Catford Bridge Tavern SE6 – new in 2017

It’s pleasing to see the redeveloped CBT doing well again under new ownership, since re-opening Easter 2017 with a new roof terrace, refurbed dining room and a good range of drinks from craft beers to “gincident” gins

The former Catford Bridge Tavern run by Antic, closed back in November 2013 (Tesco bought the lease, then sold it to Solitaire after community campaigns to save the pub), it then caught fire and stood empty for about two years. A disappointing saga.

With a happy ending?

Let’s take a look. Starting with skin-on chips that take some beating:

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Beer battered haddock + skin-on salted chips with tartar sauce

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Beer battered haddock: nice white ‘meaty’ fish

 

Food promos run on weekday evenings:

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Burger MondaysBurger + skin-on chips and a pint for £10.00 (the offer’s since changed to buy a burger, get a second for £1)

They’re good burgers. Every day of the week.

 

The menu changes fairly regularly, here’s a sample from April 2017:

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Sample menu 

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Sea bream @ £11.00

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Pano – cross-section restaurant and bar-side

 

Fancy a bar snack?

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Cumberland sausage rolls with mushroom ketchup – bar snack @ £4.00

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Craft beers

 

Saving the best ’til last, it’s got to be Sunday roasts:

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Sunday roast: pork belly + crackling @ £14.00

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Sunday roasts: pork belly with crackling (top @ £14) and topside of beef (bottom @ £14.75) with roast spuds and proper Yorkshire puddings

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Eton mess @ £4.00

Watch out for quirky events and themes, from music by a Granny DJ to “Gincidents” and dog shows.

Are you and your best friend ready for this Catford? #se6 #fortheloveofdogs #dogshow #pub #puppypower

A post shared by Catford Bridge Tavern (@catfordbridgetavern) on

The verdict: Catford has a great traditional-style pub again – good food, drinks, and service (bar and waiting staff are usually chatty and helpful) in a comfy, clean space that’s enjoyable to relax in.

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Pub, British
– Address: Station Approach, Catford, London
– Postcode: SE6 4RE
– Nearest station: Catford Bridge, Catford
– Website + menus: Catford Bridge Tavern website
– Photos on flickr: images of Catford Bridge Tavern food
– Location: Catford Bridge Tavern map

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Princess Victoria – Shepherd’s Bush W12

Posh nosh Sunday roasts in West London

To celebrate L’s birthday, we went to one of her local pubs in West London for dinner last Sunday – the Princess Victoria. It was easy to see why it’s one of her favourites: bar staff were friendly and welcoming as we arrived even though it was busy, there’s a good range of craft beers and wines, and prosecco by the glass, as well as an appealing arrangement of whiskies and gins.

 

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Princess Victoria pub on Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush

 

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Bar: real ales on draft, fine selection of whiskies and gins
 

The child-friendly dining room was heaving with families and toddlers (with many kids entertaining themselves, on devices) perhaps a bit more of a ‘playground’ than I might have liked (hint: if you don’t normally choose to go to the kindergarten to eat your sandwich on a lunchtime, skip this place for a Sunday roast).

 
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Sample menu: Sunday lunch menu on 15 Nov 2015

We were a party of ten and most of us homed in on the Sunday roast dinners (generous portions and very good!):

 
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Rib of Cumbrian roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish – with roast potatoes + mixed vegetables @ £17.50
 

 
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Dingley Dell roast belly pork with crackling and apple sauce – served with roast potatoes + mixed veg @ £15.50
 

 
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Roast poussin, Yorkshire pudding and bread sauce – with roast potatoes + mixed veg @ £14.50
 

 
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Beer battered fish + chips with peas and tartare sauce @ £12.50

 

My roasted poussin was just gorgeous. The only disappointment being that the Scotch egg starter I ordered didn’t arrive (“amazing Scotch eggs” with runny yolks as recommended by L). Still, it seems like a good excuse to go back and try again…

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: gastropub
~ Address: 217 Uxbridge Road, London
~ Postcode: W12 9DH
~ Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush Market, East Acton, Shepherd’s Bush
~ Website + menus: Princess Victoria website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Princess Victoria food
~ Location: Princess Victoria map

 

 
Princess Victoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Roundhouse pub – Wandsworth Common

Wondering where to go for Sunday dinner this weekend?

