Sundays are usually our day to relax and recharge, and a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content, right? Well, content and content for my new blog series! Sunday Pub Roasts deserve recognition for how special they are. Especially here in the UK! They’re a staple in every British family’s week and also have become my favourite meal to look forward to. These roasts bring families together and allow the week to restart on a savoury note. In Canada, we only have a roast two times a year, during Thanksgiving (October 14th) and Christmas. I have to admit, it was exciting to have the option to enjoy it once a week here in the UK! Nonetheless, here goes the first review of the Best Country Pub Sunday Roast series…
The Village of Purton Stoke
Interesting fact about Purton Stoke:In 1631, King Charles I sold braydon forest and gave the poor of purton stoke 30 acres of land. This compensated the poor for the loss of their ancient rights including right to graze their cattle and gather wood. The land is still in village ownership and the money is distributed each year in March.
We had heard so many lovely things about their Sunday Roasts so we just had to try. We rushingly phoned the restaurant around 14:45 to book our table on the day. I know, horrible restaurant etiquette. Surprisingly, they were able to fit us in despite their 16:00 closing time. When we arrived, we were greeted with smiles and guided to our table before taking our drinks order.
The majority of pubs in the UK will not serve you at the table. When you’ve chosen your table, you’re expected to head straight to the bar to order your drinks and food. Strange, right? This was a major shock for me when I first moved here. Coming from a tipping culture, it’s difficult to understand why we were required to pay before we eat. Or why my order could not be taken at my table. But it all makes if you think about it a bit more in detail. Tips are rarely given in the UK so the extra service isn’t required either. Does anyone really know? Was there a law that required this? More on customer service will come but let’s get back to today’s review…
Our experience at a restaurant always starts with the starters, which are normally (if available) consisting of calamari or squid. Interestingly, our impression of the starter always predicts how the rest of the meal will go. For example, our calamari from Giraffe World Kitchen was average (2.5/5) and our mains, were average as well.
However, at the Bell Inn, we chose the Panko Squid Rings which was served with a lemon mayonnaise dip. I would have preferred side of creamy chipotle sauce to offer that oomph in flavour that it needed. However, the lighter coating of batter was a nicer touch to the typical over-battered squid we’ve encountered so this deserved a 4.5/5.
For our mains, we chose the Roast Chicken breast with homemade cranberry & herb stuffing and the Three Meat Roast (Beef, Pork and Chicken) with all sides. I can only speak for myself but this was one of the best roasts I’ve had outside of Toby Carvery. The Yorkshire pudding was better than any I’ve ever had, crispy yet incredibly soft on the inside, melting in your mouth with every bite. The roast offered a generous amount of succulent and tender chicken served with their gravy.
This may be a British thing, but I have noticed that the gravy was a bit watered down, which isn’t pleasant when it’s pre-poured onto your plate before it reaches the table. All in all, this Sunday roast, the service and the location were a perfect way to end–or start the beginning of a new week. We will definitely be going back soon!
I’d love to hear about your favourite country pubs if you live in the UK and bonus points if they serve a great Sunday Roast! Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!
I will be visiting a new pub every week with the intention of finding the top 10 country pub roasts for 2019/2020. If you’re a fellow foodie and you’d love to find some new places to try, come back here next Monday for next week’s review…