Tag Archives: Sunday lunch

William IV, Shoreditch

A good Sunday roast is an easy thing for any establishment to say they deliver, but often in reality can be a disappointment and leave a diner unsatisfied!! So a little while back we tried out lunch at the William IV pub in hipster Shoreditch – our friends said it did a fine one and I was eager to find out if it lived up to the hype. 

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The William IV’s a nicely laid out pub, benefiting from a position on the corner of two roads, lots of windows keep the space bright and welcoming. A round of punchy Bloody Mary’s started lunch for some of us – birthday celebrations the day before being the cheeky culprit!

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Bloody Mary

Sunday lunch offerings are short, but sweet – a couple of starters, roasts that cover all the main bases, a few sharing options and desserts to get your teeth into.

Whilst most of us eyed up the roasts, the other half was diverted off course and went for two sharing boards!! Oh, don’t worry this isn’t so much of a surprise to me, there are plenty of tales which have become folklore amongst our uni mates, where he’d order everything for himself because he couldn’t decide – the chip shop story has become stuff of legend, even finding a way into our mates wedding speech. 

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Charcuterie board and cheese board

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New season asparagus w/ poached eggs and hollandaise sauce

After a bit of a mess up with the order – my original choice being the sirloin of beef, I was brought chicken, however after clocking my eyes on the bird I was pleasantly surprised. Normally I’d get a bit irritated with a messed up order, but he was very apologetic and looked a little mortified at giving me it, saying he would happily bring out the beef. 

My verdict on the roast – it’s a cracking one on all counts; my plate had a generous amount of moist and juicy roast chicken, coming with crispy skin and lots of herbs. The greens still had bite, it’s iron-packed goodness still intact, and the all-important Yorkshire was crisp, light and a good size. The essentials like decent roast potatoes and veg were treated simply and cooked well, then finally to complete the plate a gravy boat full of the good stuff finishing the roasts off perfectly. 

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Lemon and herb roast chicken

Roasts aside, the asparagus and sharing plates can be commended too – eggs poached to perfection, meat and cheese boards meeting the needs of the other half who worked his way steadily through both very satisfactorily! 

Whether it’s the best Sunday roast in Shoreditch is yet to be seen, but what I can say is it’s  a damn tasty one! William IV is a lovely neighbourhood pub and I can see why my friends love it there!!

William IV

7 Shepherdess Walk

London

N1 7QE

http://www.thewilliam.co.uk

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Sunday Lunch @ Tante Marie Restaurant, Woking

The last few weeks I’ve been slowly settling into my new surroundings and still on the hunt for great places to eat. At the moment Sunday mornings are spent either at the gym (other half), or running like a lunatic around the park trying my best to concentrate and stay on two feet, especially as the Berlin marathon is just over three weeks away!! I’ve got a healthy appetite at the best of times, so you can imagine after running for a few hours the need for something filling, hearty and tasty. Located on Woking’s pedestrianised high street is Tante Marie Restaurant, in these parts the establishment is known for its culinary school status – the oldest independent cookery school in the country no less, but a few months ago it opened a restaurant to show off some of the talent it nurtures.

The restaurants dining room is decked out in an informal yet stylish manner with smart wooden tables, comfy leather backed chairs and cool industrial style lighting – definitely a nice place to spend a few hours in. On Sundays there’s a set menu with two courses (£20) or three courses (£25) and as gluten free choices are important for the other half, we quickly checked with the kitchen what options were available. Fortunately there was good news with most dishes being GF or could be adapted to suit, so both of us went for two courses, surprisingly I went for a main course and dessert finding the idea of pink grapefruit and gin granita too irresistible.

Rabbit rillettes with gluten free croutes and salad started the lunch off well, the rillette still had substance and the rabbit came through subtly. The bread was a pleasant surprise and actually had the taste and texture of bread, unlike most we’ve tried which have been really tasteless and very un-breadlike! The rillette was an unexpected choice as pineapple is one the other half’s food hates, however it went well with the rabbit and helped cut through any richness, without masking its delicate flavour. 

