It’s the most delightful time of the year…

The first post on this blog was the 26th June 2007, however that didn’t mean that’s when I started drinking coffee and eating food.  However it does mean that I didn’t really record some great meals and food.

On this day fourteen years ago, back in 2006, I went to London for a meeting and had one of the most delightful tasty meals that I can remember.

The meeting was at The Jolly’s Hotel close to St James’ Park. The hotel was all dressed for Christmas so was full of decorations and Christmas Trees.

It was a good meeting as I recall, but then it was time for a break. We had lunch in the hotel and we went down to the dining room. In front of me was this amazing display of Italian antipasto, salami, olives, anchovies and a range of salads. I thought what a wonderful delicious looking buffet. However I was little concerned about the amount of salt in the food so I asked one of the waiting staff if there were some more non-salty choices as I didn’t want to have too much salty food. He then pointed me over to the other side of the dining room where there was a carvery counter. I wasn’t expecting that at all. It was probably the best carvery I have ever had. They had a huge choice of meats, I went with some beef and new for me some veal. Adding all the trimmings, I sat down, it was absolutely delicious. The roast meats were tender and full of flavour. The trimmings were exciting and tasty.

After that it was back to the meeting and alas work.

It was one of those meals that I wish I could have again. I always meant to return to eat there again, however I never had a meeting in the hotel again, and never had a chance to go there to eat. Now fourteen years later I seriously doubt that even if I did go there it would be a similar wonderful experience.

Roast Beef Dinner

Last week I was down at the Oake Manor Golf Club. Now I hasten to add this wasn’t for a game of golf, but for an event about social media in education. Though it does make you wonder, all those people playing golf, where on earth do they find the time?

Anyhow, at the event, lunch was provided and it wasn’t a cold buffet, nope there was a carvery, and it was a proper carvery, freshly sliced beef or pork and lots of choices of vegetables. The beef had lots of flavour and the veg was really nice too. Certainly one of the better roast beef dinners I have had.


One of the worse was at the National Trust Heelis Café in Swindon.

I went for a traditional roast beef dinner. At £7.50 I expected to get an excellent home cooked roast beef dinner… well I didn’t.

Yes the potatoes were home roasted, and were roasted and not deep-fried as is often the case in some restaurants, pubs and cafes. The carrots were fine, but the brocolli was limp, having spent too much time under a heat lamp. The beef was a real disappointment, wafer thin slices of cooked beef that had been re-heated in gravy. This is something that cheap catering does, and not something I expected from the  Heelis Cafe. The Yorkshire Pudding looked and tasted like it was heated up in the microwave and to be honest I did wonder if the meal was from the day before (as we did order early at midday) and had just been microwaved. I was expecting a proper carvery and proper slices of roast beef, not the equivalent of a £3.99 meal from a supermarket cafe.

Yes that was a real disappointment.

One carvery I remember was at the St Ermin’s Hotel in London.

It was December 2006 and I was at a meeting there, and we had lunch and it was an excellent lunch, nice selection of starters followed by a delicious carvery. Now I have no idea if that is still the case, but I hope it is.