Six: The Conquering Hero, Norwood

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Venue: The Conquering Hero, 262 Belulah Hill, SE19 3HF

The Sunday dinner: Pork belly

The price: £9.95 – now this is more like it.

Today’s location came on recommendation from a friend of a friend. Can they be trusted? We’ll see. The name’s perfect, because I’ve really upped my game this week. It’s probably down to those Bootea detox drinks I reviewed last week. They’re so much more than little bags of love. They are magical and powerful and the true key to my future happiness, success and wellbeing.

So like today’s location, I’ve sort of become something of The Conquering Hero. Thanks to Bootea. Not only have I finally started writing my self help book, I’ve made lists and plans, had a spring clean, been to the gym three times, and next week I’m not going to drink any alcohol at all. Just imagine how clear-skinned and really fucking angry I’ll be by Wednesday.

Starting on a high

Gym-going has definitely started releasing some much-needed endorphins and, despite my constant fear of an imminent heart attack or stroke while I’m there, I’ve rather enjoyed the sessions. However, I think my motivational playlist has been a little too up tempo, so might swap it for some ballads for week two, because there’s no need to get carried away and sweat and stuff.

I’m just so much more productive in 2017. I’m literally so on top of my shit (I’m not literally on top of my actual shit, so I don’t know why I wrote that) that I’ve already written this section of today’s post and I haven’t even eaten yet. THIS IS HOW ORGANISED I AM, SUCKERS. BRINGING MY ‘A’ GAME. TOO FAST AND TOO FURIOUS FOR ALL YOU HATERS. JUST BEING FLY IN MY CRIB WITH MY BOO(TEA). GOD BLESS THAT BOOTEA. RESPECTING THE DETOX. ACTUALLY, I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE SPEED IN IT OR SOMETHING. I FEEL A BIT ODD…

I don’t. I feel absolutely fantastic. You mocked my Bootea purchase, I gave it a premature score of 0/33, but now see how I soar…

Speaking of soreness, which I wasn’t – it’s just spelled the same – Mr Jus went out on his bike yesterday after eight weeks out of the saddle. He returned with a damaged undercarriage, which means he’s going to moan and whine about it during Sunday dinner, in addition to using it as his latest excuse not to have sex with me.

I’m just mentioning it for two reasons:

  1. Because it’s probably going to lose The Conquering Hero some of its points if he starts blathering on and over-dramatically wincing in pain.
  2. In case there’s anybody out there who WILL have sex with me. My Ashley Madison subscription ran out last month, you see. Happy to pay.

Continuing on a theme

We managed to get off the train at the wrong stop, which resulted in a thirty minute uphill walk to the pub. And yes, I know I’m really sporty now, but I was too hungry to walk that far. The unexpected exertion meant I needed a starter this week. See below.

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I don’t know who these Tayto guys are, but I think this image alone speaks volumes. The Conquering Hero is a local pub for local people, several of whom looked like types who’d been barred from Wetherspoon. And that takes some doing. It was the type of place where mixers are poured from two litre bottles. You know what I mean. Rough and ready. In need of a sprucing. But I was there for the food not the soft furnishings.

I was surprised and disappointed to read that all roasts came with a red wine gravy. Firstly, because it seemed rather upmarket and poncey, when everyone inside the place was painfully aware that the skirting board hadn’t seen a lick of paint since 1974. Secondly, because gravy should only be assigned to its mother meat. You need chicken gravy on chicken. You need beef gravy on beef. Generic gravy doesn’t say good gravy. I had to take three points off before even trying it.

Service was relatively speedy and before too long, up this rocked.

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It’s not entirely clear from the photo, but there were roast potatoes AND mash. There is a God. Have those three points back. And an extra three on top of that. They’d used a touch of garlic on the roast potatoes, which I felt, like the red wine gravy, wasn’t in keeping with the back to basics approach I’d assumed would be adopted there. I know garlic isn’t exotic, but I need to find a Sunday dinner that tastes like it’s been cooked by working class northern people in the 1980s. Our mums weren’t fucking about with garlic back then. Not in a Sunday dinner. I remember when garlic first came to Cleethorpes in 1988 – a family in the next street had a bulb and we were all in awe and a bit frightened. My dad said we should stay away.

Vegetables today included a generous portion of roasted carrots and parsnips, and boiled original cabbage. You know, the one that’s cheaper than a Savoy. By the way, I like that kind of cabbage – I’m not complaining.

The meat was tasty, tender and plentiful, there was a 64% edible crackling score, and the gravy actually tasted reasonable, despite its all-purpose origins. Of course, it was too thin, but it did possess some depth of flavour. While not bland, it was also not beautiful. But, as a whole, this sixth Sunday dinner had quite a lot going for it. It was an honest, hearty offering. It had spud two-ways. There was enough to make me feel full and sick – in a good way.

However, as expected, Mr Jus moaned about his “extremely bruised” cock and anal zone and later spent eight minutes telling me, in order, which of his underpants he preferred and why. He’d just started to tell me about a pair he’d bought in Japan,with “an irritating hem”, when I had to stop him before killing myself, him, or both of us, and tell him I’d wait for the film to come out. Six points removed.

Ending on a low

On a whim, I decided to have a pudding today. What tempted me was seeing one of the kitchen staff carrying three catering size tins of squirty cream. It wasn’t even Anchor. Upon discovering I was opting for cream over ice cream or custard, Mr Jus shouted, in that distinctive incredulous screech of his: “Why on earth would you choose squirty cream over the other two? You fucking slut.”

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I found it a bit cruel and uncalled for, to be honest. I decided to tell him that he reminded me of a dying Noel Edmonds, and made a mental note to end the blog post by telling you that he had to stop and have a shit in the staff toilet at the Texaco garage on the walk back to the station. Which I think is a bit more sluttish and slovenly than enjoying a bit of aerated dairy produce.

Final score: 21/33

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2 thoughts on “Six: The Conquering Hero, Norwood

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