The Roundhouse Pub at Wandsworth Common is a five minute walk from Clapham Junction train station yet – being situated on the edge of Spencer Park – has something of a village feel to it.

With outdoor seating (on the busy Northside road, but with the greenery of Wandsworth Common in sight) this is a great pub to while away a Sunday afternoon.

 

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Grilled Galician octopus with shallots, pea shoots, pickled cucumber + carrots – starter @ £7.50
 

 
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Crispy skinned wild sea trout with fennel, courgette, pomegranate, blood orange + salad herb dressing @ £13.00

 
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Summer garden risotto with courgette, peas, red chard, leeks + pea puree @ £10.00
 

I first stumbled across this pub a few years ago when K and I went to a Wandsworth Common beer festival at Le Gothique. Or rather, it was full and we didn’t get in.

It was fortuitous that The Roundhouse was nearby serving an interesting range of craft beers. And, as we discovered after bedding ourselves in for that particular Saturday afternoon, great food too.

 

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Sunday lunch menu – sample menu as of 19 July 2015

 

On my most recent visit with S, we shared a starter of grilled Galician octopus with shallots, pea shoots, pickled cucumber and carrots @ £7.50 (as gorgeous and tender as it looks in the photo above). And for mains my sea trout with fennel, courgette, pomegranate, blood orange and salad herb dressing @ £13.00 was stunning (lots of lovely flavours that went really well together) and S thoroughly enjoyed her summer garden risotto with courgette, peas, red chard, leeks and pea puree @ £10.00.

The verdict: Great pub in a nice scenic location, that’s handy for Clapham Junction. Great choice of drinks, wines and beers (with real ales regularly changing) and seriously good pub grub.

 

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British, pub, Sunday lunch
~ Address: 2 Northside, Wandsworth Common, London
~ Postcode: SW18 2SS
~ Nearest station: Clapham Junction
~ Website + menus: Roundhouse pub website
~ Photos on flickr: Roundhouse pub photos
~ Location: Roundhouse pub map

 

 

Click to add a blog post for The Roundhouse on Zomato

Sunday roast deliveries by BNB

I’ve dreamt about Sunday roast deliveries for years, and wondered why no-one provides that service when you can get food delivered to your door for all kinds of cuisines from around the world. But not a traditional British Sunday roast (and who wants to cook on the day of rest, hey?).

Why is this? Is it particularly challenging to cook, package and deliver roast food well?

 

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Individually packaged food items on arrival
L-R, back: lamb with Yorkshire puddings + potatoes; chicken with potatoes + stuffing
L-R, middle: macaroni cheese; mixed vegetables (broccoli + carrots); cauliflower cheese
L-R, front: coleslaw; apple sauce (for chicken); mint sauce (for lamb); gravy

 

The good news is that BedNBreakfast (BnB) are branching out (from breakfast deliveries) and starting to deliver roast dinners too, to these postcodes in South East London: SE2, SE3, SE6, SE7, SE9, SE10, SE12, SE13, SE18 or SE28.

 

I’d arranged the order a couple of days in advance (one meal was free in exchange for a review) but there was no indication as to what part of day the food would arrive. So, I wasn’t sure if it was a lunchtime or an evening Sunday roast.

Mid-afternoon, I was informed things were running late and the delivery would be on its way. By the time it arrived just after 5pm, my expectations were lowering.

The food items arrived individually packaged, warm (not hot).

