8 best Sunday Roasts
It's one of life's greatest pleasures (in our humble opinion) - a Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Here's our pick of the pubs serving the best in Herts and Beds.
Crispy roasties, fluffy Yorkshire puds, lashings of gravy and of course, beef, pork, chicken, lamb or nut loaf cooked to perfection – what more could you want from a lazy Sunday, except perhaps a lovely bottle of red to wash it down with, a great atmos and somewhere to walk it off afterwards? These are the pubs around Herts and Beds that we’ll be hunkering down in for the forseeable Sundays – race you there! (Although we might be rolling home afterwards). Any gems we’ve missed? Don’t forget to share your favourites in the comments below…
This gorgeous family run pub on the edge of the Ashridge Estate is all about the friendly atmosphere and fab food. Dogs (and muddy boots) are welcomed in the bar and it’s the perfect mix of gastro pub and cosy meeting spot. The Head Chef uses seasonal ingredients sourced from nearby farms and producers wherever possible. I mean how much more local do you want your roast than Chiltern Hills Leg of Lamb, or Chicken Breast from Potash Farm (just round the corner)? Even the veggie option sounds like it could sway some meat eaters – Courgette and fennel boxty potato cake with Bloody Mary sauce and soft poached ‘Ashley Green’ duck egg. Yum! Do book ahead though as it gets really busy particularly on Sundays – but we can tell you from experience it’s well worth the wait!
Here’s a no-frills boozer that goes big on food, and when I say big, I mean in both portion size and quality of fare. I recently reviewed the Sunday lunch here and was bowled over. There’s a wide choice of roast options including Pork, Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Duck, Fish, and even Lobster, plus a couple of decent veggie options. And the puds are seriously hearty too, from fruity tarts (ooh err!) to indulgent takes on traditional classics. Plus, if the amount of walkers lingering over their chilled pints in the garden are anything to go by, there’s some great stomping ground to be found around here, too.
This 17th century ale house just outside St Albans has been beautifully restored but with all the original features like wooden beams, low ceilings and log fires still in place. As well as being a cosy and inviting watering hole, serving a wide range of drinks, including wines from independent vineyards and local speciality beers, it’s got an impressive and mouthwatering menu, too, cooked up by Head Chef Liam Goldstone. His seasonal twists on pub classics include Roast Rack of Pork, Roasted Apple Sauce, Turnip & Winter Greens, as well as a Whole Roast Chicken, Confit Garlic, Spiced Bread Sauce and Stuffing to share between two or three. There’s a scrumptious sounding Roast Veg and Chestnut Wellington for the non-meat eaters too.
Its cricket green views make this as pub about as quintessentially English as you can get. That and the higgledy-piggledy feel inside with lots of cosy corners and rooms to settle down in for an afternoon of eating and drinking. There’s a wide choice of roasts, including a beef and pork combo and a veggie cheese and potato pie, but you’ll also find your usual pub classics available on a Sunday too, from Cod and Chips to Ribeye Steak and lighter bites. Plus you’ll want to sample the tasty sounding morsels and sharers on the starters and nibbles menu too – like Seared Pigeon with Bubble and Squeak or Warm Crispy Beef with Sweet Chilli, so give yourself pleeeenty of time to work your way through the menu.
Smack bang in the middle of the Greensand Ridge Walk, there’s no excuse for not clocking up a few miles to earn your lunch here. This gorgeous gem of a pub is stylish as well as being passionate about food quality and provenance, with a simple, seasonal and unfussy menu that just hits the spot. Their Lamb, Chicken, Beef and Nut roasts are served all day (12-6pm), and with all the trimmings, plus we love the fact that you can order cauli cheese or pigs in blankets on the side for an extra treat.
Recommended in the Michelin Guide for its charming, rustic appeal and bustling atmosphere, the Plough is definitely worthy of its spot in our Sunday roasts round-up. The 15th century whitewashed pub serves English fare with French and Italian twists. Expect fresh Cornish fish of the day, Slow Roast Cornish Lamb and Roast Sirloin of Dry Aged Angus Beef, plus delectable nibbles like Josper Roasted Chorizo, Devils on Horseback and Marinated Beef Skewers. And there’s a reasonably priced set menu starting at £26 for two courses. We also love the open kitchen, where you can see the chefs at work – what better sign of utter confidence in their cuisine? It adds a bit of theatre to your dining experience, too.
If it’s home-cooked food in a quaint village location you’re after, this pub in the village of Old Warden – home to the Shuttleworth Estate, which is worth checking out while you’re in the neighbourhood – will be right up your street. As well as chicken, beef and lamb options, you can venture away from the trad roast and plump for the Duo of Guinea Fowl (pan fried breast and confit leg), Fillet of Sea Bream with Mussel Mousse or Vegan Black Bean Bourguignon.
The husband and wife team behind this country pub, Daniel and Narelle, have 40 years experience between them so they know a thing or two about how to create a friendly atmosphere, and serve good food and wine to keep their customers coming back. Daniel is also the Head Chef (and an award-winning one at that!) and his menus are simple but finely tuned using fresh, seasonal produce all the way. We love the sound of their Mini Hog Roast if you’re after a Sunday lunch with a bit of a difference, and, if you can’t decide between classic lamb or beef, you can have a slice of each!