes it does matter that he lied to us. Yes it does matter that the trust in the law of the land is undermined and disrespected by the leader of the country.
She has a lot of books out, you know. I counted at least 25 on her Amazon page. No wonder she is culture secretary.
No wonder she is culture secretary.
How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore.
Yes I did have a nice holiday, thanks. I also had a nice holiday in March – in Las Vegas and San Diego. Look, I’ve got a lot of emissions to catch up with from the last two years. Can I still get away with joking about causing pollution in 2022?
Actually, it’s fine, we only need to care about the environment when there aren’t economic problems.
Anyway, I was in San Diego airport, on my way home, a little tipsy, at the bar – yeah same flight where I spilt vodka apple all over my crotch the second that I drifted to sleep, and then couldn’t sleep because I had wet and sticky pants…from the vodka apple juice.
Anyway, I was in San Diego airport, sat at the bar, and got chatting to the guy next to us, and starting rambling on about this blog. When I get chatting to randoms, sometimes I say that I’m a software engineer, but other times I say that I’m a roast dinner reviewer. The latter tends to elicit a more interesting conversation – normally I’d rather talk about burnt Yorkshire puddings than nullish coalescing or asynchronous functions.
We had a good chat over a beer, told him about the blog, and he said he’d let us know when he was in London. I didn’t think any more about it, as you know, people say this. “Yeah mate, I’ll let you know when I’m visiting Uzbekistan and we can go out for dinner”.
But then he messaged. First international guest on the blog. First time someone has flown from another country especially to be a guest of the blog.
OK, I’m possibly mis-interpreting facts here, but how could he know that it wasn’t a work event with all that cheap wine there?
The ten-dollar founding father without a father.
I thought better of taking our international guest to Tooting or somewhere miles away, and the first reasonable place that the random number generator suggested was The Duke Of Hamilton in Hampstead. I think it was recommended to me by a butcher on Twitter…though I’m not too sure.
First impressions were a tad chaotic, the one person behind the bar was frantically pouring drinks for drinks orders that were made, and they were discussing about a mistake that had been made. It took a while, but eventually I got served – and they had a damn fine selection of craft beers for a local pub, I think 4 or 5 properly interesting beers. What did I have? I don’t remember but I had quite a few of them. Rather a few. Hence starting the review on Tuesday morning instead of Monday morning. Monday wasn’t really a thing this week.
I was about to give myself praise for managing to get this far with the review, but now I’ve realised that I didn’t photograph the menu. And they only have yesterday’s menu online. Damn…if only I had started this review on Monday.
So, from memory I think they had beef rump at £22.00, chicken but I cannot remember the price – less than £20.00. I went for leg of lamb at £21.00. And there was some veggie thing.
The Duke Of Hamilton also has outdoor seating – both at the back in the mostly shaded garden, and in the front. I think there is a basement also which is a jazz club? Maybe check with them. I’m not here to tell you about music. You won’t like my music.
See, told you you wouldn’t like it.
But will you like this roast dinner?
And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted away.
Starting with the carrots because that’s what I do. These tasted like they had been part of a stew – they had that kind of earthy flavour with cooking juices soaked in. I doubt that this was actually the case, but they tasted like they somehow didn’t fit. They tasted good – but like they didn’t fit in a roast dinner, if that makes sense?
The cabbage was plentiful yet fairly ordinary. Often I’m a huge fan of cabbage but this time I just nonchalantly ate away. 25 fucking books.
Three roast potatoes were supplied as is the law of London, though given that I’ve now seen how many calories are in a roast dinner when just three are supplied, perhaps I am more forgiving.
They were a reasonable effort – freshly cooked, reasonably soft inside and they had evidence that they once were crispy on the outside – alas, they had a touch of Mogg about them…sorry…I mean sog about them, for they were rather soggy in a way.
Thought I should show you a photo where you can see what I’ve been writing about. So the Yorkshire pudding was a bit weirdly shaped – contorted like a Nadine Dorries’ defence of Boris Johnson, yet tasted pretty good. A slight oiliness to it, but a fairly soft batter with a bit of crunch. Good – not great.
However the lamb was great. It really was superb lamb – really tender with a hint of pink to it, some tasty globs of fat in places where it should be on leg of lamb – the quality of the lamb was just superb. Anyone know who is supplying the meat to The Duke Of Hamilton? Wow. Compliments also went to the beef from my two accomplices.
And finally the gravy. A decent level of consistency, quite a silky feel to it and in terms of flavour it didn’t do a huge amount, but complimented the roast dinner overall.
Alexander Hamilton…oh sorry…The Duke Of Hamilton.
So, I know what you are all wondering most. Was our American friend impressed?
Yes, he scored it an 8.50 out of 10. But he doesn’t really have much to compare it to. Certainly he cannot compare it to 207 other roast dinners like I can.
I’m struggling for complaints. The carrots were good but didn’t quite fit, and more could have been done with the cabbage – the buttery cabbage from last week’s roast was gorgeous.
The roasties and yorkie were both decent efforts, as was the gravy – but the wow moment came from the lamb. I wish I were wowed like that every week. I wonder if you could turn this blog into 25 novels? He came, drooling with excitement, as the plump lamb was thrusted into his mouth.
Giving me a rare “wow” moment pushes up the score, and I am confidently giving it an 8.35 out of 10. I suspect there are days when their Sunday roast is even better. My regular accomplice was so impressed that she scored it an 8.68 out of 10.
Which at the time of writing makes it the 20th best roast dinner in London – and 3rd best of 2022. Add on the excellent beer choice, decent service, it being a nice pub (though they might want to fix the toilet seat in the gent’s) and The Duke Of Hamilton is well worth a visit for a roast dinner.
I’ll be back next week. A proper arse end of nowhere kind of place.
With thanks to the Daily Dorries for the inspiration. What the fuck am I going to write about when this government is finally out of power?
The Duke Of Hamilton, Hampstead
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: The leg of lamb was proper wow. Decent effort on roasties and yorkie too, really good beer choice for a local pub.
Loathed: Cabbage was a bit bland, carrots were good but didn't fit right.