After a short break for Yuletide festivities we are on the bandwagon again. The best Sunday Roast in London is on our agenda and the first venue in the headlights is The Duke of Wellington in Marylebone. Joining us on the quest is a big group consisting of Claire, Pinar (back from Paris for the weekend), Suma, Francoise and Darren, Roland and Vera and baby Bethany.
http://www.thedukew1.co.uk/menus/sundaylunch.pdf - the menu is here. Now, I did look at this after the Christmas and New Year break and thought “crikey O’Reilly! How much?” but then after checking two other possible venues it looks as if the dear old Duke of Wellington wasn’t conning the world, the prices seemed quite normal. I like the selection, plenty of good looking appetisers and mains to play “the game” with. I especially like the idea of the rillettes with chorizo and the pork shoulder. Apparently the STP is to die for.
What Others Are Saying
Disclaimer. The views hereafter are not representative of the Quest for a Sunday Roast or any member of the Quest team
“Grossly overpriced for what is very average pub food.” www.google.co.uk “wow, had the roast leg of salt marsh lamb. It was great. The gravy was amazing, yorkies were very good. Everything here was good, but be ready to plonk down some cash.” www.google.co.uk “Best pub in London If youre looking for good food, good service and good atmosphere, the Duke of Wellington is your place. The service here screams of professional elegance whilst the food shouts with its sophisticated flavours and unashamed simplicity. On my last visit I tried the Ham Hock and Wild Mushroom Tagietelle , priced at £14. It was worth every penny. The pasta, which was well cooked, clung to the elegant sauce well, and made for a well rounded wholesome and good value dish. For dessert I had their signature Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was the best I’ve tried. The banana ice cream accompaniment was simple and thoughtful. The wine list is full of hidden gems at manageable prices. A Bourgogne Aligote at £22 is the highlight. By the glass the choice is big and varied. Try a Sangiovese, or settle for House, they’re all tasty and well thought out. Marylebone, and London more generally, has needed a place like this for a while. A place where … If youre looking for good food, good service and good atmosphere, the Duke of Wellington is your place. The service here screams of professional elegance whilst the food shouts with its sophisticated flavours and unashamed simplicity. On my last visit I tried the Ham Hock and Wild Mushroom Tagietelle , priced at £14. It was worth every penny. The pasta, which was well cooked, clung to the elegant sauce well, and made for a well rounded wholesome and good value dish. For dessert I had their signature Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was the best I’ve tried. The banana ice cream accompaniment was simple and thoughtful. The wine list is full of hidden gems at manageable prices. A Bourgogne Aligote at £22 is the highlight.” www.google.co.uk “Decorated in the deeply dull ‘gastropub’ style which is to common these days, and filled people who mainly look like young Tories, this is a restaurant and not really a pub. Such a shame – the pre-makeover Wellington had real character.”www.beerintheevening.com “I wanted to hate this new gastropub because it replaced a corking little boozer that dripped character from every creaky pore. The transformation antique to gastro-chic has been accomplished with the standard asylum white-washing of the walls and removal of decorative trinkets. The place has been culturally sterilised and the charm is gone. However, the food is great. I was dragged there by a “food-loving” friend of mine and had some bisque and cottage pie. Both were excellent. Even the bread on the side was cooked fresh and tasted great.”www.beerintheevening.com “Aiming for a sober and sophisticated crowd, the Duke of Wellington’s decor is neutral and understated, though the large number of pictures tilts it towards a slightly idiosyncratic feel. Nothing too tasteless, you understand. The staff are friendly and the beers good – usually three ales on, while the wine list looks reasonable, too.” www.fancyapint.com
The pub was well situated on a nice West London side street close to Baker Street. The layout downstairs was pretty terrible, the tables were set against the windows and too crammed in, meaning we were constantly either having to shuffle around to let people out, or were being asked by the adjacent tables to move our chairs to allow them out.
The wine list was long and expensive, while there was a £4.60 SMALL glass of red, the majority of the list was in the teens. Really? The menu, all said and done, and regardless of other comparable pubs, was also expensive.
