We find Sunday lunch in a restaurant almost always a let-down and we wish we’d stayed at home. There’s something about the iconic meal that sends usually accomplished chefs a bit potty. Perhaps they try to ‘make it their own’ instead of not messing about with what is already a perfect lunch. Whatever the reason, we say ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.
Somewhere that doesn’t faff about with the best meal of the week is Nailcote Hall in rural Berkswell. A mid-March snow flurry was met with the warmest of welcomes, a roaring log fire and proper Sunday homely vibes.
Four courses would have been a stretch for the hungriest of people – the portions are pretty epic –and we settled on three (£27.50). Smoked salmon was everything it ought to be while a starter of melon fanned out prettily with a zingy sorbet pleased the eldest child. Macaroni cheese – yes as a starter – made the youngest’s carb-loving heart sing. The sauce, made with acclaimed local ewe’s milk cheese, Berkswell was great.
A trolley with a giant silver dome roamed the cosy restaurant delivering freshly carved blushing beef and juicy pork to salivating diners. The beef was packed with flavour while the tasty pork was served with the perfect crackling. Roasties hit the spot nicely as did the gargantuan Yorkshire puds. Mashed potato which was wholly unnecessary was superb. The gravy was proper and plentiful; meaty, rich and moreish.
The token veggies on the table were okay if a bit too al dente for our taste and definitely played second fiddle to the main event. While we were all about the big hunks of meat, there were appealing vegetarian and pescatarian options too. A pumpkin ravioli looked delicious as did sea bream. On the sweet front, we’d recommend the chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream – a classic combo that needs no explanation.
We left the restaurant with our faith in eating out on a Sunday restored and with no washing up. Good times.