9 of the best local 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).
This lovingly refurbished 16th century coaching inn is handily located just off the main town square in Hitchin, and ticks all the boxes for a traditional pub – rustic charm, craft beers, beer garden – but with a menu that goes well above and beyond your average pub grub. Don’t worry, you’ll still find good old-fashioned British fare here, including a cracking Sunday roast, with a contemporary twist. How does prime aged beef sirloin sound, or roasted pork loin with apple sauce, truffled cauliflower cheese, roasties and greens, plus a Guiness and red wine gravy? Plus there’s a super tasty sounding mushroom, sweet potato and spinach wellington (above) which might even sway some meat-eaters! Staying in this week? Check out Head Chef, Olly’s top tips for nailing a home-cooked Sunday Roast, here.
Head to the village of Oakley, about four miles out of Bedford and you’ll find the fab Bedford Arms, a historic pub complete with roaring fires and cosy, stylish interiors in winter, a lovely open garden in summer, and a bright and airy conservatory for when you (or the weather) can’t decide. On the Sunday menu, you’ll find pork and crackling, British lamb with confit garlic, herb crusted beef, or all of the above on one plate. There’s also a chicken supreme or veggie option, plus a pie of the day, steak burger and fish dishes to boot.
Looking for somewhere to enjoy a peaceful Sunday lunch à deux? This historic high street pub on has had a makeover and blends tradition with a seriously sophisticated menu and… it’s strictly adults only (get that babysitter on speed dial immediately!). Currently claiming Trip Advisor’s No.1 spot for Berko restaurants, its Sunday lunches already have a pretty good rep. Pick from roasted leg of lamb (of course), to duck leg confit or Guinea Fowl supreme, with seasonal fresh veg and all the trimmings (cauli cheese, red cabbage, honey-glazed carrots, Yorkshires and roasties).
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. If you can’t decide between classic lamb or beef, you can have a slice of each! Plus there’s a veggie wellington for the non-meat eaters too.
Here’s a no-frills boozer that goes big on food, and when I say big, I mean both in terms of portion size and quality. There’s a wide choice of roast options including Pork, Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Duck and even fish, plus veggie options. And the puds are seriously hearty too, from fruity numbers (lemon posset log, anyone?) to indulgent takes on traditional classics, like dandelion and burdock sticky toffee pud. 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 had around here, too. Check out our review here.
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. The Sunday Furrow (The Plough’s nod to agricultural lingo), costs £38 for two courses and £48 for three but my goodness it’s a corker of a menu. Try the roasted Highland venison loin, Boulangère potato, roast carrot and turnip with juniper sauce, or how about Josper grilled Merrifield Farm duck breast with thyme, roasted squash puree, fennel and green olive dressing. Why not push the boat out and pair with a Plough bloody Mary made with horseradish vodka. Wowsers. You can even watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen as you salivate…
With its gorgeously rustic interiors and bags of foodie creds, The recently revamped (in 2021) Spotted Dog is a historic village pub with real clout. On Sundays you can plump for two courses for £25.50 or 3 for £32.50 and enjoy your choice of roasted sirloin of beef, glazed chicken or roast lamb rump with Yorkshires, roasties and market veg, or go for the ale-battered pollock and triple cooked chips. And we reckon the caramelised shallot tarte tatin will appeal whether you’re veggie or not! There’s also a small but perfectly formed selection of starters and puds, including smoked salmon and a cheese board.
This 14th century free house in the pretty village of Westmill (think chocolate box cottages and bags of rural charm) is a real find, and the food isn’t half bad either! On Sundays you can get yourself two or three courses including roast beef or turkey, herby leg of lamb, or rack of pork with stuffing and crackling, served with seasonal veg. There’s also a mixed nut roast for the veggies, gluten-free options available, and a reasonably prices kids’ roast if you want to make it a family affair. Plus there are four countryside-chic guest rooms if can’t bear to leave after you’ve had your fill, (push the boat out and book the four-poster with a roll-top bath!). We also love the fact that the landlords, Jeremy and Hannah, first met at the pub as young potwashers some 20 years ago before becoming childhood sweethearts… awww!
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. Choose from cornfed chicken supreme, rump of beef or nut roasts (all of which can be prepared gluten free), add a side of cauli cheese and finish with a rustic crumble or naughty brownie and Bob’s your uncle!
Know another cracking pub roast that we’ve missed off our list? Let us know in the comments below!