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Your inside line on the new, unique and unmissable across 19 Muddy Stilettos counties

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Sunday lunch sorted

Bring on the Yorkshire puds! The best spots for a weekend nosh up across 18 Muddy counties.

BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE RUTLAND SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE

 

WARWICKSHIRE

The Royal Pug, Leamington Spa

This funky Great British neighbourhood pub & kitchen is a real hipster’s paradise with quirky decor, Warwickshire brewed beer and a Gin Palace upstairs. All proper Sunday roasts are served from midday with crispy roasted spuds, homemade Yorkie, honey roast roots, market veg and seriously tasty gravy. Diners can choose from the Pug Roast of the Day, 28 day dry aged roast rump of beef or a Veggie Roast of the Day on the specials board. Puddings include Homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding and Apple & Winter Berry Crumble. Yum! Brunch, pizzas and other mains are also served, and if it’s full, it’s sister pub, The Fat Pug is just up the road. theroyalpug.com

 

The George Townhouse, Shipston-on-Stour

An elegant award-winning 15-room Georgian inn, winner of Best West Midlands pub in the National Pub & Bar Awards 2017. This is a perfectly proportioned, 18th-century beauty where you can enjoy an extensive, varied and reasonably-priced Sunday menu. Nibble on a Small Plate, share The George Butcher’s Board or tuck into a Roasted Loin of Gloucester Old Spot Pork with crackling, sausage & sage stuffing (one of three, OR if you feel up to it, a Trio of Roasts). For anyone fancying fish, something lighter or a meat-less alt a choice of 8 Mains include Spiced Chickpea & Potato Cakes, Salmon & Dill Fishcakes or a Superman Salad. The Rhubarb & Rosehip Pavlova, one of 6 desserts, sounds particularly appealing. thegeorgeshipston.co.uk

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CORNWALL

Halsetown Inn, St Ives

Just outside the bustling harbour town of St Ives, the Halsetown Inn is a local favourite. This one-time mining pub is nestled in the quiet countryside and has bags of character and an eco ethos, sustainably sourcing everything from food to power. The perfect place to hole up after a weekend walk, the Muddy clan went for the first time a few months ago and have recommended it to so many people since. Expect a super friendly atmosphere and a classic roast with all the trimmings. The veggie option, a lentil, nut and mushroom bake looked tempting too and definitely leave room for pud – or a lush dessert cocktail if you don’t have to drive.  Children and dogs welcome! Mains £12.50 / Puds £5.50-6.50. halsetowninn.co.uk

 

Mexico Inn, Long Rock

The Mexico Inn is one of the best pubs we discovered while scoffing our way around Cornwall last year and it deservedly bagged a Muddy Award in 2017. Named for the miner who opened it, after he moved home to Cornwall from the mines of Mexico, there is a quirky history here and a passionate and creative, husband and wife team at the helm. Tom and Amy are both talented chefs, who have worked side-by-side in the kitchens of some of the South West’s best known eateries, including The Scarlet and The Gurnard’s Head. So you know the food’s going to be good and the vibe is relaxed and welcoming too. It’s just down the road from St Michael’s Mount, if you fancy a beach walk before or after. One course £12.50 / two courses £17.50 / three courses £20.50. themexicoinn.com

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DEVON

The Thatched Inn, Ilfracombe

Thatched roof pub with picnic benches blue skies

The award-winning 17th century Thatched Inn snuggled in the coastal town of Ilfracombe, is a teeny tiny traditional pub at heart, with serious thatchy curb appeal and a fabulous menu, including *those* epic roasts. Arguably the best in North Devon, at the very least, it’s a stonking Sunday when you find pork belly with crispy crackling on the menu. Failing that expect a plate loaded with beautifully cooked Exmoor beef with all the trimmings. The kids portions are perfect and the puds round everything off just nicely.   With the friendliest pub landlord in town manning the pumps, this one’s a firm, family-friendly favourite. thethatchedinn.pub

 

ODE&Co, Coast View, Shaldon

Firewall

Credit: Matt Austin

How do you beat The Great British Roast? You book yourself a table at the laidback, family friendly ODE&Co with its splendiferous sea views and tuck into the legendary Firewall Roast, that’s how. You can count on the team behind this brilliant local brand to put their spin on a classic.  Using the ancient method of making a wall with bricks in a wood-fired oven, the slow-roasted joint that comes out has a gorgeous oak smoked flavour. Everything on the plate is local, cooked to perfection and, hands down, it’ll be the best-spent hours of your Sunday. odetruefood.com

