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 me...it will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.
It’s always the first sentence that’s the most difficult. Then I tell you that I went to The Londesborough, in Stoke Newington. And then we are up and going…
…and nearly gone. Just think, in a parallel universe we’d be discussing whether Penny Mordaunt or Nadhim Zahawi were best placed to make a success of Brexit, and finally get that greatly-desired benefit of Brexit – more powerful vacuum cleaners.
Not to mention the right to have 147 different types of phone charger and bananas that are straight. Because nobody can sell wonky vegetables in the EU. Not even Oddbox, a company set up whilst we were still in the Single Market to specifically sell wonky vegetables.
Top of Jacob Rees-Troglodyte’s list was the ability to encourage fracking – though wasn’t it the Tory government who stopped it? Also amazing how suddenly everyone forgets the environment as soon as there is an economic crisis. 6 months ago “we need the government to stop oil and gas consumption”. Now – “we need the government to subsidise oil and gas consumption”.
Oooh look at that. Brexit definitely is being implemented. It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to rant about Brexit. I mean, this was a weekly thing. Now it’s more of a monthly thing. I haven’t forgotten. I just like to mix it up a bit. One week “fucking Tories”, next week “fucking Brexit”, the week after “erm…fucking”.
And then look – what are the two areas the country that have recovered the best from the pandemic/Brexit economic hit? Is one of them the area of the country in the Single Market? Oh yeah, it is. And the other being the area of the country that less relied on the Single Market because the Single Market was more about free trade of goods and London’s economy is services-heavy.
So levelling up going as well as Brexit then?
Get Brexit Done
Don’t worry. Imperial measures and sending a handful of asylum seekers to Rwanda will fix everything.
Well, I feel better for that rant. Don’t you? I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to properly rant about a roast dinner. I’ve only had two shit roast dinners this year so far. I’ve actually only scored 5 roast dinners below a 7 out of 10.
I guess there are reasons for this – I’ve been much pickier about where I put on my to-do list, mostly only accepting recommendations in central London, that look really good or that look unusual.
The Londesborough is in Stoke Newington which is one of those popular areas of London, similar to Kensington, Brixton and Abbey Wood, where I’ve been to weirdly very few pubs for a roast dinner – just Lady Mildmay and the now apparently closed Osteria Wolf.
The thing about Stoke Newington is that it isn’t really convenient. Granted, nowhere is from Harrow, but Stoke Newington is a 20 minute walk from the nearest overground stop – I love walking, but I’m never sure whether I’m going to love walking the next Sunday, when I may well have a hangover of unknown proportion.
One thing that perturbed me about The Londesborough from the off, was that it had these glass cabinets of empty beer cans – many from really bloody great breweries.
Yet when I went to the bar to ask what IPAs were on offer, it was only Neck Oil and Gamma Ray. Which feels a bit like false advertising – having display cabinets suggesting that you sell really cool beers but then only have Heineken, sorry, Beavertown. Hmmm. You were cool once, Beavertown. Tony Blair was cool once.
The other thing I found annoying at The Londesborough was the noise – it wasn’t even that busy yet I struggled to hear the other people at my table. It could do with a bit of noise dampening.
Get Ranting Done
That said, it is a really nice, spacious room. The front bar part of the pub is actually quite cosy looking – I imagine even more so on a dark winter’s night with the fairy lights on. And the garden looked very pleasant in the warm sunshine – though we are in wasp season now, so I’m not fussed about trying to eat a roast dinner outside, especially in peak summer sunshine.
There were a range of options on the roast dinner menu – not quite sure why roast beef was advertised with “all the trimmings” but everything else had more descriptive accompaniments.
Pork belly; thyme, rosemary and chicken or shoulder of lamb stuffed with carrot and apricots, were the other options. Unless you are veggie. All priced between £16 and £21.
I decided that the lamb shoulder sounded the most interesting option – despite how much I love pork belly. And our roasts took a whole 10 minutes to arrive.
This is the photograph after I had re-arranged – I thought I might actually show you the vegetables before I describe them this time. My photography is getting less shit, isn’t it? All to do with my skills. Nothing to do with getting a new phone with a much better camera, albeit that now has a smashed screen, doesn’t have a headphone socket and generally annoys the fuck out of me.
