With Easter just passed and two spring-time birthdays to celebrate, we indulged in some classy courses at new Hornchurch restaurant
By Katie Garner
This month’s club social saw us spread our wings from our usual Romford-based haunts and instead tackle the vaguely classier area of Hornchurch. Local bar and lounge Vertigo had recently expanded to include a brand new restaurant section on the first floor, with ceiling to floor length windows offering a view of the high street. With a tantalising three course set menu only putting each member back £15.50, and an impressive cocktail menu that was making my mouth water, I thought it was high time we bypassed the pub for something a tad more elegant.
We ended up having nine members attending the bash, which we were using as a joint celebratory occasion for me and Jess’s birthday, which was on 25th March, Easter and Helen’s birthday, which is coming up on 8th April. With so many causes and so little time, we got stuck straight into the cocktails with happy hour, myself opting for a gin based Bramble and an incredibly boozy classic Cosmo. Helen also went for Cosmopolitans while Jess instead went for the zingy refreshment of a minty Mojito. The boring boys stuck to their beers with rigidity all evening, never veering for some cocktail based fun. Later in the evening I even indulged in a Vertigo number called a Tickled Pink while Jess sampled a Raspberry Bon Bon.
We kicked off our meal with a round of starters – I had the butternut squash and carrot soup, which had a great sweet flavour and a slightly grainy texture that was very tasty with the rustic bread that was put upon our tables, as well as the small bobbing croutons. The calamari was also a popular starter choice, streaked with green avocado across the side of the plate. Some members also opted for stilton stuffed mushrooms, which also looked like a hearty choice.
When our mains arrived, the combination of smells really got the taste buds going, even though the portion sizes were impossibly small! I had chosen the lamb hot pot, which was presented in a small white ramekin style dish, a meaty chop balanced against it and bundles of carrots and beans stacked neatly on the side. This was by far the most popular option as most members seemed to choose it. We had a few people go for the mushroom risotto that was extremely creamy in texture and vaguely yellow in colour.
Dessert was a delightful treat, with the chocolate brownie cheesecake proving very popular once again. This was served with an individual jug of cream and some decoratively placed strawberries. The brownie section was very rich and sticky – it definitely made up for the small portions so far as it was so filling! Especially as we had someone drop out at the last moment, but we still had their food brought to the table, so one and a half portions of cheesecake later, with some nicked bits of ice cream, totally pushed me over the edge of comfortable!
We stayed drinking and mingling in Vertigo until about twenty to eleven, when we decided it was time to leave the restaurant behind and hit the pub. We settled on the newly renovated Suttons Arms, situated just opposite, so not far for us girls to tackle in our heels! We entered to be confronted by blasting music, big bouncers and Gary’s round of drinks, as he and the missus had joined us after their meal in nearby Chimichangas. We drank, danced and posed until the pub closed at midnight before we all headed our separate ways home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening with my favourite badders crew! The food at Vertigo was super tasty, perfectly cooked and very decently priced for three courses, although this may have been reflected in the portion sizes! I also loved trying some new cocktails, before topping up on my regular gin and bitter lemon (take note folks). It was lovely catching up with members who have been absent for a little while due to injury (thanks Het and Troy) as well as seeing some new faces appearing at their very first club social (hope you enjoyed it too Nick).
The next social coming up is Frank’s quiz night at the end of the month, and we are in desperate need of some brains for the event. I’m relying on Het for football and sports based questions, Jess for anything science related, and Frank for all things general knowledge. Not sure what I’m going to be doing, but we need a stronger quiz squad! Please sign up on Monday!
Members, remember to check out all of the pictures from the night via our Facebook page.