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE

The Horse Box, Cheltenham, Glos

blue bar, metal lampshade wooden restaurant tables white walls

The Horse Box may not sound like a place to cuddle up with some comfort food, but my God it is! Part of the super-luxe Ellenborough Park hotel offering, it’s nestled in the shadow of glorious Cleeve Hill and is a short gallop away from Cheltenham’s esteemed Jockey Club. So if you’ve gone for it on a Saturday night and need some Sunday TLC, with or without a pre-prandial walk on Cleeve (it’s the best place to blow away the cobwebs), The Horse Box embraces you with food that will make you melt – braised beef suet pudding followed by apple crumble anyone? And if hair of the dog is your style, the blue bar mixes a right mean cocktail. ellenboroughpark.com

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OXFORDSHIRE

The Greyhound, Rotherfield Peppard

Ex TV stalwart Anthony Worrall Thompson is the man twiddling the knobs in the kitchen at The Greyhound, nestled in the South Oxfordshire countryside. It’s a lovely pub – a bit quirky, with giant teddy bears  hanging from the beams and with a Goldilocks chair in the garden, but also warm, friendly, rustically stylish and exhibiting a flair that is often missing from identikit ‘Farrow-and-Balled’ pubs. The big calling card here is the wagyu beef – even the Sunday roast potatoes are made in the beef fat. The service is friendly but slick (Worrall Thompson’s wife is maitre ‘d) and prices are competitive – £17-22 for a roast here is a steal. awtgreyhound.com

 

Bottle & Glass, Binfield Heath

The Bottle & Glass is so perfect visually that it looks like it’s been styled for a magazine. A gorgeous thatched pub with a large garden in the small village of Binfield Heath on the Oxon/Berks border, this place reopened last year with new owners, a new name and a huuuuge refurb, and has quickly gained a reputation for excellence. Sunday lunches are £25 for 2 courses or £30 for 3 courses – and you’ll be happy you tried it out. You’re close to Henley if you a wander by the river afterwards, though there’s no absence of pretty walking locally too. bottleandglassinn.co.uk

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HERTFORDSHIRE

Loft, St Albans

New to the Cathedral Quarter and George Street in St Albans, Loft is already getting rave reviews. You’re in safe hands: chef and owner Nick Male has been executive chef for Conran Restaurants and he’s opened restaurants for Oliver Peyton. Loft is in a 600-year-old building that has been beautifully restored and is both dramatic with dark colours and coppers and light and uplifting with the palest of pinks. While George Street is fast becoming the grown up destination in St Albans, on Sundays, Loft is a brilliant place for all – children included. The Sunday Family Feast includes arts and crafts and children’s entertainment in the bar area. And the menu? British produce cooked simply and with imagination: roast Devon lamb and Yorkshire pudding or cod fillet with bourguignon garnish and pomme purée, followed by roast pineapple and passion fruit pavlova. And you can walk it all off after lunch, down George Street to the Cathedral, followed by a walk in Verulamium Park. loftstalbans.com

 

The Cricketers, Weston

The Cricketers is a warm and cosy pub and a hugely popular Sunday lunch destination. Weston is a village in north Hertfordshire, close to Letchworth and Baldock, and it’s the perfect spot for a robust walk before or after a roast and a proper old-fashioned pudding. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and the team at The Cricketers will help with maps and suggestions about the local area. The food is no-nonsense and hearty: you can tuck into traditional roast pork with crackling and apple crumble, but there’s loads more to choose from: salt and pepper squid and smoked haddock fishcakes. Part of the ethos is to work closely with local suppliers and producers. A bonus ball is the pizza oven, spherically-shaped and in keeping with the pub’s name. The pizzas here are as thin and as crispy as you could wish for. It’s a great place to go as a family, and children are made to feel very welcome here. The Cricketers is an all round winner. thecricketersweston.co.uk

