Generally when we go out for lunch or dinner we don’t want to feel like we’re at home. We want an escape from the norm, brilliant food that we wouldn’t/couldn’t rustle up in our kitchen, beautiful décor and swish service. Not so with Sunday lunch. For us it has to feel like a home-from-home without the washing up. We want carpets, roaring fires, cosiness and warm, not necessarily slick, service.
Cue Nailcote Hall. Historic building with bags of character? Check. Squishy carpets? Check. Open fires? Check. Friendly staff? Check. Hotel cat perched on the reception desk for the ultimate nod to homeliness? Check. Sizeable trolley concealing hunks of roasted meat to be carved at your table? Jackpot!
A four-course menu for the truly ravenous was an option, although when you go bear in mind portions are sizeable. Melon with berries and sorbet for the kids was a brilliant way to start and meant they were still hungry for what was to come. Smoked chicken rillettes felt more like pate, but was tasty nonetheless. Served with a garlicky mayo dressing and warm bread it was a winner. JC’s vegetable soup was sound. Onto the trolley of dreams.
Pork and beef sat side-by-side. Everyone had beef except the littlest who chose pork. Chicken was also an option. All the roasts were adorned with great big voluminous yorkies as well as both crunchy roast and creamy mashed potatoes. I wondered if the meat might have been dry after its stint under the dome – it was anything but. Superbly pink and moist the beef was a showstopper. Pork, which I find generally dry was seriously juicy and moreish. Maybe the dome is the secret? The gravy deserves a nod too. A bowl of mixed vegetables for the table didn’t see much action. It was all about the roast.
Chocolate brownies with sorbet thrilled the children while the sticky toffee pudding was extremely good. If I may compare Nailcote Hall to a dessert – and why the hell not? – sticky toffee pudding sort of sums it up in the very best of ways… nostalgic, warm and moreish. Just the job.