Five, maybe six years ago, this used to be a regular of mine. Nestled amongst the boutiques and delis of Marylebone High Street, it’s oldy worldy feel is the epitome of a good London pub for me. Like most pubs it turned gastro back in the 00’s but alas it doesn’t seem to have moved on.
I chose this pub to catch up with my old buddies to reminisce over our misspent 20s living in London together on a pittance and yet we were able to afford lots of fun. Thankfully the company more than made up for the terrible service and and poor excuse for a Sunday roast they served up.
Yes, it was the Sunday before Christmas, yes every table was booked out. What else were they really expecting? The staff, bar one, were all one spliff away from a staring role in The Walking Dead. My latte took more than 20 minutes to arrive. We waited more than an hour for our mains. The scatty waitress almost argued with us when we told her the roast beef and pulled pork weren’t for us and then she left them on the table while she went to sort out the problem. They were collected by the only redeeming staff member in the place who was buzzing around like a blue assed fly apologising to anyone who would listen.
We all had the soup to start, butternut squash and chilli. It was good, a bit creamy for my taste but a good solid winter warmer nonetheless. I was hopeful for my roast. I opted for the pork and crackling. What arrived was two thin slices of pork, a pile of potatoes swimming in gravy. Very soggy kale and carrots with a tiny slither of crackling. Poor. Very poor. London Buddy’s chicken looked cooked to a crisp and dry as a bone. It wasn’t the Sunday pub lunch I’m imagined.
I know a lot can happen in 6 years and quality so close to Oxford St was always going to hit or miss. But this is the heartland of the trustafarian. I should have realised when the clientele had moved on from the young, rich socialisers to the local shoppers and tourists. This was a miss. A disappointing miss as my time in London is limited and I wanted to dispel the myth that London pub food is rubbish. Maybe it’s not a myth at all.