There were a lot black clad staff on, and when we arrived they were attentive enough to ask us if we wanted a drink. From there on though, it all went a bit downhill.
(From left to right – beef – Darren, Roland, lamb – Vera, Pinar, fish and chips – Suma, Claire, mussels – Francoise)
(From left to right – apple crumble and custard – Darren, Claire, Chocolate and Amaretti pudding – Pinar, Cheese – Franc, STP with banana ice cream – Suma)
Observations and Comments (Individual and Collective)
- Nice and bright, airy. Not a fan of the art work but the place is clean – Darren
- Beef bloody and rare – Darren
- The Bloody Mary was really good – Darren
- The Horseradish pot was on the plate, in the gravy, and was messy to extract it – Darren
- Darren – how’s the lamb?
- Pinar – cold. Is it supposed to be cold?
- Darren – no it’s not supposed to be cold
- Claire – the fish is nuclear hot
- They are posh mushy peas – Suma, not that I am complaining.
- Very buttery – Claire on mushy peas, also liking them, but also leaving them.
- Baby was a little grumpy – the staff were ok but the guy sitting next to us was a snotty, stubble chinned ass. I was tempted to suggest that if he hates children so much why doesn’t he and his group of West End wannabes volunteer to be steralized.
- It was cold, not very good. One crunchy potato was good, one was cold. – Pinar
- This was really overpriced – Pinar
- Good. Fish was lovely – Claire
- Chips were cold, mussels were lovely – Francoise
- Their chunky chips were like French fries, Suma. I thought they got it wrong then I saw the ones that come with the mussels, that were even thinner.
- Bit small, bit cramped – big enough for a local place – Pinar
- Was not asked if I wanted drinks throughough meal only when we first arrived. So we all got one drink…
- Very expensive. £17 for fish, chips and mushy peas? – Suma
- Cheapest small glass of wine was £4.60 most expensive £16.70 for a glass!!! – Franc
- Not attentive staff.
- Lamb was ok. Tender. – Vera
- No steak knives so meat was tricky eat – Darren
- Gravy was nice – All
- No bread. We have decided to mark all places down that don’t give bread. And on top of that, hiding at the bottom of the menu that we didn’t have for the rest of the meal…
- £1 per person for bread!!!
- Food took ages to come – both courses – and then, as they have 2 hour sittings, the staff kept looking over and grumbling, despite them getting our dessert order wrong and delaying our eating by 20 mins.
- Roland – a little bit above average, 3.5, plate was not large enough, so when you moved the Yorkshire around, food spilled off sides – Yorkshire was average. They did a good job at the roast potatoes though.
- Toilets were eh – Pinar
- Not enough spoons – Claire
- Dessert order mixed up – down two STP.
- Banana ice cream works – Suma – citing the reason that Franc and Darren did not order the STP, being bluff old traditionalists
- Sticky pudding is very nice – Pinar
- This even pips the STP from the Princess Victoria – Suma
- Shocking – didn’t once ask if we wanted drinks – Darren
- Technically the food was pretty good but I just wasn’t impressed over all – Claire
- That’s not a dessert, that’s a work of art – Brazilian waitress about Pinar’s dessert
- Felt very harried in the end – Didn’t like it
The experience was only a good one because of spending time with good people. 2012 is the year of austerity when presence more than presents work for Christmas and birthdays. The staff were not attentive at all, after getting drinks as we arrived we were not once asked if we wanted drinks. They just didn’t seem like professional servers at all. The wine list was extensive but expensive. The food was very very expensive for what it was. A £17 fish and chips, are you sure? I therefore have to agree with the reviews from online, this was very over-priced, slightly above average pub fair. This is not gastropub good, this was Weatherspoons and Yates’ good. And given at those chain pubs you are eating for under a fiver, what can I say?
Would I go there again? Not on your life. When asked, Pinar said if she was local she would, but only for a coffee.
I am hoping the first quest roast of 2012 is the worst of 2012, because if there are worse, then lord help us.
PS the annexation of the bar bill never happened as we were never asked for drinks from the moment they took out first order.