One of my favourite traditions that I’ve been indoctrinated in to since I’ve lived in England is the traditional Sunday Roast. Every Sunday afternoon, families across the UK spend quality time together over a huge meal with a roast meat (usually roast beef), roast potatoes, veggies, gravy and my personal favourite, Yorkshire Puddings. The long standing tradition of the Sunday Roast started during King Henry the VII’s reign in 1485, when his Yeomen would cook up a huge feast to enjoy after church. Centuries later during the Industrial Age, people continued to pop roasts on the spit before heading to church and enjoy with friends and family afterwards.
Today, friends and families flock to the nearest pub or restaurant to indulge in a hearty roast and bond over great food. For Ciaran’s Grandad’s birthday this past Sunday, he wanted to do just that, so we headed to The Old Orchard in Harefield for our Sunday Roast.
The Old Orchard is a traditional country pub with fantastic panoramic views of lakes and the countryside for miles. It has a great outdoor area, which is perfect for BBQs in the summer and the interior is quaint and cosy, with warm fireplaces, plenty of seating and a huge bar area. It’s also dog friendly, so pet owners can bring their most loyal companions along.
The Old Orchard has quite an extensive menu, with plenty to choose from. From Pan-fried Lamb Belly to Roasted Beetroot, Kale and Quinoa salad – there’s something for everybody.
To start, I ordered the Tempura Cod Cheeks with butternut squash puree, curried oil and wilted spinach. The Cod Cheeks were coated just the right amount in the tempura batter and fried to perfection. Light, crisp and airy – which is exactly how anything fried in tempura batter should be. The meat of the cod was tender and juicy and the flavours of the butternut squash puree and curried oil melted together for a truly blissful experience, bite after bite.
Ciaran opted for the Spicy Sesame Crispy Tofu with Szechuan, cashew and coriander Salad. A beautifully vibrant plate that didn’t disappoint. I find that tofu can be really easy to overcook, but this dish had a lovely crisp outer shell that was tender on the inside. The acid of the salad balanced the spiciness of the tofu for a truly wonderful dish to kick things off.
Of course, I ordered the Sunday Roast with all the trimmings. Roast beef, sweet potato mash, green beans, parsnips, and the biggest Yorkshire Pudding I’ve ever seen, all drizzled with a delicious gravy. To all my American friends, you may be wondering what on earth a Yorkshire Pudding is. A Yorkshire Pudding is a traditional English side dish made from a batter with eggs, flour, milk and water and is served with Roast Beef. It’s light, airy and fluffy and cooked in a special pan to hold its unique shape. Bottom line, they’re delectable and if you ever visit London, you must try one.
The dish was about as big as I was, but I managed to plough through. The roast was a bit tough, but all the trimmings were well cooked and seasoned. Overall, the Old Orchard rustles up a really fantastic roast and I would definitely recommend it to my friends.
I was absolutely full to the brim, so I decided to forgo dessert and nibble on cheese and biscuits instead. Ciaran ordered the Hot waffle with caramelised banana, toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. With just one bite, my sweet tooth was satiated.
I ordered an Irish Coffee for the two of us to share – which perked me right up and saved me from falling into post-lunch food coma.
The Old Orchard is definitely one of my favourite pubs for a relaxed Sunday Roast with family. If you live in the area, it’s worth a visit!
For those of you visiting England, I highly recommend experiencing a Sunday Roast. It’s one of those British traditions you’ll want to take home with you. One of my favourites in London is in Maida Vale at the Truscott Arms. If you’re visiting anywhere outside of London, almost all local pubs will be serving one up!
Where do you have your Sunday Roasts? Thanks for reading x