 

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Lamb roast (mostly) @ £12.75

 

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Chicken roast (mostly) @ £10.95

 

My husband and I shared:

~ Leg of lamb roast served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal veg (carrots and broccoli), mint sauce, gravy and homemade coleslaw @ £12.75
~ Cauliflower cheese side dish @ £1.99

~ Chicken roast served with roast potatoes, stuffing, seasonal veg (carrots and broccoli), apple sauce, gravy and homemade coleslaw @ £10.95
~ Macaroni cheese side dish @ £1.99

 

In true LardButty style, telling it how it really is I’m summarising the negatives and the positives:

Negatives
– Delivery service could have been improved by giving an approximate delivery time
– Food could benefit from being hot on delivery (rather than warm)
– Inconsistent portion sizes: the portion of sliced lamb was small, while the roast chicken was quite large
– Some foods didn’t transport as well as others (the broccoli had gone soft in transit)

Positives
– Each food item was surprisingly really tasty and had retained its own flavour (in part, thanks to the individual packaging); we were very impressed at how well the meats were cooked
– the cheesy items were gorgeous and travelled well (both the macaroni cheese and cauliflower cheese)
– the homemade coleslaw was a really nice touch (again, travelled well)
– gravies were perfect

Top tip: I’d recommend heating up plates ready for the food’s arrival, to help retain its heat. I’ll certainly do this next time – seems like an easy enough task to do in lieu of cooking, right?

 

Desserts
You can order a dessert @ £4.99 – current choices are:
~ Strawberries and cream mini cake with custard or cream
~ Passion fruit cheesecake with cream
~ Lemon drizzle mini cake with custard or cream
~ Raspberry Victoria sponge mini cake with custard or cream

 

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Passion fruit cheesecake with cream

 

While the main course filled us, we were more than happy to share such a thoroughly good passion fruit cheesecake with cream made by Cakes to Cakes.

 

The verdict: Tasty, well cooked food that’s thoughtfully and carefully packaged to retain each item’s flavours. A totally satisfying and filling meal that exceeded expectations. We’ll be back.

 

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Sep 2016: summer roasts – it’s too hot to put the oven on, so we ordered roasts (2x lamb, 2x chicken) which was easy to do on BedNBreakfasttt’s new website. And food arrived piping hot, and right on time – at 3pm – as scheduled.

Watch out for a new service launching from BedNBreakfasttt soon – LATE – delivering food from 10pm to 5am…

 

Food delivery info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British, breakfast, brunch, delivery
~ Where: South East London
~ Tel: 020 3612 0322 or 07715481054
~ Website + menus: BNB website
~ Photos on flickr: images of BedNBreakfasttt food

 

The Mistley Thorn Essex – best Sunday roasts

Having spent a relaxing weekend away in Suffolk, we decided to stop off somewhere for a leisurely Sunday dinner, and break up our drive back to London.

A quick google and The Guardian’s 2013 Best Sunday Lunches lists four pubs/restaurants for East England, one being The Crown & Castle in Orford, Suffolk, where we happened to go on Saturday night (it was excellent – hopefully a good indication that the others would be of a similarly high standard).

The Mistley Thorn near Manningtree in Essex is one of the listings: their “seafood specials at this old coaching house include the North Sea’s finest scallops, squid and local beer-battered haddock with chips”.

Decision made. We were going to Mistley, a small village on the coast (by the River Stour ajoining the North Sea) with much history (a Roman road to Colchester, C.17th witchfinders, a Cold War control room that became a museum before finally closing in 2002, etc).


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Inside The Mistley Thorn – bar area


It was mid-afternoon, we hadn’t booked. And this place was full – an indication of its popularity. A table for two was made available and we were told there’d be a short wait (by the accommodating, friendly staff) before they could take our order.

And so we enjoyed a leisurely beer (a bottled Goose Island IPA for me, and half an Adnams Spindrift on tap for K) while admiring the simple wood panelled decor that gives the restaurant the feel of a converted seaside hut.

We homed in on the set menu – two courses for £15.95. And both started with the chef’s soup of the day (leek and potato) with croutons (packed with flavours and helped warm us up on this cold wintry day).


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Leek + potato soup – soup of the day with croutons


For the main course Sunday roast, we both had roast Suffolk red poll rump of beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast rosemary potatoes and seasonal vegetables, with a red wine gravy and fresh creamed horseradish.

