The Florence, Herne Hill

Please note that due to Copyright Trolls, all images have been removed until I can manually review them, one by one, and ensure credit is appropriately displayed. So if the story suddenly makes no sense, then...well...soz.

This is a long process, so please bear with will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.

Please note that this review is from December 26, 2021 and may be out of date...restaurants sometimes get better, get worse, employ a new chef or end up with new management.

Ho ho Honor Oak…oh actually it was Herne Hill. You can tell I live north of the river when my brain cannot decipher between Honor Oak and Herne Hill, but anyway, last week I didn’t go to The Florence in Herne Hill.

Yep, I went there some weeks ago but haven’t reviewed it until now. Call me psychic, but I just had this feeling that there would be a Sunday over winter where I’d either have covid or we’d be in lockdown.

BOOM! Covid struck. Merry Christmas.

Some American politician family Christmas photo with assault rifles.

Shit, sorry. Wrong country. Yeah it’s a very wrong country and that’s without Donald Trump as president.

Merry Christmas.

Liz Truss Christmas pose

Ahhh that’s better, my tank-driving hero, Lady Thatcher. Hang on…

Jack & Jill

So what happened? Well, a fair few weeks ago I mysteriously found myself able to have two roast dinners in one week. I don’t have time to write two reviews in a week, so I kept this for that special upcoming moment for when I couldn’t go for a roast dinner. Lo and behold, it has become my Christmas special. Hasn’t it, Boris?

Boris Johnson meme, offering the gift of disease

Thankfully, given that by time I wrote the introduction this morning, I couldn’t remember where in London I’d eaten all those weeks ago, let alone what I’d eaten, most of the review was actually written some time ago, so…here goes:

Herne Hill isn’t the most difficult place (at least in south London) to get to, being just a few stops from London Victoria station, and right outside Herne Hill station there is this cute foodie market, with sausage rolls, cakes, and all manner of food items that I really didn’t need given the amount that I’ve eaten in the past 10 years.

And just around the corner is The Florence.

It took a little while for the hostess to get around to seating me, but she was very apologetic. She seated me on this small table right next to another small table, where a couple were enjoying drinks with each other.

The couple then went and sat elsewhere. Something I didn’t say because I am some miserable loner, dining alone?

The Florence, Herne Hill, Roast Dinner menu

Went Up T’ Herne Hill

I went for the beef for no particular reason, priced at £18.50, along with a pint of Brockwell IPA which was damn tasty – if I wasn’t dining alone then I could have quite happily had a few of those, along with some pigs in blankets for dessert.

My roast took around 20 minutes to arrive, maybe it was less but time always takes longer when dining alone.

The Florence, Herne Hill, Sunday Roast

Let’s start with an annoyance, and that is the parsnip puree that you can just about see poking through the gravy, below the roast potatoes. It was actually really nice in of itself, a real smokiness to it – however it was dotted randomly all over the plate, with gravy on top, so as someone that likes to take back control of his food (hence, fuck peas with their lack of discipline), I had some difficulty with finding tiny bits of parsnip puree on half of my food.

Yes, this is trivial. But so am I. So is he and he supposedly runs the fucking country (was a pretty safe bet when writing a couple of months ago that Johnson would still be PM come posting and that Brexit would still be shite):

Boris Johnson meme

But it does mean that I’m not entirely sure what other things tasted like, because I often ended up with hints of smoky parsnip puree.

You probably don’t care or even expect me to tell you what things taste like anyway.

You’re here for the reminders of how well Brexit is going, aren’t you? There’s still a few things we haven’t ticked off this list yet…

List of warnings about Brexit problems

The cabbage was actually really tasty – a bit crunchy, and possibly it was tasty because of the smoky parsnip puree, but also it had an earthiness to it.

To Fetch A Pail Of…Gravy

Carrots were fine – soft, I assume roasted. Gosh I talk about carrots nearly as much as Brexit.

Then we had a crime worse than Brexit, because Brexit is obviously totally defendable. Two roast potatoes. Just two. And I thought only three was a crime – but I’ve become so normalised to just three.

They weren’t bad. Not especially fresh but not especially old either. Slightly crispy, somewhat soft inside.

The Florence, Herne Hill, Roast Dinner

The Yorkshire pudding was pretty huge – it looks a bit burnt but away from the top edges it was pretty good, nicely softened with the gravy.

Gravy itself was thick but had very minimal flavour – some evidence of cornflour perhaps and a slight creaminess. Is plain tasting thick gravy better than watery meat stock type gravy? I’m not sure. But at least it was thick and didn’t taste of anything weird, so this is more positive than not.

Finally, the meat. Three decent slices of beef – the menu didn’t state the cut and it wasn’t anything to write about, yet it was pretty good and had a beefy punch to it.

Then it was time to go past those cake stalls…and look at those gorgeous slices of carrot cake…

I resisted. Alas, I’ve put on nearly 5kg in December.

Why Can I Not Remember The Rest Of Jack & Jill?

Oh crap. It’s Christmas Day again. Well, to you (and only if you are actually reading on Christmas Day) but to me it’s just Saturday. And it is crap, but also it’s crap because my previously-written review finished without doing the summary/scoring part. And yes, I did search Pornhub for Christmas lesbians.

Actually now it’s Boxing Day because I couldn’t be fucked to finish it yesterday. It wasn’t like Christmas Day was bad – I kind of expected to be as miserable as a typical London roast potato, being on my own with the remnants of covid, but actually it was…sufficient. Like – this level of Christmas joy:

Merry Christmas on discarded mattress

I had good beer, I had good wine, I had control over what to watch on the internet, my Grandma wasn’t able to teach me any more racist phrases from the 1940’s, nobody told me not to drink any more alcohol and I could put peppercorn sauce on roast potatoes without any weird looks.

Christmas dinner 2021.  Yes that is peppercorn sauce.  Fuck you.

Oi. Leave me alone. Also the roast potatoes were actually better than the steak – granted I overcooked the steak somewhat SHOCK HORROR.

Anyway, we have a roast to talk summarise.

So it was a not bad roast at The Florence. A commendable effort, thick gravy that didn’t taste of too much was probably the way to summarise it. Apart from annoying me with smoky parsnip puree all over the plate, nothing was bad – and the parsnip puree was a smoky delight.

I don’t remember coming out with a score for it at the time, so I’m just going to give it a flat out 7.00 out of 10. Bang decently average. Worth going to if you are in the area.

Jack And Hill Took Half A Pill

Well that’s it for 2021.

31 roast dinners in London. 5 of them excellent. 8 very good. 2 shite. The rest not bad enough to moan about but not good enough to recommend that you go out of your way to discover, a bit like The Florence really.

Not forgetting the 2 takeaway roasts and 7 roast dinner meal kits – fingers crossed I won’t need to do that in 2022, though things do look a tad ominous.

All being well, I will be back with a roast dinner review and a pint of apple juice in the first week of January.

And there will be some awards to hand out when I can be bothered to write them – tends to take me half a day.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your Christmas, and I shall enjoy my Christmas when freedom finally fucking arrives.

With a bit of luck, next Christmas might finally meet my dreams.

Lesbians enjoying Christmas
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The Florence, Herne Hill

Station: Herne Hill

Tube Lines: National Rail

Fare Zone: Zone 3

Price: £18.50

Rating: 7.00

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Parsnip puree was smoky, gravy was thick.

Loathed: Parsnip puree was underneath everything, gravy was bland.

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