We are currently in the process of finding somewhere else to live. Not only are we paying too much for this place, but our landlady has decided to increase the rent once our contract exprires. Can’t blame her really, I’d do it also, but we don’t want to pay it. So we are moving.
We have been thinking about moving out further east for sometime now, mainly as the rents are cheaper, living is cheaper and it gives me another excuse to quit my job and look for another one. Now I can blame the distance, amongst other things.
So off to Victoria Park we tromped to look round a few houses that we just about had enough money for. Just. But they were all the same. Nice area, crap flats. Finding this a lot recently. So scrap Victoria Fields off the list. Phew. I did find the area a tad dull to be honest so I am not too unhappy that we won’t be moving there. Except that there is the Lauriston there. Which is part of the group that owns my own personal favourite pizza pub, the Regent in Islington. So all is not bad.
Whilst visiting the area one Sunday we decided to grab some food at the Royal Inn on the Park. I can only describe this as an old time boozer jazzed up into a gastro but still has the old time boozer feel about it.
I was half expecting to see the two old guys at the bar with their little Jack Russells standing over half empty glasses of bitter putting the world to rights. Maybe they have been scared off by the new clientele.
The menu for a Sunday was quite standard. Pork, beef, chicken, lamb and the token veggie dish, which I cannot remember what it was. It was that memorable.
I’d hate to be a veggie, as most places really do not cater to them. Most chefs scorn veggies like they are the scum of the earth and only under duress and pain of death put one option on the menu for this mutant breed of being.
I went for the lamb, and Lina had the chicken, well it was a poussin. Same same but different no.
They must have an experimental chef in the kitchen. As the poussin came with the bread sauce napped over the breast of the poussin. I had a most odd mint sauce. I’m still tying to figure out what those cubes were.
My lamb was well cooked, it never had a strong lamby flavour, so slightly disappointed in that. The poussin again was well cooked, nice and moist. The bread sauce was really well seasoned and creamy. Nice.
The veggies were ok. Nice carrots, broccoli (good to see on a roast menu) and courgettes (this I hope never to see again on the same plate as a roast). All were well cooked, seasoned and had a slight bite to them. Nice.
Potatoes were not as crispy as I like, but were floury and fluffy inside. The yorkie was small and a tad soggy. But it was hiding underneath both our meats. It needed to assert itself on this plate and be the star of the show. The gravy had a nice meaty flavour to it and was quite thick. A relief, plus as a bonus the plates were hot.
A good selection of beers and wines to be had here, good friendly staff, and if we did move here, which we are not, I’d be very happy to spend at least one Sunday a month eating a good solid roast with a few pints of real beer.
The next area on our list was London Fields. Who doesn’t want to live near to Broadway Market, and all those lovely people that frequent it every weekend. Well me for one, but the rents on the otherside of the park were cheap. With good reason as well. Crap areas and crap flats. The only good thing we found was the Pub on the Park. A really quality place.
We’d been told about this place after some friends of Linas got married and had their after vows drinks there. These I missed, but made up for it later at a different pub somewhere on a dodgy estate in Hackney.
We’d already eaten and were passing when some friends called us to meet up for a drink and some nosh. You really need to be lucky to find seats downstairs, when we arrived it was heaving. In fact it was more than heaving, there were people sharing seats it was that busy. We did however manage to find a small table that just became empty as we arrived. So the table for 3 now became a table for 5.
If you can, I’d recommend sitting downstairs. The vibe up above was a tad flat, mainly due to two children sleeping on the sofa and their parents giving everyone the evils if you spoke above a whisper. If you want your kids to sleep put them to bed in their beds, not in a pub. Grrrrrrr.
As we had eaten, we had to sit and endure the other three munching on their very good roast beef lunches. Even though I was full, I was tempted to order one for myself.
I never tasted any of the food, as the other three are non-sharers. But we were told it was delicious. The beef looked quite nice, quite thickly cut. Good mix of veg, and several (yes I say several) good size roasties. Nice looking Yorkshire pudding and it was crispy. Good amount of gravy and all this for less than a tenner. Not bad.
But for me the vibe made the place, shame we were apart from it upstairs and the mum with the evil eye.
As we are unlikely to be moving to or around London Fields, as the places we liked are out of our price range, which is a shame as we really like the area, even if some of its inhabitants are not to my taste.
Next stop South London.