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The Royal Oak review: A great boozer for Twickenham locals but no hotspot for foodies

The newly re-opened pub hopes to be exactly that - boasting a 'best of British' menu

A mid-week pitstop at your local should provide your favourite booze on tap, some quality pub grub, with either sunny spot if you're lucky for good weather in British summer time, or a place to cosy up in colder months.

Everyone has their favourite place they know will cheer them up, surrounded by friendly faces, and food that keeps them coming back for more.

Newly re-opened and refurbished The Royal Oak in Twickenham, hopes to be exactly that - boasting a 'best of British' menu and promising to be 'warm, welcoming and caring to the community'.

My pal Kirsty and I, who share a love of good pub grub and a natter, went to see what this 'new' west London eatery had to offer.

Starters

We arrived in time for our 8pm booking on a Wednesday, but little did we know we'd walked in on the weekly pub quiz!

Kirsty and I both love a general knowledge test so initially paid more attention picking our team name and signing up to the competition before perusing the menu, and enjoyed the lively atmosphere and music.

Salmon on "dry" toast for starters(Image: Get West London)

Kirsty eventually settled on the Hendrick's gin cured salmon, dill, mustard and toast (£7.80) to start, whilst I opted for watercress risotto with pea shoots (£6).

The overall presentation of each dish seemed a bit rushed. There were drips of pea on my plate and Kirsty was left with "dry" toast to eat with her salmon.

Pea, rice and cheese! A.k.a: watercress risotto(Image: Get West London)

The risotto, whilst resembling mushy peas, mixed with rice and topped with cheese, was the 'comfort food' winner.

Washing the starters down with the house white wine (Vent Du Sud, £18.60) definitely helped.

Mains

By this point the pub quiz was in full swing and we were enjoying our evening. However, the service, although very friendly, was a somewhat 'organised chaos'.

There was no allergen menu, so our waiter had to run to the kitchen and ask a chef to 'tick and cross' what I could and couldn't eat (I have to eat gluten-free) and we were served by four different members of staff by the end of the night.

Nicely presented chargrilled lamb with sauté potatoes(Image: Get West London)

Kirsty opted for the chargrilled lamb gigot, salsa verde and sauté potatoes (£15.80) mains whereas I was sadly left with only one choice - the grilled halloumi, avocado and chicory salad (£7.90).

I was disappointed to not be able to even order the skin on fries to bulk out my meal after learning the kitchen uses the same oil for all food, therefore cross contaminating - a nightmare for anyone with allergies!

The salad 'main'... in a fruit bowl(Image: Get West London)

Although Kirsty enjoyed her "tender" chargrilled lamb, she sadly couldn't finish it - the dressing was unpleasantly oil heavy.

She said: "It's not really pub food. Not what you'd expect if you popped in after walking past fancying some pub food."

My salad was well... just a salad. Nicely dressed but a bit unimaginable and for some reason served in a glass fruit bowl?!

Not exactly easy to eat with a knife and fork.

Dessert

One very tasty 'banoffee pot' indeed!(Image: Get West London)

The sweet course made up for the mains and was far better value for money - with every option priced at £5.50.

Kirsty loved her banoffee pot - I asked her how it was and with a very smiley nod said: "So good, it's definitely a highlight."

My Amalfi lemon and raspberry posset was creamy, citrus-y goodness. Yummm!

Amalfi lemon and raspberry posset(Image: Get West London)

The verdict

One thing The Royal Oak had down to a T was the atmosphere. The quiz night was a good laugh, with a friendly and attentive host, and even midweek the room was buzzing.

The newly refurbished Royal Oak pub in Twickenham(Image: Get West London)

It's also family friendly, providing a cosy interior with welcoming decor, and outside seating.

My friend said: "I did like it but I wouldn't come back for a meal, but I would for a night out" and I unfortunately agree.

With a total meal cost of £67.10 for two, The Royal Oak would do better to stick a traditional pub food menu, rather than masquerade as a gastro pub and fall below the mark.

The Royal Oak scrapes a 3/5 for food - the starters and main courses were not good value for money - but scores full marks for pub atmosphere.

Factbox:

Price: A main meal on average will set you back around £16, whilst wine prices start at £18.60

Address: 13 Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3AB

Opening hours: Monday - Thursday, 11am - 11pm, Friday, 11am - 12am, Saturday, 10am - 12am, Sunday, 12pm - 10.30pm

Telephone: 0203 817 9388

Website: theroyaloaktwickenham.co.uk

Transport: Eight minute walk from Twickenham railway station

Dress code: Casual

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