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Village Food & Drink

Carvery is a cut above

Posted on September 22 2010 at 3:10:12 0 comments

Owner and chef Andrew Hodges carves the meats

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Sally Oldaker finds out why Sunday lunch is a winner at the Old Rose & Crown.

Having reported on the recent refurbishment of the historic Old Rose & Crown, we at The Village were keen to discover what the hotel had to offer in terms of food – and I was invited along to find out just why Sunday lunch at the venue is proving so popular.

A peek at the online menu told me to expect traditional food at an extremely reasonable price (just £10.95 for three courses), so I wasn’t surprised to see that the restaurant was pretty busy when we arrived at 1.30pm.

We were immediately shown to our table in the attractive room, which combines stylishly warm decor with traditional elements reflecting the hotel’s history, ordered drinks (a white wine spritzer and a Malibu and pineapple) and perused the menu, which was subtly different from the one shown online.

The choice of starters were homemade soup of the day (tomato, basil and garlic), beef tomato with mozzarella, or homemade chicken liver pate – and the kitchen had even created a dairy-free version of the soup based on my advance notice! This was really tasty, with the vegetable flavours clearly to the fore, and was ideal for an early autumn day. It was served with a lovely soft bread roll.

Lisa opted for the tomato and mozzarella, a particular favourite of hers, and this was well presented with a drizzle of pesto, a sprinkling of herbs and some leaves. She reported that this juicy and refreshing dish was the ideal size for an appetiser.

The main course was offered in the form of a mini-carvery, with a choice between roast turkey or roast topside of beef (or vegetable lasagne as an alternative). Now, I must confess that carvery is not really my favourite food concept, but this one was a cut above – for a start-off, the meat is brought to your table on a trolley and carved there, so there’s no need to leave your seat and queue up.

Both the meat and its various accompaniments were quite clearly fresh and of top quality – no dried-up offerings here! – and of course this style of serving gives you the option to choose exactly what goes on your plate.

I picked the beef while Lisa chose the turkey, and the trolley also bore a selection of Yorkshire puddings (again, a dairy-free version had been created), sizeable roast potatoes, sausages and stuffing balls.

A dish of veg – new potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, baby sweetcorn and cabbage – arrived at the table along with an individual gravy boat, and we could choose from the additional sauces or condiments, including a sweet and chunky cranberry jelly.

Both types of meat proved to be tender and succulent, while the Yorkshire pud was light and airy. Tasty stuffing and an excellent sausage were just right with the turkey, and the cranberry jelly (which I also used with my beef) was delicious.

It was back to the menu for dessert, and a choice of fruits of the forest cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake, bread and butter pudding, or fresh fruit salad. I was very pleased to see this latter on the list, and it was a particularly inventive one: so many kitchens are guilty of laziness when it comes to fruit salads, bulking it out with melon and the odd bit of apple, but this one contained a great variety of fruit including banana, nectarine and even blueberries.

Lisa had already earmarked the chocolate fudge cake, and chose to have it with vanilla ice cream rather than cream – she thoroughly enjoyed the combination of soft sponge and melting dark chocolate, describing it as fudgey and gooey and a manageable size.

A cup of tea apiece (with slices of lemon provided on request) rounded off the relaxed meal perfectly. It’s clear to see why Sunday lunch at the Old Rose & Crown is a winner with diners – the attractive location and interior, friendly and efficient service, and choice of classic fare created from quality ingredients is exactly what people want from a Sunday outing, whether it’s for a special occasion or just a weekend treat.

The hotel also offers Fish and Chip Night every Friday (with some other options on the menu as well), and this is similarly well subscribed – in fact part of the reason we came on a Sunday was that the Friday evening was fully booked. Check out the menu and the planned Christmas festivities at www.oldroseandcrown.com


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