The Black Boy, Shinfield

Yesterday was a good day up to a point. At the weekend I went to Gerald Vernon Jacksons partnership ceremony which was fantastic in all ways. The day went beautifully, happiness flooded the gorgeous surroundings and strangers became friends. I wasn’t drinking (yes, yes I know) even though the champagne and canapés were flowing. Speeches were made, toasts were toasted and a wonderful day was had by all. The next day we drove back from Portsmouth and managed to fit in a visit to the Newbury Food Fair (see separate post coming soon so not too much about that now except to say it really was fantastic and should be annual or even monthly and well done to fellow blogger Caroline Taylor)

We got home in the afternoon and I was hit by the most intense pain I have ever felt. It was just below my ribs and was excruciating. I couldn’t find any comfortable position, was sweating profusely and feeling nauseous but had no idea why. This is the closest I have ever got to calling an ambulance. However after 5 hours the pain subsided so that was that. I popped in to see my very nice doctor the next day who told me he thought it was gallstones which I had already assumed. The horrendous pain hasn’t recurred and we decided to go to Nirvana Spa as planned.

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We had a great time doing very little and stopped at The Black Boy on the way home. Tony had a sharing platter which was made up of smoked salmon, olives, cold meats, pickle, oil and balsamic dressing, butter, pate and wasabi (nice touch but probably shouldn’t have swiped a taste with my finger, very hot) as well as cheese and bread. A nice selection.

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I had prawns cooked in garlic and chilli oil with lots of bread to dip up the juices, it had a bit of a kick but nothing to set my taste buds on fire or really startle them. Nice is my judgement of that dish but it was a generous portion.

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Tony had steak and chips which again was nice. Steak cooked fine, skin on the top of the sauce but ok, crispy chips which were the better part of the dish.

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The best dish was rump of lamb with redcurrant and mint jus and Mediterranean vegetables. It had a very nice flavour although I would have liked the lamb rarer. However I would definitely recommend it, the flavour was good and imaginative.

Would I go back, possibly, the staff were friendly, it felt like a good local pub, the food was above average although it was temptingly close to L’Ortolan which I haven’t yet reviewed. And it was not their fault that ANOTHER blasted tooth fell out which put a bit of a dampener (my tears) on the whole evening.

 

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