By Ruth Emery.
It’s hard to talk to your friends about spit roasts without getting a bit flustered and embarrassed. But talk to them you must, as in this case, it translates as a free summery dinner in Chelsea.
West London’s The Jam Tree is putting on free meaty dinners every other Thursday. They’ve already had a hog spit roast and a lamb spit roast, and now here I am sampling a beef spit roast.
I’ve brought my little brother along. Again, spit roasts are an embarrassing topic to talk to him about, but chants of “it’s free meat, it’s FREE MEAT” are a lot easier to mutter than those two other words. The fun atmosphere in the beer garden and the friendly staff are both impressive. We order G&Ts and red wine and keep an eye on the spit roast. We essentially hover near the meat, and although we’re talking a massive slab of meat that is more than enough to go around, there is still a nagging worry that the Sloanes round here might suddenly rush and grab five beef sarnies each and leave us with nada.
Thankfully, it’s all very civilised and we bag ourselves a free beef, mustard and rocket roll. The beef is top notch and we wolf it down within minutes. Half an hour later we grab another one and chat to Ashley, one of the owners, who tells us that the pub opened in March, and that there’s a sister Jam Tree gastropub in Kensington.
“I’m born and bred Clapham, and I’m keeping an eye out for a good venue in Clapham at the moment. That will be our next Jam Tree,” comes Ashley’s promise. The Jam Tree proved popular at the last spit roast meat giveaway and Ashley hopes this will encourage more overall bookings, such as small party BBQs.
As the sun sets, we head inside where things get funky: copper bar top; big lampshades; flower displays; a gramophone behind the bar. MGMT plays through the sound system, what a vibe! My little bro and I descend into giggles when we see some girls ordering burgers. Ha! They clearly hadn’t ventured outside and seen the free spit roast. Oops, there’s those words again. Tee-hee-hee. We grin at each other and order one last drink for the road, before trying to get on to more mature conversation topics.
The Jam Tree’s free spit roast happens once per fortnight on a Thursday between 7pm and 11pm (no booking required). The next spit roast is on Thursday 11th August. See you there!