Where: The Water Poet, Shoreditch
When: February 2015
Price: £23 for roast and pint (inc. service charge)
Rating: * * * * *
In short: A delicious and generous roast lunch – exactly what your Sunday afternoon needs.
If you are looking for a Sunday roast in London you could do a lot worse than the Water Poet in Shoreditch. Living in the big city leaves me seriously craving a lovely country pub, and the Water Poet has that rare “Look-at-me-I’m-not-a-’Spoons-or-a-Nicholson’s” charm.
The food was yummy, and generous! The Sunday menu offers a chicken, beef or pork belly roast, or a wild mushroom and blue cheese terrine for herbivores. There were also a few pub classics for the crazy people who don’t want a roast lunch. I got the pork belly, and it was delicious. 2 generous slices of pork, a large Yorkshire pud, carrots and parsnips, roast potatoes, kale and 2 strips of perfectly crisp crackling, doused in gravy and served with apple sauce. Everything was delicious, the pork was tender, and at £16.50 it was pretty good value.
Good news on the drinks front for London’s neglected cider drinkers. No Aspalls in sight – hello Orchard Pig on draught! I was supposed to be having a booze-free day, but I couldn’t resist. After dinner we paid the bill and moved to the front bar for post-roast pinties, where the big screen was showing the afternoon’s FA Cup fixtures for those interested.
The service was good. We didn’t have to wait long to order and got everything without a hiccough. You cannot order drinks at the bar in the back room (it is for table service only) so we weren’t left waiting for our drinks while people at the bar were constantly served. I don’t think it’s cool that a service charge was added to the bill automatically and not described as ‘optional’, but I would have left roughly that tip anyway so I forgive you.
Overall, this was exactly what my Sunday afternoon needed. It was super tasty and comforting food, and the atmosphere at the Water Poet is the kind of relaxed vibe you want for a catch up with friends. And it was all pretty last minute – I managed to book a table for the Sunday afternoon late on Saturday evening, which is rare for London’s better places. I almost hope it doesn’t get too much more popular…