Rabbit rillettes with gluten free croutes and salad

As far as roasts go the meat on both plates was beautifully cooked, portions were a little stingy though – just two slices of beef and a breast and a leg from a poussin, so hardly the largest of birds. Maybe I’m doing them a disservice as far as my plate goes as there was also some bacon and a chipolata alongside the chicken. The extras did their best to make up for it with a summery bowl of veg, roasties, mash, parsnips and the Yorkshire that were all done well. I’m a gravy lover, so there definitely could’ve been more and a gravy boat on the side would’ve pleased both the haters and gravy lovers amongst us. The bread sauce was fine and the horseradish cream needed more punch, it was far too polite and deserved a whack more heat! The Yorkshire was crisp and light, not the biggest but it did the trick, I always feel sorry for my husband as he has to go without and his roast dinner ends up looking a little lonely without one. In hindsight I wish I’d been quicker off the mark and suggested having his on my plate instead, considering it was still being paid for.

Topside of beef with spring onion mash, parsnips and roast potatoes

Roast poussin with bacon rolls, chipolata, spring onion mash, roast potatoes, parsnips, bread sauce, greens and Yorkshire pudding.

I was determined to finish lunch off with the granita that’d caught my eye early on and my decision was fully justified – absolutely no negatives with the dessert, I loved it! For someone who’s not really a fan of heavy puddings this was perfect – refreshingly sharp with pink grapefruit balanced by the sugary meringue, the cheeky hit of gin making it even better still.

Pink grapefruit and gin granita with crushed meringue

Overall, I really liked Tante Marie – there’s a good standard of cooking and waiting times are reasonable. The space is modern, formal without feeling stuffy and the staff are friendly and helpful. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I visit, I just hope they’re more generous with the meat on a roast and have a bit more punch to some of the additional extras. 

Tante Marie Restaurant

High Street

Woking

Surrey 

Red Lion, Horsell

I was absolutely starving last Sunday afternoon, you may think it’s because I hadn’t eaten anything, but wasn’t the case. I’d wolfed down a full breakfast earlier that morning, but that was filling the space created from a 12 mile run, my last long run before Sunday’s Hackney half marathon. By 2pm I was ravenous again, having remembered a good pub my brother in-law had mentioned called the Red Lion, we rang up and quickly reserved a table one of the few free tables.

This gastropub is found in Horsell, a small village in Woking. It’s an area that I’m still getting to know, but from what I could see was it’s a pretty part of the world. The pub certainly takes a prominent position in the village and was well positioned with a beer garden and a decent amount of parking.

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On first appearances it was a good looking gastropub, nicely furnished and welcoming. The sort of place where I’d be happy to spend time in; whether it be after work drinks, a smart lunch or as we were – a good Sunday lunch. Even though the day had started with a downpour, it soon cleared, the sun came out, bringing out the locals so the pub was pretty rammed.

Menu-wise, on Sunday’s they offer dishes catering for a range of appetites, such as sandwiches, larger plates like steak, fish and chips, burgers, but also a two-course Sunday lunch for £17.95. Strategically placed at the top of the menu, it was the first thing I saw and I fell for it straightaway. My husband on the other hand had looked at the whole menu and picked fish and chips. 

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It was a busy Sunday and the kitchen was certainly bringing out dishes a plenty. My starter of mushrooms on toast was a pretty looking plate, ingredients were treated simply and allowed to shine – woody mushrooms, peppery rocket, salty parmesan with a herby dressing on toasted bread really hit the mark.   

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A little later, we were brought the main courses; i’d immediately picked the twice cooked pork belly, from a list of dishes where a number of others could’ve been chosen. However, I seem to have an affinity for pork belly that the others just don’t match for whatever reason. It was a hearty portion to say the least! A large base of smooth mash was topped with lots of metallic kale to counteract the porky sweetness, then plenty of apple chutney and a glossy gravy helped bring it altogether. The meat was cooked well, still juicy and the crackling was a bit of alright too. I just would have loved more of it, but I properly love crackling!! I very nearly forgot the veg, probably enough for two, it still had a touch of bite and had lots of choice with carrots, red cabbage, sugar snap peas…..

