By Maggie Majstrova
Living walking distance from the wonderful Blackheath Common has its advantages. Not only is the area lovely, but Blackheath has also recently become a particularly good food-related destination. From a great farmers’ market on the weekends, to a number of quaint eateries, it’s definitely not to be overlooked.
Making the most of the recent weekend bursts of sunshine, we set out for a walk one Sunday afternoon and managed to work up quite the appetite by the time we got to Blackheath. With it being a Sunday, we couldn’t think of anything better, but to find a suitable spot for a Sunday roast. Que, The Crown.
The Crown is a homely pub, just at the edge of the Common, which originally caught our attention with a sign informing us they’ve recently opened a wine bar in the top floor (we’ll be coming back to try that at a later date, I’m sure). Having walked in, the downstairs was completely full – not surprising as although it has a huge outside area, there are only about 10 or so tables inside. Catching us looking a little disheartened in the middle of the dining area, their security guard quickly suggested we take a seat upstairs in the newly renovated wine bar.
So, having the upstairs to ourselves on an increasingly windy afternoon (at least at the start), we quickly set about inspecting the roasts menu. Priced at £10.95 (with a kiddie option for half that), diners are given the choice of two weekly options (in our case beef or pork), keeping the menu straight forward, though perhaps a little lacking for those punters who are vegetarians.
For once, our decision was easy, both of us opting for beef.
Perhaps because we arrived at a slightly unorthodox time of about 3pm, or because sitting upstairs mean you’re actually on the same floor as the kitchen, our food came out extremely quickly. Speedy food always makes me nervous, unless of course I’m in a fast food joint, because it makes me think my food was just microwaved. But, I had no need to worry, this was a roast to remember.
We received our sides to share: carrots, cabbage and a butternut squash and parsnip puree, which, if I’m being honest, needed a bit more seasoning, though the rest of the meal made up for it. Our beef was a perfectly cooked, fresh cut, served with new potatoes, roast potatoes, the runner up for the world’s largest Yorkshire pudding, gravy and some fresh leaves.
The gravy was a little runny for my liking, but was clearly homemade and very well flavoured, along with the Yorkshire puddings (my favourite part of a roast), which were exquisite. All in all, this was perfect fare for a chilled Sunday afternoon, but what really makes The Crown’s package a complete one, was the service. Our waitress was super friendly and attentive, but not overbearing, even suggesting some local coffee shops for us to try.
But that’s a story for another time.