Red Poll cattle are native to East Anglia (a cross between Norfolk Red beef cattle and Suffolk Dun dairy cattle, developed in the 19th century) and are naturally polled (without horns).

This red poll beef was really special – a great cut of lean beef, cooked perfectly (medium), pink in the middle and moist (no chewiness or gristle). Undoubtedly the best roast beef I’ve had in a Sunday roast dinner. The Yorkshire puddings were just right too – crisp on the outside, and soft in the middle.


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Roast beef + Yorkshire pudding


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Specials menu – sample menu from Sunday 29 March 2015

 

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The Mistley Thorn Rooms + Restaurant – Mistley, Essex

 

The verdict: Excellent food and great service in homely, comfy surroundings. Well worth a visit, even if it’s out of your way.

 

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: British, Sunday roasts
~ Address: High St, Mistley, near Manningtree, Essex
~ Postcode: CO11 1HE
~ Tel: 01206 392821
~ Nearest station: Mistley
~ Website + menus: The Mistley Thorn website
~ Photos on flickr: images of The Mistley Thorn
~ Location: The Mistley Thorn map


Mistley Thorn on Urbanspoon

Guy Fawkes Arms – Scotton, Knaresborough

Last Saturday was a gorgeously sunny and mild day in Scotton, a small village just two miles from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. A fine day to be celebrating my parents’ golden wedding anniversary at a country pub.

The Guy Fawkes Arms is under new management, and mum and dad had already done a recce (thanks for passing on the research skills, pops) and decided this was where they wanted to celebrate their fifty years of marital bliss.

Staff were welcoming, friendly and really helpful from the word go, and there was a good selection of real ales on tap from around the region (including Leeds Pale from The Leeds Brewery) and a good choice of wines too (we had a Viognier – dry white – with our fish courses, reasonably priced at around £25.00 a bottle).


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Sample lunch menu – click to enlarge


Our table for eighteen was in a separate room from the main bar area, just off the kitchen.

For starters I had seabass fillet with Thai vegetables – just gorgeous, with palate-cleansing ginger flavours and a generously sized fillet (more like a main course dish so quite filling).


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Seabass fillet with Thai vegetables – starter


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Feta, sundried tomato + olive salad with balsamic drizzle – starter


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Belly pork, black pudding, sweet chilli salad – starter


For main course, I had battered haddock with chips and mushy peas. The haddock was *huge* with the lightest batter I’ve ever had – it literally shattered when I put my cutlery in it. So good. The chunky fried chips were perfect too (soft in the middle, crispy on the outside) as were the minty mushy peas.


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Haddock, chips and mushy peas – huge main course portion


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Steak + Black Sheep ale pie


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Seafood linguine – with some mashed potato and mixed veg too


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Game breasts – pheasant, pigeon, partridge


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Dauphinoise potatoes


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Sunday roast lamb with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes + mixed veg


Others had steak and Black Sheep ale pie in short crust pastry, seafood linguine with white sauce and parmesan (containing large pieces of filleted salmon and white fish), and a trio of game breasts + dauphinoise potatoes – pheasant, pigeon and partridge with a redcurrant glaze, for their main courses. No-one was disappointed.

This is seriously good gastropub food.


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Sticky toffee pudding


For pudding, K had sticky toffee pudding *and* a cheeseboard of Wensleydale, goats cheese, Yorkshire blue and Cornish yarg (most of which ended up being taken home, unsurprisingly).


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Cheeseboard – Wensleydale, Goats cheese and Yorkshire Blue, Cornish Yarg


The verdict: Quaint old country pub in a lovely location, excellent staff and service. With Martin Peachey as head chef (formerly at
Becket’s, top Knaresborough restaurant) the food is excellent – in a league of its own.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: Pub, gastro-pub food
~ Address: Main Street, Scotton, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
~ Postcode: HG5 9HU
~ Tel: 01423 868400
~ Website + menus: Guy Fawkes Arms website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Guy Fawkes Arms
~ facebook page: Guy Fawkes Arms on fb
~ Location: Guy Fawkes Arms map