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No complaints opposite me either for the fish and chips – mushy peas were mushy, tartare sauce was sharp enough, the fish tasted great and the chips were crisp and golden.  There was just too many chips, but hey, that’s not really a fault, I’d rather too much than too little!!

Fish & chips - home battered fillet, home cut chips and mushy peas
Fish & chips – home battered fillet, home cut chips and mushy peas

If I’d arrived hungry, I certainly wasn’t by the time I left! The Red Lion’s a lovely spot for Sunday lunch if you’re ever in the area. Definitely one to remember for next time.

Red Lion

123 High Street

Woking

Surrey

GU21 4SS

http://www.redlionhorsell.co.uk

Sunday lunch at Malmaison

Malmaison say the serve ‘The Biggest Sunday Lunch in Town’, a bold claim which is a fairly easy one to fulfil, but is it any good? The other half and I were invited last Sunday to join a friend who’d purchased a deal through Groupon, and as we hadn’t been out for a Sunday Roast in quite a while it made a nice change. Intrigued by their boast, I’d read up a little to find out more, reading a review of their Sunday lunch in Leeds List.  It praised it to the hilt, so with a review so positive I thought it’d be a worth a crack.

With service well underway, we arrived for a booking at 1:30pm to see it was pretty busy as you can imagine, with what looked like at least two thirds of a full dining room. After a little bit of table moving from the diners around us to fit in, we just managed to squeeze in to sit down. A gentleman then explained what was included in the £19.95 deal – soups and appetisers are unlimited, all presented at the front of the dining room were you basically help yourself, making it dangerously easy to overfill on the first course! The second course offers up a choice of brunch dishes, such as their Mal big brunch breakfast, eggs benedict, eggs florentine or main dishes like roast beef or chicken, then sea bass, burger and a risotto. Finally desserts are ordered at the end. 

The following photos show as selection of the so-called chef’s table; salads, meats, fish, terrines, cheeses, chutneys, also sausage rolls, scotch eggs and more! Trying to hold ourselves back from basically getting a mountain of food was a tad difficult, especially when sausage rolls and sliced meats are involved!!  

Apologies for the poor photos (taken on my phone).

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It was a little odd getting such a diverse plate of appetisers to start our meal, it felt like I was on an upmarket school training course! On the whole it was tasty, and quantities were topped up on a regular basis with the chef regularly returning to the table. The only thing which I wasn’t quite keen on was this odd savoury breaded cheese disc. Served cold, it was quite hard and not particularly tasty, and I’m not saying that because I’m not the biggest cheese fan, my other two dining companions said the same. 

We successfully denied ourselves a second helping and waited a short time for two roast beef and one burger (other half) to be brought out. It was nice touch that on ordering our second courses at the start of the meal, we were asked how well done we wanted the beef, both of us requested it pink which they stuck to! 

The beef had good flavour and was served with a generous amount of gravy and a decent Yorkshire pudding. For two people the portion of vegetables was plentiful and were pretty well cooked, apart from the sprouts. They arrived very pale green in appearance making me think they’d been overcooked, but turned out to be undercooked inside, as it was difficult to cut into them! My friend and I were a bit baffled by it all really!

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The other half’s burger was ok (just) I suppose, no more than that! After being given the choice of having it either medium or well done, and opting for medium, it arrived well done! Bacon which topped it was quite burnt rather than lovely and crisp, as you can see in the photo. Even though the fries were good, it’s wasn’t enough to redeem the burger. Something probably should’ve been said at that point,  but we were hungry and the other half simply couldn’t be bothered to wait. 

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Time for desserts, on the menu were classics like sticky toffee pudding, creme brûlée and a cheese board. I’m a bit picky when it comes to desserts, normally going for something light such as a sorbet, so the choices weren’t really what I would usually go for. A little while later two creme brûlée and one hot chocolate were brought across. The creme brûlée was a success with the other half, being one of his favourites he was a happy man. I’d also picked the brûlée, but as I was getting quite full and find the dessert a little rich I ate just half. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a nice dessert, it possessed the crack from the thin layer of caramelised sugar, underneath was a creamy and smooth set custard with lots of flecks from vanilla seeds running through it. It’s just a shame I didn’t do it justice. 

