The roasts with the most
One of life's real pleasures: a succulent Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Here's where to go to find Somerset's best Sunday lunches
As the days are getting that little bit colder, just about the only thing that’ll tempt me out of the house on a Sunday morning is the promise of a succulent Sunday roast with Yorkshires, roast potatoes all the trimmings and a nice glass of red. With that in mind, here’s where to go to find Somerset’s best …
The Sheppey Inn, Lower Godney, nr Glastonbury
One of my favourite pubs not just in Somerset but anywhere. Out in the other worldly Levels, this funky pub’s got quirky original arty stuff all around, yumyum Sunday roasts, a constantly changing selection of draft beers and cider – and DJ Hare on the decks (or sometimes live music) while you nosh. You feel you’re where’s is at, when you’re at The Sheppey. If you can prise yourself away, you’re a stone’s throw away from Avalon Marshes so you could stretch your legs and spot a bird or two (but we both know you’re just going to have another drink).
The Sheppey Inn, Lower Godney, Glastonbury, Somerset BA5 1RZ. Tel. 01458 83159.
Mendip Inn, Oakhill, nr Shepton Mallet
You might have zoomed past this place on your way to Bath or Bristol, it’s right on the A37 but you really should stop for Sunday lunch some time. The place has been given a makeover by the same team behind Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen so it doesn’t look like yer usual country pub. Highlights on the menu include the Mendip Trio of lamb wellington (flavoured with grainy mustard, honey and paprika), roast beef and roast pork and their brisket, a joint of beef cooked ultra slowly in red wine and then pulled apart and then put together in thick slices.
Mendip Inn, Oakhill, Shepton Mallet Somerset BA3 4UU. Tel 01749 841703
Redan Inn, Chilcompton
Almost more of a restaurant than a pub (though you can still perch at the bar on a stool if you like), this is a sister to the award-winning Pumphouse in Bristol and The Bird in Hand in Long Ashton. Its starting to get a few gongs (well, rosettes) of its own too, including finalist in the Best Destination Pub in the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2016. Mainstays of the Sunday lunch are roast beef, pork, chicken or nut with more than the usual roasted pots and carrots to go with. Games to play if you get bored.
The Redan Inn, Fry’s Well, Chilcompton, Radstock, Somerset BA3 4HA. Tel 01761 258 560.
The Royal Oak, Luxborough on Exmoor
Situated in one of the National Park’s deep green valleys, and right on the 51-mile Coleridge Way, you can work up an appetite with a walk beforehand and then come into the warm embrace of this rustic pub with inglenooks with log fires, flagstones, cobbles and beams. Or vice versa. Roast beef and pork, crusted hake and veggie options, real ales in the middle. Spin some vinyl out back on the radiogram afterwards if you fancy.
The Royal Oak, Luxborough, Watchet, TA23 0SH. Tel 1984 641498.
The Swan, Wedmore
Tom Blake from River Cottage is in charge of the kitchen so expect very good things. Try their dry-aged topside of beef, slow roasted pork belly or chicken with lemon and thyme – or if you can’t decide, order the The Swan Triple Roast. Lots of other options too if you don’t want the roasts. The place itself, a former 18th century coaching house, is uber relaxed and good looking with a real buzz.
The Swan, Cheddar Road, Wedmore, BS28 4EQ. Tel 01934 710 337.
The White Horse, Haselbury Plucknett, nr Crewkerne
Love their Sunday sharing boards piled high with perfectly cooked beef, pork and chicken and served with roast potatoes, veg (like deep fried kale) carrots, cabbage and gravy. Huge Yorkshires. The chef here worked in some of London’s top restaurants before taking over the village pub with his wife – and it shows. The food is top notch, the atmosphere honest and unassuming – and it’s incredibly good value.
Clavelshay Barn, North Petherton, nr Taunton
Not a pub but a restaurant in a traditional barn on a dairy farm, where a French chef does amazing things with Somerset ingredients, and winner of Best Somerset Sunday Roast 2016. Out of the way, down some narrow red-earth lanes but well worth making the trip. Almost everything’s home made – even the water comes from their own spring. The menu changes weekly but there’s always beef and one other meat (not always pork), a fish dish and a veggie option. Wear elasticated trousers:portions are generous.
Clavelshay Barn, Lower Clavelshay Farm, North Petherton, Taunton TA6 6PJ. Tel 01278 662629.
The White Post, Rimpton, nr Yeovil
Winners of the Best Restaurant in the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2017, this is a pub but it’s more like a restaurant. Come on Sundays for the TWP Sunday meat board piled high with roast sirloin of beef, loin of pork, Dorset lamb, dripping cooked potatoes. parsnips & carrots, Yorkshire pudding, red cabbage, broccoli & cauliflower cheese and proper gravy. Non-meat eaters aren’t left out, with stuff like risotto, salmon and seabass. Kids under 12 eat half price.
The White Post, Rimpton. Dorset/Somerset BA22 8AR. Tel 01935 851525.