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SUSSEX

Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston

Break out of the boozer and get up into the South Downs for your Sunday lunch at this lofty vineyard with pop-up roasts and brunches on selected dates. It’s perfect to combine with a walk around the estate and your four-legged friend is welcome. Come early, read the papers with coffee and cake or a Bloody Mary then choose from two or three courses, accompanied by the estate’s own wine. After, go wildlife spotting among the vines or lounge by the woodburner or in the courtyard, with a book, game or jigsaw. The next roasts are Sun 8 April and Sun 6 May. rathfinnyestate.com

 

The Coal Shed, Brighton

This restaurant, featured in the Observer Food Monthly Awards, is a carnivore’s delight. It specialises in steak cooked over burning charcoal and on Sundays there’s a sharing beef roast at £40 for two. Between noon and 4pm get your chops around your half of a 500g Black Aberdeen Angus, 35 Day Dry-Aged Roast Sirloin of Beef served with roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, honey roast root veg, seasonal greens, Yorkshire pudding and beef gravy. There are fishy alternatives and a kids’ menu – one child goes free per paying adult. You can even gift the sharing roast with a voucher. There’s a sister restaurant near Tower Bridge, London. coalshed-restaurant.co.uk

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE

The Plough, Great Chesterford

If you’re looking for a Sunday Lunch option that’s great for families, dogs, walkers or those wanting a buzzy atmosphere then The Plough needs your consideration.  New owners Samantha and Simon are really creating quite a stir and Sunday roasts, including vegan options are proving very popular. As we start to think (or pray!) for warmer weather the large garden and outside bar means there’s space to kick the kids out when they start playing tag round the tables and the bar means you don’t have to walk as far to get your next glass of Pimm’s. theploughgc.co.uk

 

The Three Horseshoes, Madingley

The very vision of a chocolate box thatch pub, The Three Horseshoes is only a few minutes drive from the centre of Cambridge but has the calm and tranquillity of a countryside village.  It’s recently been taken over by Cambscuisine (they also own The Cock and The Tickell Arms amongst others) – they’ve given it a little sprucing up but haven’t lost the traditional pub feel with exposed brickwork, beamed ceilings, a roaring fire and cosy corners to hide in to sink large glass of wine.   It’s dog friendly and there’s a large garden so makes an ideal spot for a walk followed by Sunday lunch. cambscuisine.com

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KENT

The Great House, Hawkhurst 

Fancy a white weather-boarded pub with a pretty beer garden that you reach through a traditional lynch gate sitting in the heart of the Kentish weald? Perfectly located for a day out, visit near by Bewl Water or Bedgebury Forest to work up an appetite then hoover up the menu. Roasts include Traditional Sirloin of English Beef, Rosemary infused Leg of English Lamb, English Pork, Roast Turkey or Nut Roast. All served with the usual sides. Decent children’s menu too at great value – a firm family favourite. elitepubs.com

 

The Curious Eatery, Boughton Monchelsea

This cute, quirky converted pub serves up a cracking Sunday lunch, is run by two super-friendly sisters and won the Best Restaurant in Kent in our Muddy Awards, as voted by you. On offer is Chicken, Rare Roast Beef and Vanilla & Maple Glazed Ham, or go for a shared platter (sold by weight) like the Beef Wing Rib and, in season, the Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb, cooked over-night so super tender. They even offer a vegetarian roast which varies, but think Veggie Wellington and Beetroot, Kale and Goats Cheese Pithivier (that kinda thing). These are all served with Yorkshire puds (their Grandma’s recipe), steamed veggies and crispy roast potatoes. Book in advance, as it’s popular, it’s also very kid-friendly and situated near Leeds Castle, so you could start your trip there. Oh, and did I mention there’s a gorgeous little shop upstairs in here too? Stampeeeede! thecuriouseatery.co.uk

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LEICESTERSHIRE

The George and Dragon Inn, Seaton

Sunday lunch here is quite a big deal so much so that you’ll need to book at least two weeks in advance – yup it’s that popular. This cosy pub in the village of Seaton is the kind if place you wish was your local. Housed in an 1872 building, the pub has gone through a total transformation since new owner Ralph Offer took it over. Decor aside, the food is also pretty impressive especially their Sunday roast. The menu is kept simple but the food is of the highest quality – think roast beef, pork or lamb all served with duck fat potatoes, piccolo parsnips, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese and port jus. Starters from £7 and mains from £14.50. george-dragon-rwyt.squarespace.com

