Fit for a Queen
So there we are on a summery Sunday evening, mooching about the house with a supper of Waitrose Thai Chicken Curry soup waiting for us in the fridge, when out of the blue the Lovely Husband says “fancy a drink?”. Now this offer has never knowingly been refused, so we walk down the road, cross Notting Hill Gate and go up a short stretch of Campden Hill Road. This is where the Windsor Castle is, a pub I have been going to on and off for more years than I care to remember. It’s a quaint little place full of dark wood and ‘Ye olde worlde’ atmosphere. Midget sized doorways lead from one small room into another and recently I’ve had a pretty good Sunday lunch there, but this time we head straight into the pretty beer garden at the back. It’s heaving with people as all outside spaces are on a warm, sunny evening in London.
We spy a table for two, order drinks and settle ourselves down. It’s all very mellow and laid back. There’s the daily menu on the table and we have a look at it for future reference because, you know, we have that soup in the fridge, don’t we. Suddenly, quite spontaneously, I’m overcome with the desire for a roast. I mean, the soup is very nice and all that, but when a girl wants a roast, she wants a roast and not soup! I hint oh so casually at the possibility of perhaps maybe grabbing a bite here instead, but the hint is too subtle, the Lovely Husband finishes the dregs of his lager and makes to leave. Emergency measures are called for! All I can think of is roast, roast, roast, it takes over my entire being, this need for gravy and meat, vegetables and roast potato and Yorkshire pudding. We can’t leave! I plant my buttocks more firmly on to my seat, hunker down solidly, immovably, and point out all the lovely dogs that have come with their owners to the pub. The Lovely Husband likes dogs and cannot walk past one without talking to it and giving it a quick scratch behind the ears, and they always love him back for that. He gets involved with them, of course, and I suggest another very quick drink before we set off. He nods and goes to the bar, but when he returns there’s still no mention of food.
“I want to eat here, now” I command in my best German accent. “Seriously?” he says, raising half his mono brow “but what about the soup?” “Forget the bl**dy soup” I say “it can wait until tomorrow!” Finally the penny drops. He realises that without a roast I will go on strike and stage a sit-in. “Okay” he mutters and we’re off to a flying start for the rest of the evening. Men just sometimes need a bit of a gentle nudge with a sledge hammer, don’t they?
By now my taste buds are quite beside themselves with anticipation, literally out of control. Bless him, he tootles off to the bar again and orders a slow cooked lamb shoulder roast with all the trimmings for me and a cheese burger with sweet potato fries and aioli for him. How uncharacteristically meaty for us. Normally we’re such good little vegetable munchers but needs must! Maybe it’s because I’ve spent all day entertaining my adorable, energetic, bouncing seven month old grandson that I’m gasping for protein, or maybe it’s because all those carbs are better at soaking up alcohol and I’m enjoying my vino rather a lot. It’s that sort of an evening.
We don’t have to wait long for our food to arrive and how good looking is that?! My plate is covered in roasties, summer greens, carrots, lamb and gravy, not to mention a saucer sized Yorkshire pud. Oh bliss! His is a neat highly stacked bun with a good burger on tomato and lettuce with melted cheese on top.
It’s heavenly! Unpretentious straightforward Sunday roast, nothing remotely fancy or sophisticated, but proper home made pub grub. My lamb is so tender and juicy, the roasties just so, the vegetables well cooked but not overdone, the Yorkshire pudding spongey on the inside and crispy on the outside, the gravy dark and rich. His burger is fresh and tasty and the thin fries simply perfect. Despite the goodly portions, we gobble it all up in no time. All that’s left is a clean, thoroughly guilt inducing, little shoulder blade. I become very conscious that I’ve just cruelly eaten some poor sheep’s baby! Still, it did die in a good cause and was much enjoyed, surely that makes it okay? Before I can dwell on the pathos of this scenario and my out and out wickedness much longer, it’s time to order pudding. Well come on now, in for a penny, in for a pound! And tomorrow’s soup is low cal, so it would be churlish not to!
We share a carrot and orange cheesecake with Devonshire toffee sauce. The sauce is a mere drizzle and almost invisible, but the rest is as delicious as it sounds.
We polish it all off, along with a coffee and finish our drinks. It’s been a royal evening, this. Thoroughly satisfying on the stomach front and all round most enjoyable! We’ll be back for more some time soon!
Our bill comes to £48.35 , not bad at all!
The Windsor Castle, 114 Campden Hill Road, LondonW8 7AR , Tel: 020 7243 8797 www.thewindsorcastlekensington.co.uk
What I wore
White JBrand skinny jeans, longsleeved Mc Loughlin t-shirt, sky blue French Sole ballerinas
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