A side of beef with a handful of parsnips. A lamb shoulder with a healthy dollop of mint sauce. This is the stuff that Sundays are made of – and if you’re in Cambridge, you have a fair selections of roasts from which to choose. Pick up your forks and get those carving knives sharpened: here is our list of the best Sunday roasts on offer in Cambridge.
St. John's Chophouse
Don’t worry: the Chophouse isn’t as grizzly as it sounds – quite the opposite in fact. This meat-specialist bistro is part of Cambs Cuisine, the city’s finest gastro dining chain, and their cosy St. John's site serves a selection of particularly succulent roasts at the weekend. On the Sunday lunch menu are all the traditional favourites – pork belly, lamb shoulder, beef striploin – each delivered with roast veg & potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding. For the vegetarians among you, they also serve a veggie haggis with swede, cabbage and mushroom mashed for a delicious mix. It’s a clean cut pub-restaurant that mixes refinement with heartiness, a good choice for a fancy family day out.
Of the plethora of chic microbreweries that have popped up in Cambridge in the last few years, The Pint Shop has proved one of the most successful. The bar inhabits a Grade-II listed building in the heart of the city, and has been stylishly decorated with pop art and alternative photos. On Sundays, their surprisingly gourmet menu of charcoal grill mains give way to the more traditional roasts – beef, pork and chicken are all on offer. The team of chefs give particular care to the veg and potatoes, all beautifully tender and glazed; and the gravy is always extra flavoursome.
Granta is a local name for the green areas to the south of Cambridge leading to the Grantchester Meadows, and this elegant pub is one of the best drinking spots in the neighbourhood. The Sunday roast lacks a little in choice: there is only one option on offer. The meat served changes week on week, and vegetables vary with the season. The real highlight of the Granta, however, is their location. The bar overlooks an idle section of the Cam and punts can be hired from just below the overhanging veranda. The wooden decking of the outdoor dining area is nestled amongst the weeping willows and sedate waterways – the perfect place to eke out a sunny Sunday.
Take a trip out of Cambridge to the farmlands surrounding the nearby village of Hardwick and you will find one of the region’s best kept secrets. The Blue Lion is an award-winning gastropub with plenty of quaint, rustic charm. Their menu collects a series of intricate dishes packed with flavour and on Sundays they serve up traditional roasts with their fancy, homemade bread sauce. Not only that, diners can select two joints from their selection of pork, beef, chicken or lamb – why have one meat, when you can have two!
Journey to the other side of the city and visit The Plough, another gourmet pub secreted in Cambridge countryside. This picturesque selection is a favourite destination for locals escaping the city. The tavern’s spacious garden backs out down to the north section of the Cam, and plenty of tables and verandas litter the green lawn. The weekday menu has real range, with everything from Chinese to Mexican food on offer. At weekends, pick the roast that really balances its seasonings and trimmings – just see the Roast Pork with bramley apple butter, crackling and lemon & thyme stuffing wrapped in bacon. It’s also a good choice for veggies as the fig and dolcelatte nut roast is a step above the usual dry affair.