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WILTSHIRE

Timbrells Yard, Bradford on Avon

red bar stools at bar

Chow down at this funky restaurant in the heart of Bradford on Avon and enjoy a proper slap-up Sunday roast. The Grade II listed building sits alongside the river Avon so you’ll get a gorgeous view while sampling their Triple Roast (aged topside of beef, free range chicken and slow roasted pork). The kitchen is overseen by Tom Blake, ex River Cottage, so the food is top notch; if you don’t fancy a roast you can plump for steak, pan-fried hake, pot roasted cod or belly of Gloucester Old Spot, with fennel crackling and celeriac fritters. They have some super-smart rooms if you want to treat yourself for the weekend – book the larger rooms with beamed ceilings and freestanding baths with views over the River Avon, or the more contemporary loft suites with split level bedroom mezzanine and picture windows. timbrellsyard.com

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HAMPSHIRE

Kyoto Kitchen, Parchment St, Winchester

Japanese rolls on a green plate.

Roasted out? Head to Winchester’s Kyoto Kitchen for beautifully crafted Japanese cuisine, a genuine love for local produce & THE freshest seafood — our Muddy Award winning restaurant is fast becoming a Hampshire institution. kyotokitchen.co.uk

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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

The Narrow Boat, Weedon

Canalside dining has never been so cushy. The Narrow Boat is a family run hotel-cum-eatery situated on the tranquil waterfront at Weedon, with cosy en-suite bedrooms overlooking the river in case you eat too much and need a kip after your meal. For these guys, it’s all about the gravy, and they should know after a Best British Roast Dinner judging panel, led by food critic Charles Campion, gave them the good news that it is the joint best roast dinner in the region. The gravy is made properly with bones and veg and they also use only the best cuts of meat and fresh veg (locally sourced where possible, just in case you were worried about the carbon footprint of your confit of cod). You can even dine out on their heated deck, or beside the canal on the lawns, although the latter is perhaps best reserved for when the weather gets a little warmer. Starters from £6, mains from £11.50. narrowboatatweedon.co.uk

 

The White Horse, Kings Sutton

With a menu shifting week on week, Sunday lunch at The White Horse takes beloved pub classics and kicks them up a notch (or two, maybe three.) It’s small things, like chips cooked in beef dripping and baked apple puree, which really make a meal to remember. The head chef and co-owner is entirely self-taught, but that doesn’t seem to have set him back, having been awarded two AA Rosettes and a spot in the Bib Gourmand Michelin guide. The pub has a sturdy solid oak bar, and in the winter months, an open fire can often be found cracking away in the corner – status of chestnuts roasting upon tbd. From £18. whitehorseks.co.uk

 

The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth

Fancy listening to some smooth jazz over your Aberdeen Angus beef steak? You know you do. If you can make it down to The Walnut Tree Inn in Blisworth, that’s exactly what you’ll be treated to. Every Sunday lunchtime (except during summer) traditional jazz and be-bop bands get together to jam in the Ellington Room at the Walnut Tree. The performances start at noon on the dot, with the bar stocking up on four different real ales and various wines sold by the glass. While you wait for your roast and listen to a sweet sax solo, you can order “tapatisers”, which is such an adorable name you might just have to get four. Starters from £3.20, roast £13. walnut-tree.co.uk

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

The Hand and Flowers, Marlow

The only pub in the UK with two Michelin stars courtesy of Tom Kerridge, and a must for anyone who wants to taste one of the best Sunday lunches ever. Housed in a 17th century building just outside the centre of Marlow, there’s plenty of architectural character at The Hand and Flowers to please those coming from further afield, but clearly the main joy is in the gastro experience. Despite the rosettes, Kerridge resolutely insists on including roasts on Sunday – albeit at around £35 for mains (though fish and chips come in at £17.50 – phew). Please note there’s no garden here, but a short walk down the high street you’ll find Higginson Park and the river to walk off your meal and peer into your empty wallet. thehandandflowers.co.uk

 

