Sunday, 24 July 2011


Pretty busy 20 days or so. Two weeks ago Goblin came down for a spot of poker. We played the £5 rebuy at the Grosvenor, a £110 6-max side event at the UKIPT and a £50 second chance at the Rendezvous as well as a bit of online. Over all we were up by just about enough to cover meals and (his) transport expenses. A lot of fun too. I did find the UKIPT a little depressing though - most of the people seemed to be classic travelling semi-pros with little to say. If ever I needed reinforcement of the idea that poker is in many respects a tepid, low-testostrone scared-of-the-outside-world pastime then here it was. The Rendezvous was quite fun though. Still, it's the last tournament poker I expect to be playing for many months now, certainly before September. I may have a quick Vic session in August but that's only if I have a spare few hundred pounds or so.

This most recent week I was in Paris for four nights to spend some time with a cousin who happened to be there. Pretty fun time - the group of us (4) saw the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Disneyland, Versailles and the Seine. As with poker I doubt I'll be having an adventure like this again any time soon. From now on it's all the practical stuff of moving house and settling into a new job.

Indeed I have my first houseviewings tomorrow. I really am going to move out as soon as possible. The push and pull factors are both strong and in are in perfect balance. Life awaits me!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sunday Lunch - The Lion and Lobster

Date: 3rd July 2011

Location: The Lion and Lobster, 24 Sillwood Street (south off Western Road)

Price Range: £8.95 (all roasts)*

Drinks available: Selection of ales

Despite the name, there is no possibility of either roast lion or lobster. That said, the range of roasts is for from disappointing: Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Pork Belly, Nut Roast. What's more, you can have half of one meat and half of another. All meats come with potato and vegetables, but you can purchase extra sides too, namely yorkshire pudding, stuffing, angels & devils on horseback and cauliflower cheese.

I went for beef and pork and found myself served very quickly, and with none of the microwave steam of my Shakespeare's Head visit. I was in a bit of a haze so I have forgotten what the vegetables were. There were roast potatoes, of course, but also delicate things like celariac mash (or it might have been sweet potato mash) - unfortunately I forget the rest. The pork belly was great and the crackling as hard as a slate of toffee. The beef was normal. It was clear that the ingredients and cooking methods were of high quality here, but somehow this did not translate directly into taste. It wasn't exciting.

Nevertheless it's something I'd come back for. For a start, the option to mix two roasts in one dish appeals to me greatly and allows me to try meats I wouldn't choose to have by themselves. Also the place has a friendly atmosphere. That they were showing the exciting Wimbledon men's final on television was a bonus. Furthermore, I'd also be inclined to return here on non-roast days to sample their general menu. Plus the dessert (sticky toffee pudding) was good.

It seems only fitting that finding one pub which has many of the benefits of another but a lower price should skew the star-rating of the former in favour of the latter. Neither the Good Companions nor the Lion and Lobster are culninarily compelling but I suspect there a 'fair chance' that I would return to both. However I should make the distinction that the Lion and Lobster is probably better as part of a group (as I was in yesterday) whereas the Good Companions is more condusive to dining alone and reading a newspaper.

I suspect next week I shall try somewhere like The Prestonville and perhaps the week after The Crescent.

Updated star ratings:

Lion and Lobster:
Good Companions:
Shakespeare's Head:

*65p is added for any credit card transaction, so arm yourselves with cash!