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Overall this is was a Sunday lunch with good and bad bits, fortunately with the voucher two of us had a free meal, as if I had to pay full price I’m not sure I would choose to do it again. Sometimes quality over quantity is the way to go I reckon, even if it sound like a great deal!

With the Sunday roast being a such popular meal, there are plenty of independent spots that do a fine one, such as The Cross Keys, Adelphi, Bird & Beast  amongst others.

Food: There’s variety on the menu, but the quality was a little hit and miss for me, it needs more consistency across the whole menu. 

Service: Staff were polite and friendly, apart from forgetting to get our bill at the end the service was good.

Atmosphere: It was a busy dining room, lots of tables are close together meaning lots of diners. A nice buzz, at times it felt a little uncomfortable being so close to other tables, literally my friend and I were back to back to the table next to us. 

Malmaison

12 Swinegate

Leeds

LS1 4AG 

084469 30654

https://www.malmaison.com/locations/leeds/brasserie

The Black Swan, Call Lane, Leeds #2

Ok, a heartfelt apology first! I posted this earlier by accident, without it being properly finished, something I’ve done before when blogging on my phone! Trust me for not learning from my mistakes, then frustration set in when I couldn’t get onto the page to sort it out properly….ARGH!! Especially when I get an email about any confusion caused or due to an inadequate amount of information!! So BIG apologies if you read this earlier and was a little miffed?!

As regular readers know I do not usually accept free invitations to preview events, and stopped doing this months ago. However, on this occasion I went to one last week, as this venture had a link to other long-standing Leeds independent Sandinista.

People familiar with the Call Lane area of Leeds city centre will know it’s a street heavily laden with bars, well known spots such as Oporto and Jake’s amongst others have served Leeds folk well for years, mostly open till the early hours with loud music. My friends and I used to spend many an hour on Friday or Saturday nights in these bars ourselves, so I know from experience.

Of course there’s Arts Cafe and Rolands (love your pizza fritta) doing great things all day, but where Bar Room Bar once resided the place has been rejuvenated and joined these other establishments also opening throughout the day. Called The Black Swan and owned by Shane Quigley and Si Ord (Sandinista and Smokestack), it trying to offer something different to the norm in this part of town, where more often than not the usual clientele is on a night out. They’ve kept the old pizza oven and with the help of Anthony Flinn (of Anthony’s fame) who worked with Si Ord previously on Sandinista’s menu, they’re producing sourdough pizzas. If that wasn’t enough chefs drafted in from Crafthouse and Rare will serve more traditional fare, such as Sunday lunch from the upstairs kitchen. Being part of the Sandinista family, quality drinks are also on the table with craft ales, quality wines and great cocktails available. A nice touch is also their takeaway facility too. 

Here are some photos from my visit last week: 

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So what will you see on the pizza menu, all are made using sourdough which is freshly made every day on site. Left to prove for 24 hours allows its flavour to develop. Prices range from £5.95 – £8.95 and as always both vegetarians and carnivores sound spoilt for choice, such as Yorkshire blue cheese and basil for non-meat eaters. The carnivores amongst us will be pleased to hear they have some wonderful sounding pizzas gracing the menu, I have already picked out which I think may become my favourites – garlic, potato, thyme and lardo (£7.95), every bit of it sounds great, potato is an unusual ingredient on a pizza but it works, and I love the fatty/meaty richness of lardo!! Also the Yorkshire chorizo, roasted peppers and red pesto (£7.95) could be a go-er too! A lunch menu has a smaller number of pizzas, served with a mixed salad at £5.95 and they being a family friendly place, they have 6″ pizzas for little ones at £3.95. 

On the non-pizza front I’ll be interested to see if their Sunday lunch is up to scratch too.

This could definitely be a place to venture out to, whatever time of the day!

The Black Swan
37 Call Lane
LS1 6DT
https://www.facebook.com/blackswanleeds?fref=ts

Disclaimer: As I have stated above, I did attend a preview of the venue (this is a very rare occasion I may add and I won’t be making a habit of it).

Black Swan on Urbanspoon