The Hops & Glory – Canonbury, London

If you are looking for a Sunday Roast in Islington – The Hops and Glory serves a great one! You would never really notice this pub or know it exists as it is quite hidden away from the busy streets. It has a cosy, rustic vibe and they have their own craft beer brewery as well as their Gastropub.

We went on a late Sunday afternoon last December for a tummy warming Roast Dinner.

We shared a couple plates of sourdough bread soaked in beef dripping and gravy while we decided on what we wanted for our mains. It was actually full of flavour and a great start to the meal.

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Toasted sourdough, dripping & gravy (£3.50)
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Hampshire pork belly w/apple sauce (£16.50)

For my main I went for the pork (I will usually go for the lamb or pork when I am out for a roast) which came with some gorgeous roasted veg and some apple sauce. I did add some more gravy as well! I have had some bland roasts before and this was NOT one of them – It was all full of great natural flavours.

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Spiced Cider (A December Special – yes this is a bit of a late post)
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Rice pudding with pistachios and dates (a winter special – £5)
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Cheese Board with Berkswell, Tunworth & Brighton blue. Oatcakes & malt chutney (£7.50)

For dessert we all shared the rice pudding and a cheese board as we were very full but wanted a little something to end the meal.

Great English food, lovely pub, and fab service. I am coming back this winter for more roast dinners!

http://www.hopsandglory.co.uk/

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The Freemason’s Arms – Wiswell, Lancashire, UK

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It was Jack’s Grandma’s birthday recently and as they live up in Lancashire (and it was a birthday to celebrate), she chose a lovely gastropub called The Freemason’s Arms in Wiswell for a Birthday Sunday Lunch with the family.

From the moment we stepped out the car and walked up to the pub that was tucked away on a quaint little street, I warmed to it straight away. As the sun was out, we sat outside for a drink before we went in to choose from their interesting Sunday Lunch menu.20150816_142612
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IMG-20150823-WA0043Inside was cozy and decorated in a very old traditional British Pub style – with fox heads and stag heads, oil paintings, fire places and antique-looking dark wood furniture.

They brought us some bread, still fresh and warm from the oven. One was quite fluffy and made with herbs and olive oil and the other was more of a seeded rustic chewy bread loaf. Both was so good that I couldn’t help myself but eat them.
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IMG-20150823-WA0016For starters everyone had the cod except for Jack and his Granddad who had the pea soup.

The pea soup was so green under the cheese fondue. It had bits still which made it taste very rustic and freshly made. The fondue over the top gave the soup a little bit of an extra creaminess to it.

The cod came served on top of some very sweet melon with a slice of Iberica ham placed on the top of it all. The waitresses then came back around with some little see-through glass teapots with the broth of the ham which they poured over the top of it. Who would have thought that all these flavours would have married up so well together? But they did! With the smokiness of the ham and the sweetness of the melon together with the subtle flavoured fish – it was delicious.IMG-20150823-WA0015

 


IMG-20150823-WA0025For the mains everyone ordered the Aged Beef except for Jack’s Granddad who ordered the Organic Duck (what a rebel). I didn’t try the duck but it came very well presented. The duck looked very tender and with the Hong Kong twist of Pak Choi and XO Broth, I’m sure it tasted delicious.

The sirloin beef was cooked perfectly (still pink in the middle) and it came with lots of goodies as the trimmings. There were green beans and carrots (which weren’t soggy and still had a crunch), carrot puree (which added a little sweetness to the dish), mashed potatoes (extremely smooth and creamy like a puree), roast potatoes and a large yorkshire pudding (which were both perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside) – plus it also came with a side of cauliflower and cheese for everyone to share. I was very impressed.

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As you know, I don’t have a sweet tooth, so I chose the cheese for my third course. The board of 7 Lancashire cheeses came with a menu of all the cheeses on the board in order, a palette cleanser of what tasted like apple juice, a variety of crackers and bread, raspberry jam, syrup apricots and grapes. It was a delightful experience to try them all.

Everyone else had the Sticky Toffee pudding which, although I didn’t try any, I was told it tasted amazing. IMG-20150823-WA0042Patron Chef Steven Smith has created a Sunday Lunch menu has a modern twist to it which was absolutely divine and partnered with the quaint traditional British pub atmosphere and fine dining service, you can definitely understand why it has won numerous awards. A must try if you can!IMG-20150823-WA0028

http://www.freemasonsatwiswell.com/

La Fabrica – Finsbury Park, London

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There are actually quite a few good restaurants around the Crouch End/Finsbury Park/Highbury vicinity which I have been discovering since I have moved into the area last year. It’s an area that has been slowly gentrifying and I am absolutely loving exploring it.

La Fabrica opened towards the end of last year – and Renata and I recently went one Thursday evening to try it out. The interior has warehouse/industrial type decor but still feels cozy with it’s dimmed lights and has a great buzzing vibe.

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We ordered a variety of different dishes – Pan Con Tomate with Jamon Iberica, Padron Peppers, Grilled Squid, Croquettes and Lamb Chops.

My favourite was the Pan Con Tomate with the fresh and light taste of chopped tomatoes mixed with the saltiness and denseness of the ham (YUM). Everything was delicious and bursting with great flavours – so I would recommend it all.
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We were so full from all the little plates – but when the dessert menu came and we saw churros with warm dark chocolate sauce – we just had to order them. I am so glad that we did. They were cooked to perfection, with a crunch on the outside and a slightly gooey on the inside, and the sauce went so well with them.

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Everything (along with a bottle of flavourful red wine) cost just under £70 total for both of us – and we were full to the brim with great food and drink.

http://www.lafabricastroudgreen.co.uk/

La Fabrica, 5 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EF