Two meals are sacrosanct in England – the Sunday Roast and the Hungover Fry-up. This weekend I’ve had both, minus hangover. The Fry-Up was at Dalston Lane Cafe – which I will save for another review as it deserves a bit of space, and the Roast was at the Royal Inn on the Park, a beautiful old pub right on Victoria Park, which is looking particularly picturesque right now with all the daffodils and cherry blossoms out.
It’s hard to trust restaurant review websites, as (I am guessing here) people only go to the trouble of letting rip if they have had a shocker, which may come down to short-staffing or a one-off bad night.
But this place is good. I had the roast beef – two huge slices of rare sirloin beef (not that I can tell the difference, that’s just what it said on the menu) with four potatoes (I only noticed as other members of the party complained bitterly as they got just three) plus roast carrots, Yorkshire pudding, dark gravy and the best red cabbage I’ve ever eaten – I almost asked for the recipe. Oh, and a horseradish sauce which nearly burned my cornea off when I absentmindedly rubbed my eye. It was £13, which is more a restaurant than pub price, but it was beautifully cooked so worth it. Also on the menu were small roast chickens, roast pork and cod with mash, as well as things like pate and risotto and sticky toffee pudding. And reading the reviews now, as well as real ales they have pear cider on tap. I will be back.
There’s a huge beer garden (read: stay away on hot weekends) and it’s kid and dog friendly so a good one for families. We took the adorable baby that was with us to a funfair afterwards – just like those spooky ones that you see in horror movies, the bright lights a bit garish in the misty English park – then went back to have another drink in the beer garden and settle the bill, which we’d forgotten to pay. Toilets are somewhat vile, which goes without saying in most pubs, but apart from that I can’t fault it.
Tel: 020 898 5332
111 Lauriston Rd, London, E9 7HJ
Nearest tube: Mile End, or get the 277 bus from Highbury & Islington