5 of the best – Sunday Lunches

Vennellsby @Tom_Ashurst

When I was a young lad, Masham used to be the place where my granddad used to go to get his haircut for £2.50. He’d complain that he was paying over the odds (seems a bargain to me) but that became what I always thought of when people mentioned this picturesque town. As I got older and discovered beer, Theakson’s and Black Sheep combined to create another memory of Masham in my mind. Then I paid a visit to Vennell’s restaurant.

Located on Silver Street, Vennell’s will have been at the heart of Masham’s culinary scene for 10 years in 2015. The interior of the restaurant is seriously stylish with lots of purples and golds giving the place a really luxurious feel. Whilst this feature is specifically on the Sunday Roast, it would be remiss of me to not highlight the gloriously succulent lightly poached salmon I had for a starter – this came with lemon jelly, croutons and crème fraiche and the balance of the dish was fantastic.

Now, onto the main event, the roast. As we’re in Yorkshire I went for the roast rib of Dales beef with all the trimmings. The beef was pink and tender, you’re also served plenty of it which is a bonus, and the accompanying fiery horseradish is superb. As for the trimmings, the roasties are a particular highlight, crisp on the outside and fluffy inside – as they should be – and the cauliflower cheese provides a delightful addition. Finally, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, and my other half (who claims to be something of a Yorkshire pudding aficionado) states they are one of the best she’s ever tried. High praise indeed!

There were desserts on offer too, but by this point we were more than satisfied with our afternoon’s work and called it a day. All in all, the whole process from entry, to eating, to settling up was fantastic and we will be going again soon.

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Shibden Mill Innby @richiewear13

The Rosettes and awards that stood proudly to attention behind me as I dined at Shibden Mill Inn were a ringing endorsement of the culinary masterclass that I received on my visit for Sunday Lunch. When you combine this with the intrigue and idiosyncrasy of the venue itself, Shibden Mill Inn stands as an unparalleled setting for a dish that brings out the true “Yorkshire” in traditional cuisine.

Merely the drive to get to the Mill filled me with intrigue. Tucked away in the Shibden Valley outside Halifax, down a secluded winding road, onto the rumble of cobbles, through a hedged pass and alongside a gushing tributary, the white stone building appeared. Sunlight shimmered off the rain-laden roof to add to the mythical aurora of the place and this intrigue was only broken by the routine rumbling of my devoid stomach.

Nourishment was front of mind as I savoured the initial moments inside the 17th Century building. The smiling faces and friendly staff escorted to my comfortable seat in front of the industry accolades and although I had my mind firmly set on a Sunday Lunch, I scoured the extensive menu in case there was something particularly appetising that might influence my decision. I stayed strong to my roast desires and took a sip of the smooth, flavoursome “Shibden Ale” as I waited for my food.

They say first impressions are everything, and never was this more evident than in this case. A giant Yorkshire pudding sat triumphantly aloft a bed of steaming vegetables, surrounded by the potato brothers, roast and mashed. These ingredients, delectable as they were, played second fiddle to the tender, delicate roast beef. Cooked to perfection and presented pink, the rib eye of British beef was the jewel in the crown of this delicacy, complimented by a generous helping of rich gravy.

It was only when I had cleared every trace of food from my plate that I could settle back into the cushy armchair and really savour what I had just eaten. This meal had raised the bar for Sunday Lunches, and gave me an overwhelming desire to return to sample the further menu at Shibden Mill. Had I not had prior engagements I could’ve sat all afternoon in the company of welcoming staff, roaring fires and crisp ale, however I can save this luxury until another fine day!

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The Fairfax Armsby @PeteDWilson

Picture a roaring log fire, low ceilings, and great local cask ales at the bar and you’ve got the Fairfax Arms. A quintessentially British pub and what’s more it serves a delicious Sunday lunch. They offer all the meat dishes you’d expect from a good family friendly pub, beef, pork, turkey and chicken. Being a beef enthusiast, I naturally chose the beef, my wife the chicken and my son a child’s portion of the turkey.

Service was swift and friendly, I always find a good barometer for a decent Sunday lunch is the quality and quantity of the veg you get, and it didn’t disappoint. The plates arrived with meat aplenty (also a good sign), followed shortly after by an abundance of veg, and the horseradish sauce. It was delicious, the beef was cooked perfectly the veg equally so, I even tried my wife’s chicken dish, also very tasty.

