Friday, 17 January 2014

Nothing Like a Sunday Roast

Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK
Published in Dec/Jan edition of Vale Life Magazine

Dec-13 / Jan-14 Edition of Vale Life
It’s that time of year again - the chill in the air, the pretty autumn leaves, heating goes on and winter coats come out. Don’t worry though, I have the perfect solution - get yourself down the pub, grab a table near a roaring fire and tuck into a glorious Sunday Roast!

I'm all for salads in summer, but you can’t fail to get excited by the promise of giant Yorkshire puddings, crispy roast potatoes and blushing beef, all smothered in delicious gravy and topped off with a dollop of horseradish. Makes me drool just thinking about it.

This winter, I'm on the hunt for the best local Sunday lunch. But what goes into making the ultimate roast?

Well, let’s be clear, the star of the show HAS to be the meat – well-seasoned, great quality and cooked to perfection (if lamb or beef, it had better be pink). Second in the pecking order are golden, crunchy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside, roast potatoes. No ready-made, cook from frozen rubbish; proper, homemade roasties.

Next up is the Yorkie (and yes, size DOES matter), closely followed by decent homemade gravy. The Foodie household does like a generous serving of gravy, so no scrimping! Last but not least, a nice selection of veggies and condiments; I can’t eat a roast without its accompanying sauce. Well, I can, but I’ll moan about it.

So, where better to go to start my search than The Thatch in Thame, recent runner-up for Best Sunday Lunch in the South, in the Observer Food Monthly Awards (along with Best Restaurant and Best Place to Drink). It’s always great to hear of a local business earning recognition, so MrF and I popped along to check it out for ourselves.

 With its higgledy-piggledy beams and thatched roof, The Thatch looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale - pop inside though and you’ll find a modern but cosy gastropub. I pleased to say I can vouch for the quality of their roasts – the pork and beef were tender, delicious and perfectly cooked; the roasties some of the nicest I've tasted for a while (bar my own, obviously); the gravy ample and flavoursome, and yes, they had condiments. Wait, did I forget to mention the Yorkies…? They were GIANTS!

With just enough room for dessert, we topped off the meal by stuffing our faces with a selection of fabulous puds – the crème brûlée and chocolate torte were especially good, leading to a battle of the dessert spoons.

Exceptionally good quality beef and towering Yorkies

Wouldn't you though...?

The Thatch is now serving its new autumn menu, featuring steak supplied by butchers Aubrey Allen (holders of a Royal Warrant), plus salad and veg from locally based Bucksum Salads, who also picked up a recent award for Best Local Farmer. Go check it out for yourself if you get the chance… just make sure you leave room for one of those delicious puddings.

(The Thatch, 29-10 Lower High Street, Thame OX9 2AA. Tel 01844 214340.

So, the search continues and I’d love to hear your recommendations. Do get in touch with your favourite place for a spot of Sunday Roast!

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