So the vegetables came as a medley which doesn’t make it the easiest thing to describe. But let’s start with the controversy.
For me, courgette happily belongs on a roast dinner. Maybe this is because I have a roast dinner almost every single Sunday so maybe, just maybe, I get a tad bored of the same vegetables every week. Especially when they have no seasoning.
As the vegetable medley didn’t have any seasoning – or very, very minimal. And I’m not sure they need to be cut into child-sized bites, but hey, that’s me being pernickety I guess. Blame the EU.
Get Vegetables Done
I liked having broccoli on there, though it was a bit al dente, the flavour of the carrot and swede came through nicely. There was a little celeriac and some people had some mange tout – I’d asked for “no peas” so I guess that’s why I had no mange tout.
Hang on…just need to wish congratulations to Gemma and Matt on their…50th wedding anniversary?
It was a huge portion of vegetables too. So a win for those who love a big roast. But I think doing it as a medley kind of meant that the vegetables blended into each other.
I was saddened about the roast potatoes. Quite possibly just a bad time of year for potatoes, as we had the same issue last Sunday at Smokehouse – but these had a stale/dry feel to them, and were definitely under-roasted. Some people on the table said one or two of theirs were really good roasties, the others stale – none of mine were good.
The Yorkshire pudding was pretty decent. Quite fluffy on bottom with a crisp to the edges – I’d go so far to say that it was a “good” Yorkshire pudding, and blissfully small. Dear chefs – note that even I can take a good photo for the ‘Grim without needing a humungous Yorkshire pudding.
The slab of lamb shoulder was excellent. By some way the star of the show, it was sooooo soft and succulent, just falling apart, with a gorgeous gooeyness throughout. I didn’t quite get the point of stuffing it with carrot and apricot – there was definitely a light hint of fruitiness throughout, but I cannot say I will attempt to replicate it. Apricot is such an over-rated fruit, isn’t it? Great in yoghurt, but nothing else. Anyway, kudos for trying something different – I do appreciate it. Honest.
Finally, the gravy. It had a bit of consistency to it and there was actually enough on the plate without having to order more. A bit too rich and red winey for my personal tastes, though I think this is a horses for courses thing. I find this type of gravy tiring on my tastebuds by the end – but other people will definitely appreciate it more.
Get Review Of The Londesborough Done
I don’t think my friend who has been nagging me to go The Londesborough for years was quite as impressed as when she used to go regularly, but I think we all broadly enjoyed it.
It was a fair mixture – roast potatoes were crap, the lamb shoulder was excellent – mucho succulento as they might say in España. Or is that closer to Italian? Not sure how we’d know as the EU is all the same so nowhere has a national identity now. ONLY BRITAIN. We are free to be morons and everyone will respect us for it and want to trade lots with us.
Two of my accomplices scored it a 7.80 out of 10, but then upgraded it to an 8, due to the service. Cannot say I noticed – service seemed respectable in a nonchalant London kinda way to me.
My regular accomplice scored it a 7.60 and I’m scoring it a 7.34 out of 10 – bumped up by the excellent lamb shoulder which I will remember for some days. I’m told that the beef was excellent as was the pork belly – though the crackling not so. I’ve even got photographs of them:
One day I might even remember to start taking portrait photographs for the ‘Grim stories and mini videos for the ‘Tube. I keep talking about doing so. Even at the table on Sunday, I said I must remember to do so. I didn’t remember.
I’ve got no plans this coming weekend – not even on Friday or Saturday. Saturday might be stupidly hot apparently so best not to plan anything other than being near my dear Lola. Don’t get excited – she’s my air conditioning unit. Maybe I might have a pie as I have some glitter gravy to use that I got for Christmas on New Year’s Eve because I had covid at Christmas. Then I might go have a poo in Harrod’s the next morning.
As for Sunday, it’s Father’s Day so I’m just going to assume most people will be doing family kind of stuff, so it might be a rare solo dining roast for me. I’ll work it out. There will be a roast dinner though. There is always a roast dinner.
The Londesborough, Stoke Newington
Tube Lines: Overground
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Lamb shoulder was excellent - soft and succulent.
Loathed: Roast potatoes were rather stale and dry - the gravy tired after a while due to richness, but some will like it like that.