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Finally the dark days of not being able to post anything funny on the internet are over. Hallelujah. Lettuce celebrate with a roast dinner at The Well’s Tavern in Hampstead.
Don’t worry, you are back in a comedy-free zone in this blog as I endeavour to immiserate your soul with my tales of crud roast potatoes and quips about our idiotic Prime Ministers of the year – just think, when I do my roast dinner awards of 2022 next September, I could even do an award for best Prime Minister of the year. Was there 4?
Anyway, you’ll all be relieved to know that I’m back on track with a meat roast dinner after that Halloween extravaganza of vegan disappointment.
Or at least I hoped I was – reading through the Google Reviews on the way to The Well’s Tavern, I encountered this gem:
Pretty sure the answer actually is “we all had to get into an Uber and go to another pub, but thankfully there is a great website called Roast Dinners In London which is really helpful when you want a good roast dinner”.
I did explain to our new-found American accomplice that if The Well’s Tavern attempted to suggest that – we’d be in an Uber. He didn’t disagree.
Well, Well, Well
Speaking of Americans…
The Well’s Tavern is a block-shaped pub on a hill, a short walk away from Hampstead tube station – and no, people didn’t bother to make enough space in the tube station lift for me to fit in, despite there being plenty of space.
We were sat on the ground floor of the pub, towards the corner, which I was quite pleased about in my semi-hungover state – it was unsurprisingly busy, as are all Hampstead pubs every Sunday, and it was more or less as homely with that classic British pub feel as most Hampstead pubs are.
In fact, in my experience, you could just randomly go to most Hampstead pubs and have a very good roast dinner, a very cosy kind of afternoon, plenty of drinks and discuss how your free-speech-hating activist group is going to take down THE GENIUS and his free speech empire.
The Well’s Tavern interestingly mentions on its annoyingly rapid-scroll website from 2005 that it has “become a Free House meaning that the choice of beers ranges deep and wide”.
Deep and wide…from Peroni, to Brewdog…to Beavertown. Deep. Wide. Deeeeeeeep. Wiiiiiiiiide. Maybe the real ale selection was more interesting, but I don’t like my beers at 20’C. Sorry, Dad.
Twitter’s Going To Hell
Thankfully, comedy is still banned away from Twitter and they had meat roast dinners left when we arrived. In fact, not only did they have beef and chicken, but they also had venison.
However, they did decide to attempt comedy themselves – my regular accomplice, who was having her last roast dinner before fucking off to Bali for the best part of 4 Sunday roasts had some kind of bet with her friend as to what my reaction would be to the menu.
“Oooh venison”, was my first reaction. Shortly followed by, “£1.50 for extra gravy a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Fuck off”. Pretty much those words.
Ahhhh comedy. Ahhhh free speech…that you don’t like.
I had actually been recommended the beef at The Well’s Tavern, which I would have ordered were it not for the opportunity for only the second time on this blog to have venison. And as we saw last week, it is, erm, interesting to order something different.
Well, Well, Well
10 minutes later, this arrived:
I needed to order extra fucking gravy. At £1.50.
A thimble of extra gravy arrived.
COMEDY IS BACK.
I apologised to our new-found American accomplice that it wasn’t as good as his previous visit for a Sunday roast, also in Hampstead, and then realised that the carrots were actually really nice. Soft, slightly charred and full of carroty goodness.
Hmmm. Then the broccoli, which is about as bang-ordinary looking as you can get, was also perfectly steamed, with a slight crunch and more flavour then you’d expect.
To finish off the vegetables, not that we were exactly blessed with the largest volume ever, was a small selection of roasted celeriac and parsnip. Both had plenty of flavour, the nuttiness and sweetness of each coming through well.
Maybe I’m Not In Roast Dinner Hell
We’ve had more Prime Ministers this year than I had roast potatoes on this plate – with a grand total of two. Neither especially bad, but both a bit undercooked inside, and a little grey. And no, there was zero evidence of crispy side.
Not very interesting story, but at university my halls of residence was called Well’s Hall. And it was modelled on a woman’s open prison.
Weirdly, they knocked it down a few years after I left. And they knocked my secondary school down a few years after I left there. Guess there might be a sign there.
The Yorkshire pudding was a tale of two sides. Part of it was soft and fluffy, with an enjoyably crispy edge to make the contrast. But the other half, was as if it had been kept under a heat lamp from last Sunday.
You’ll be pleased to know that the venison was nicer than the vegan nut roast thing from the week before. Quite rare and charred, with some tenderness – I enjoyed it but it wasn’t a patch on my accomplice’s mystery cut of “rare breed” beef, that was as tenderness personified as Elon Musk is narcissist personified.
Finally, the gravy. It was weird but good weird. A rather oily feel to it and it left a greasy sliver inside my mouth – you could definitely hate it, but I didn’t. The gravy was good enough to improve the roast as a whole, working especially well with the vegetables, offering a slight meat stock kind of feel to it.
Well, Well, Well, A Roast Dinner Review Of The Well’s Tavern
It wasn’t the biggest roast dinner, it wasn’t the best-looking roast dinner and it wasn’t the best roast dinner, but it did have enough to commend it.
The vegetables and the gravy I enjoyed the most – although the vegetables were on the basic side, I really appreciated how the chef had got the very most flavour from them.
Of course, the roast potatoes were unimpressive, and half of the yorkie was dire.
Service was good, our waitress easily available, and often required as I drank away the frustration of spending the best part of 2 hours on the Glastonbury queuing page, despite not being registered to go. I just wanted to join in, and feel everyone’s pain. I’m also half-tempted to get an Uber on the M25 in rush hour just so I can experience the frustration of Just Stop Oil stopping me from getting to work.
My accomplices scored it a surprisingly high 8.00 and 8.09 out of 10 – the latter being my regular accomplice, who had had the beef.
My score is still possibly surprisingly high for those judging only on looks, at a very respectable 7.42 out of 10.
Unusually for us, we ordered a dessert – yes, there wasn’t quite enough food on the £22.00 roast dinner that also was without quite enough gravy.
We scared the young person who brought it out, by asking which cheeses it was, thinking we might have had something exotic.
The managed came over and advised “cheddar, brie and stilton”. How very ordinary. But the brie was ace.
I’ll be back next week, though I don’t have a plan. Maybe I’ll have been banned from Twitter by then for not hilariously declaring that you should all vote Republican. FYI I’m boycotting Tesla cars. FYI I also don’t have a driving license. Fuck cars. Except when someone drives me somewhere.
The Well’s Tavern, Hampstead
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: The vegetables were really good, and appreciate them having venison on a roast. The roast was much better than appearances.
Loathed: Roast potatoes a bit grey and undercooked, gravy cost £1.50 extra despite not being sufficient.