This was the Sunday lunch we produced at The Half Moon Pub when I was the licensee just over two years ago. Roast beef medium to rare , roast carrots and steamed broccoli Sunday Lunch has returned as one of the most popular dishes of the week for the British public. It is also one of the hardest meals to perfect if you are in the kitchen trying to produce it in a pub and make money from it and sell it a reasonable price. You set up your kitchen to cook for 60 -80 people, who will all arrive at the same time into what is an already busy pub. The football is on the big screen, its Arsenal V Man U and its three deep at the bar. Oh and I forgot to mention everyone who orders a Sunday Roast in your pub is also an expert at cooking it him/her self at home. They know exactly how they like their Beef cooked – Medium rare to pink, well thats half of them and the other half like it medium to well done. They all want an extra Yorkshire Pudding because we do them so well. The trick we found with Yorkshire puds was to leave […]
This morning we went for a trip to Wolverhampton to pic up the weekly veg. The fruit and veg market is not what it used to be when I was a kid, but then again nothing is these days. We visited the indoor market where we found The Spice Centre to stock up on all the ingredients you need for a curry. We then made our way outside to get some Vegetables from Bradleys, They have been trading in the market for over fifty years. However they are very concerned that when the redevelopment of the indoor market happens there will be very little left of the outdoor fruit and veg market. This problem is not exclusive to Wolverhampton, Markets have been disappearing all over the country , no doubt they are forced out of business when a huge supermarket springs up right next to them as happened here last year when Sainsbury’s opened a new 60 million pound store. Towns like Wolverhampton are suffering up and down the country and the problem is a hard one to solve. The supermarkets have large amounts of cash to invest in deprived areas which can be very tempting for local councils.You have the likes […]
When it comes Derailler gear changers you can not go wrong with the Shimano 600 Here is one I recently bought at a bike jumble and after a good clean it is ready to go again on another bike. Of course there is always Evans Cycles if you want to go for brand new parts.
A recent Sunday lunch in Kennington turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The Black Prince in Kennington has been one of those places that I have driven past for years and never ventured into. The Black Prince is a modest pub with bags of character standing on the end of Black Prince road near the junction of Kennington cross. The first thing I notice when we enter the pub is the old Double Diamond sign at the top of the bar, its carved into the wooden bar and backlit with red lights. Its very reminiscent of the 1970s’ when the Double Diamond Works Wonders advert was constantly played on our Tv’s. This pub definitely works wonders when it comes to customer service and attention to detail and landlord Mark Allan was working wonders on the floor, where he was in full control and looking like he was enjoying himself. He had a fair few customers to serve and when we got there at 2pm most of the 54 tables were already taken and so make sure you book a table as Sunday is when the pub is bustling with both diners and drinkers at the bar The food […]
Golf fans always get excited at the prospect four days in front of the telly watching the US Masters. Commencing the first week of April it’s the first Major of the year and the superbly manicured Augusta course always has a starring role to play in the tournament. This year there is added interest for Rory McIlroy fans as he chases the final piece in his quest for a career grand slam. Having won the British Open and the USPGA last year and the US Open in 2011 Rory only need the Masters to complete the Full House. Only five players, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Tiger Woods, have won all four of golf’s major titles and McIlroy is a strong favourite to join them. If McIlroy wins the Masters then the pressure really piles on him when the US Open starts in June. If he were to win that one too then he would hold all four major titles at the same time, no one has achieved that since Tiger Woods in 2001. McIlroy has made a lightning start to his professional career at only 25 years old he is already well up the list […]
Many of you will have noticed the growing trend for self-service at the supermarket checkouts when you pay for your weekly food shop. It’s something that started to appear many years ago on the petrol garage forecourt. Do you remember the days when you drove your car onto the garage forecourt where you were met by a pump attendant? They would ask you what type fuel you wanted and then after filling up your tank they would give your windscreen a quick wipe and maybe offer to check your water and oil levels. Well those days of customer service have long since gone, we now take self-service for granted and in todays busy times self-serve is often the preferred way for paying for goods and services. I wonder though if this practice is good for us in the long term. There are times when you don’t want to engage too much with the person who is checking taking your payment. There are also days when it frustrates me that I have to engage with a machine that repeatedly yells ‘Unexpected item in the bagging area’. Six months ago in my local supermarket you would see three sales assistants behind the […]
This is an excerpt from an interview with Robert Harrison, former leaseholder (2006 to 2013) of the Half Moon pub. JT: When did you take over the Half Moon? RH: I took over running the Half Moon in April 2006. I’d had my eye on the pub for a while and it took me over a year to secure the lease mainly due to contractual issues. JT: Why did you like the Half Moon? RH: When I first saw the Half Moon it felt like I was stepping back in time. It had a charm and serenity that lent itself to times past and it was covered in cobwebs. “They don’t make ‘em like this any more’’ was a phrase I often heard when people walked into the Half Moon. The pub had been subject to many internal changes over the years, evident from panels of glass that didn’t match up and markings left in the floorboards where door hinges and wooden panels had been removed, doorways blocked up etc. So it wasn’t the perfect article in terms of historical mapping. However what it lacked in authenticity it made up for with character and characters. It was full of […]
London’s Changing skyline I first came to London in 1986 and stayed with a friend in Vauxhall bridge road at the Gordon Hospital. A couple of years later in 1989 I moved permanently and again Vauxhall was where I spent much of my time. I rented a flat on the Wandsworth road, a two bedroom flat that cost me £27 pounds a week, unheard of these days. 1989 saw the start of construction of the Mi5 building, a bizarre looking sand coloured building which had manicured conifers on the roof when it first appeared, anyone remember those? Obviously the watering system didn’t work too well and they all shrivelled and disappeared. The choice of Vauxhall for the Mi5 headquarters should have given a clue to potential of the area and yet it seemed to take an age before the rest of the plan would kick into action. The obstacle being the ever changing plans for Battersea power station. With building work finally under way on the power station the skyline is changing rapidly. St Georges Wharf the green and pink ‘wedding cake’ stands next to Vauxhall Bridge on the site of the former Nine Elms Cold Store. Personally I prefer the […]