I love a good pub lunch. I also really love a good Sunday roast. The weather in London was overcast and drizzling, just for a change, and the thought of sitting in a cute pub tucking into a hearty lunch was like a ray of sunshine breaking through a grey day.
I lived in London for six years during the last century, and had organised to catch up with some friends at the Scarsdale Tavern. It’s a short walk from High Street Kensington tube and once you turn off High Street Ken into Edwardes Square, it’s like you have been transported to a tiny little English village. The huge oak trees line the street, almost forming a complete leafy canopy. The terrace houses seem to all be homes to gardening gurus. Cute flower boxes with colourful plumes hang from windows and fences and across the road is a large gated private garden for the residents to use. It’s really lovely.
The Scarsdale itself is traditional English pub, posh-suburb-style. There’s a little umbrellaed beer garden out the front, and a large bar about two steps in from the front door. Heavy drapes frame the windows and the walls were tastefully decorated with old fashioned paintings and English memorabilia without being cluttered. The only modernisation visible is the installation of TVs in the corners. Thank God for that! I mean, the Olympics are on!
As a group of eight, we had the bossy yet accommodating manager put a couple of smaller tables together to seat all of us.
The black board menu featuring delicious sounding dishes such as slow roast shoulder of lamb with rosemary and redcurrant (15.95 pounds) couldn’t kill my hankering for a traditional English roast.
The roast of the day was roast beef (12.25 pounds) – hurrah – that means we were also going to have a Yorkshire pudding, the traditional baked batter that is served with roast beef; it’s purpose is to mop up gravy. Yum yum yum!
All eight of us ordered the same thing, roast beef. It was a roast beef sort of day really. And everyone’s plates were empty when cleared away by the waitress. Our tummies where all so full, so we drank some more beer. I can’t explain that one!
As far as roasts go, it wasn’t the world’s best gourmet experience. But it was a good hearty roast beef. The gravy could have been thicker, however it was tasty. The vegetable accompaniments could have been more traditional rather than the nicely cooked carrots, zucchini (courgette), and cauliflower. Personally, I would have preferred roast potatoes, roast carrots, roast pumpkin, and green peas. Still, it was very enjoyable and hit the spot.
Later in the afternoon, after a couple of hours of digestion, we ordered for dessert. It was a disappointment. Microwaved mass produced sticky date pudding with packet custard. The taste was ok, but not really worth mentioning. The chocolate pudding and ice cream was in the same league.
The honey dew beer served by none other than a friendly Australian chap (we are everywhere!) was deliciously moorish and a half-pint after half-pint made for a most enjoyable way to while away the afternoon, catching up with friends while keeping on eye on the Olympics on TV. I was behaving, hence the half measures .