The Three Oaks, Gerrards Cross

This handsome pub outside Gerrards Cross is in the habit of collecting Michelin Bib Gourmands (2014-2017 and counting), the award that values brilliantly executed food at reasonable prices. No surprise perhaps, when chef Mikey Seferynski’s past CV includes The Hand & Flowers, The Grove and The Fat Duck. The interior feels elegant and grown up – a bit like you’re visiting a stylish, well-off uncle – but it’s child-friendly and relaxed, with an attractive outdoor patio garden. Roasts are excellent value at £16ish and the presentation is way beyond what you’d expect of a gastropub. thethreeoaksgx.co.uk

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RUTLAND

The Olive Branch, Rutland

Photo Credit: The Olive Branch

When it comes to good food, you’ll be hard pushed to find a tastier spot than the multi-award winning Olive Branch in Clipsham. Chef and co-owner Sean Hope creates an array of interesting options for lunch. Expect pub classics like good old fish and chips to modern masterpieces like including black olive crusted Cod, chick pea and chorizo ragu in a cavolo nero and tomato sauce. The chefs grow what they can of their own, source locally and create seasonal dishes. Slightly on the pricey side but once you taste the food, you’ll know why – it’s all delicious from the bread basket right through to desserts. Sunday starters from £7.95 and mains from £14.95 or pick the 3 course set menu for £27.50. theolivebranchpub.com

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SOMERSET

Café 15 at No. 15 Great Pulteney, Bath

Sometimes you don’t want to battle through a heavy roast. Café 15 allows you to knock back prosecco and bottomless Bloody Marys with a lazy three-course Sunday brunch in eclectic surroundings – think apothecary bottles, antiques and quirky lighting. Nibble on pastries, pâtés, Italian cured meats and local cheeses from the buffet. Order classics like Eggs Benedict, Croque Madame with a duck egg or the more exotic Shakshuka (eggs cooked in tomatoes and chillis) with guacamole and yoghurt. Then ice-cream sundae (natch), affogato and perhaps a little more Prosecco? Finish with a perambulation around the elegant streets of Bath. Sundays 11am–4pm. £25 three courses; £37 with Prosecco and house wines; £12.50 children under 12. no15greatpulteney.co.uk

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SURREY

The Running Horses, Mickleham

This traditional country inn – all exposed beams, timber panelling, parquet flooring and tartan carpets, oozes history and charm. It’s in the village of Mickleham at the foot of Box Hill, so it’s perfectly placed for a romp on the hills if you want to work up an appetite before tucking into lunch. The chef serves up a mean Sunday roast – offering overnight roasted rump of beef, roasted Blythburgh pork loin and roast leg of lamb, served with all the trimmings, including duck fat roast potatoes. It’s rustic fare, made from locally sourced produce as much as possible. Read our full review here. therunninghorses.co.uk

 

The White Horse, Hascombe

This lovely 16th century building is in the small, well-heeled village of Hascombe, a few miles south of Guildford. The pub has its fair share of locals tumbling in for a pint but it’s actually more of a foodie destination, offering a grown-up vibe in The Dining Room eating area and family dining in the Saloon Restaurant.  This is a notch above standard gastropub fare, with offerings like coffee-rubbed pork fillet, roasted duck breast and Brixham brill on the menu. whitehorsepub.net

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BERKSHIRE

The Newbury Pub, Newbury

Sunday Roast platter The Newbury pub 3 meats, roast potatoes, yokshire pudding and a skillet of veg

Sunday roast at The Newbury is an event in itself. A lot of love goes into this great British dish from the overnight roasted beef to the Roast Sharing Board that comes with a combo of beef, pork and chicken – perfect for the greedy *ahem* or indecisive. It comes fully loaded with a selection of sides that’ll hit your 5-a-day in one sitting. This  Muddy award-winning pub, is a gastro hotspot perfect for relaxed grazing. Love the battered pine tables, squishy sofas and modern art. Sunday Funday starts and ends here. thenewburypub.co.uk

 

Weir Grove, Wargrave

Roast pork, crackling and root veg Weir Grove Wargrave Berkshire

It’s a pretty bold move to offer only one choice of roast on a Sunday, but Weir Grove is not your average restaurant. Opened by Karin Edlind and her partner Tim Lawrence in 2016, this fine dining eatery offers a small regularly changing menu with the occasional British and Swedish twist. On Sundays, there’s just one lunch sitting for the £15 special 3-course menu, including the meat of the day (advertised in advance) and a pretty foxy wine list. Booking is essential. if your name’s not down, you’re not getting in. theweirgrove.com

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