RELATED LINKS
Nearby dining + drinking:
~ Black Sheep Brewery – tours + visitor centre, Masham
~ Carriages – Knaresborough
~ Drum + Monkey – seafood in Harrogate
~ Major Tom’s – craft beer + stonebaked pizzas, Harrogate
~ Storm at The Dower House – Knaresborough
~ Sukhothai – Harrogate, top Thai in Yorkshire
~ The Tannin Level – Harrogate


Guy Fawkes Arms on Urbanspoon

Crown Inn Roecliffe – one to avoid

Enroute back to London from the North East, we’d arranged to meet my parents for a Sunday roast at The Crown Inn, Roecliffe, a country inn in North Yorkshire dating back to the sixteenth century.

It always used to have a good reputation but it’s almost ten years since we last went (it wasn’t cheap but the food and wines were excellent back then).

But it’s changed hands since then.


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Crown Inn at Roecliffe – a 16th century inn (surfing on its past reputation?)


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Empty dining room – 1pm on a Sunday lunchtime


There are loads of quaint country pubs serving really good Sunday roasts in the Harrogate district so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that The Crown Inn’s dining room was quiet at 1pm on this particular Sunday. Still, the dining room was a taxidermist’s dream and the stuffed cats, stags and other dead artifacts kept us company while we read the menu.


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Appealing Sunday menu board


The specials menu board (pictured above) looked appealing, as did the Sunday lunch menu for 1st June 2014, priced at two courses for £17.95 or three courses for £19.95.


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Stuffed cat by my feet


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Stag’s head overlooking our table – I’m watching you…


The starters were good enough so our expectations remained high. Among our party of four we had, in size order:


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Wild mushroom ravioli – four parcels with fresh basil pesto, pine nuts + parmesan


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Prawn cocktail – with Marie Rose sauce, lemons + baby gem plus rocket


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Warm salad of sauteed chicken livers – with bacon + black pudding


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Crisp belly pork – with sweet lime soy + Asian vegetables


The starters tasted well enough but were of disproportionate sizes. My 6′ 2″ husband had the ravioli (four parcels) which didn’t go anywhere near curbing his appetite, while I had the crisp belly pork with Asian vegetables which – for me – was a main course portion.

For main course, we all opted for a Sunday roast (either lamb or beef) with Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes and vegetables – the beef was incredibly gristly and inedible. It seemed odd that we’d been given regular knives to cut this tough beef rather than steak knives.


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Sunday roast – gristly, inedible beef


There was no way of cutting through that cartilage with regular knives – it made eating more tiring than it ought to be! Not that we wanted to eat the cartilage anyway so a good chunk of the meat got left, and those who’d only had a tiny starter remained hungry.


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Sharp shards of smashed pottery in the horseradish – K nearly swallowed some + cut his mouth to shreds in the process


Worse still, there had seemingly been an accident in the kitchen as sharp pieces of shattered pottery were buried in the horseradish. K nearly swallowed some shards in a mouthful of horseradish and beef, and cut his mouth to bits in the process.

We mentioned this to the young waiter who seemed to find it a ‘sauce’ (doh! gettit) of amusement. We weren’t going to make a big deal out of the fact that my husband sliced his mouth open on shards of pottery in the horseradish (although he was clearly bleeding) as accidents can happen.

But what was more disturbing was the blasé way in which this incident was treated. The staff showed absolutely no care at any point during our meal. So maybe we were unlucky. Maybe this was a one off. I suspect not but either way, I won’t be returning to The Crown Inn Roecliffe and I won’t be recommending it to anyone else either. But hey, this is LardButty telling it how it really is.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 1.5 / 5
~ Type: pub, British
~ Address: Roecliffe, North Yorkshire
~ Postcode: YO51 9LY
~ Website + menus: Crown Inn website
~ Photos on flickr: images of the Crown Inn food


RELATED LINKS
More North Yorkshire dining:
~ Storm at The Dower House – Knaresborough
~ Sukhothai – Harrogate, top Thai in Yorkshire