I have a sweet tooth, so we had to order dessert, I went for the classic sticky toffee pudding as did my wife. Beautifully sweet and accompanied by a cider toffee ice cream with butter scotch sauce. Overall a great meal. We’ve been to the Fairfax Arms several times over the 10 years we’ve been living in the area and it does seem to get better and better, set in such a lovely part of Yorkshire. Great for families and even for a game of pooh sticks after with our son, has to be done every time we go!

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The General Tarletonby @Will_Hodgson

Travelling through the pretty town of Knaresborough I was expecting great things from the Sunday roast at The General Tarleton (The GT). The food came highly recommended by my parents. My mum is an excellent cook, my dad an excellent eater. I had high hopes.

Located just 5 miles from the beautiful Spa town of Harrogate and 3 miles from the A1, it is ideally placed. I had starved myself in expectation of a delicious fill and as we drove past Mother Shipton’s Cave, I knew how it felt.

As soon as we walked through the front door I knew we’d made a good decision. Greeted by a roaring fire and some very friendly staff we were thrilled to get a window seat as it was a beautiful day. We were slightly worried by the lack of atmosphere in the main restaurant, but as soon as the food arrived we understood why everyone was so quiet.

We had both chosen the traditional roast sirloin of beef with a Yorkshire Pudding as big as your head, perfect roast potatoes (only bettered by my own on Christmas Day) and all the trimmings. A dish of swede, kale and carrots – an unusual but delicious combination – arrived with a large pot of moreish shallot gravy. The most pleasing thing was the beautifully pink beef. Often requested, not often delivered. We chose a pint of Black Sheep and a glass of Pinot Noir to wash down our roasts. The latter had great legs – not unlike my lunch date.

I was impressed with the staff during the whole meal. My wife has some quite specific dietary requirements and their patient, attentive approach was very much appreciated. This was topped off by her dessert made specially by the chef – a fresh, colourful selection of fruit with a refreshing apple sorbet. I opted for the cheeseboard. Generous chunks of Harrogate Blue and Black Cheddar were served with an incredible selection of cheese biscuits and apple chutney that reminded me of the apple pie Mama used to make.

If I were in charge I’d make The GT a Colonel for a job well done. We’ll definitely go again.

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The Milestone Sheffieldby @KayleighRamsey

If I had to pick a favourite meal time, Sunday lunch would win hands down! You can’t just throw a Sunday lunch together, there are very specific components that have to be just right, Yorkshire puddings must always be homemade and have risen to the occasion, roast potatoes crisp on the outside fluffy on the inside and meat must be melt in the mouth juicy, to get these right along with a selection of accompanying vegetables and have them all piping hot ready to serve at the same time takes practise! Having been to The Milestone before and hearing many good things from past guests I knew they would tick all the boxes.

About a mile from Sheffield City centre, The Milestone resides in Kelham Island, it’s easy to find and I’ve never had trouble finding a parking spot on a nearby street. Our table for two was booked about a week in advance, on arrival (despite being a little late) we were greeted and seated by welcoming staff, shortly after we had a Wild Rose & Strawberry Bellini and the menus in front of us. The Sunday lunch menu is very reasonably priced for a gastro pub of this standard, two courses for £14.00 or three for £16.50.  The restaurant had a busy but relaxed atmosphere, the two couples on the table next to ours had just finished their mains and they were very complimentary… I was excited!

To start I chose the Risotto of wild mushrooms & parmesan, truffle & squash, when having a starter I always worry there won’t be room for my favourite course, desert, the risotto was just the right size, perfectly presented and delicious! For main course I stayed with tradition; Pan roasted beef skirt steak, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, caramelised carrots and onions, buttered greens … Yorkshire puddings …tick, roast potatoes …tick and beef… tick … plus a bonus tick for my favourite Sunday lunch vegetable caramelised carrots!  Finally and certainly worth the wait, for dessert it was a close call between Treacle Pudding and Sticky Toffee, after asking our very helpful waiter his recommendation I went with the Sticky Toffee Pudding, served with sticky toffee sauce & vanilla ice cream… perfect sweet end to a perfect Sunday Lunch!

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