When one restaurant door closes…
Having recently moved home, our typical Sunday morning is spent browsing DIY stores. This is surprisingly hungry work, so what could be better than a Sunday roast at one of our local hostelries?
We tend to be creatures of habit and stick to our favourite carvery, our favourite curry house, our favourite pizza restaurant – you get the picture – and we were obviously disappointed to find that our favourite carvery was fully-booked and there was a wait of at least an hour; however, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
As an alternative, my partner suggested Churchill House in Royal Wootton Bassett. It was a long time since we had last visited and we found that it is now simply called The Churchill and is an Eating Inn, which is a Greene King brand. There were very few cars in the car park, which wasn’t a great sign, but it was early and we went in anyway. Our initial impressions were good, with an attractive décor seamlessly blending rustic and contemporary.
We were greeted warmly and led to a table in an area in which other diners were already seated, much to our relief. The menus were comprehensive and included several of our favourites, such as steak and ale pie for my partner and hunter’s chicken for myself, but the back page revealed what we really wanted: a Sunday roast.
There was a choice of pork loin, beef topside, slow-cooked lamb shank, slow-cooked half chicken with apricot and leek stuffing, or butternut and sage bake. According to the menu, all came with crispy roast potatoes, mashed potato, home-baked Yorkshire pudding, rich gravy and seasonal vegetables. There was also an ‘Ultimate’ option (extra meat, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and pigs in blankets).
We both chose the slow-cooked half-chicken, which was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious; in fact, it was so succulent that we completely forgot that it was supposed to come with apricot and leek stuffing until we were half way home. Needless to say, this did not detract from our enjoyment one iota.
Much as we love carveries, the downside can be that everything has been out for a while and no longer tastes freshly cooked, such as roast potatoes losing their crispness and Yorkshire puddings becoming soggy. This is where the table service at The Churchill really shone, with the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings amongst the best we have ever tasted.
The vegetables were not the most exciting; however, they were perfectly cooked and the gravy was deep and rich. I am partial to red cabbage and cauliflower cheese; however, I appreciate that these may not be to everybody’s taste and understand the choice of more traditional vegetables such as carrots and green beans.
Very much aware that our eyes can often be bigger than our bellies, we managed to resist the lure of desserts such as chocolate and coconut torte and apple and blackberry crumble.
Greene King describes its Eating Inn brand as ‘great value meals all day, every day’. At just £8.99 for such a delicious meal, you won’t hear any argument from us.
Do you have a favourite Sunday roast venue? Have you ever had to change your plans and discovered a previously-unknown gem? Let us know in the comments section below, or why not submit a guest review?
When one restaurant door closes… Reviewed by Val Woolhouse on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 Rating: