Roasts with the most
Can't be bothered to baste potatoes with goose fat this weekend? I hear you. Instead grab your gang and head to one of these 10 local gastropubs that do roasts with the most.
I love a big ol’ roast dinner as much as the next woman but, my goodness, aren’t they a faff to make? Hours of peeling, basting and washing up of roasting tins… and then it’s scoffed in 10 minutes flat. So in an attempt to take things easy this weekend, I’m gathering my brood and whizzing off to one of these brilliant local pubs for a lazy lunch. Yorkshire puds ahoy!
Jacob’s Inn, Wolvercote
Sitting at the top of Oxford’s Port Meadow, this stylish, buzzing pub is ideal for families, friends or walkers. Like its sister eateries in Bicester, Woodstock and Headington, the food is locally sourced and crowd-pleasing – the roasts come in at £16.50, and there’s also a nut roast at an even more pleasing £14. Give yourself plenty of time to walk Port Meadow afterwards – locks, abbey remains and grazing cattle aplenty!
The Chequers, Marlow
We’ve long hailed this 16th century inn on Marlow’s high street as a carnivore’s paradise thanks to the focal point on meat, and it’s no different when it comes to Sunday lunches. Their carvery costs £16.95 – not bad for Marlow’s high street – and options include dry aged topside of beef, Coca-Cola and honey-glazed gammon (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!) or the roast of the day, which changes on a weekly basis.
The Mole Inn, Toot Baldon
The sleepy village location of this pub belies its fantastic foodie credentials (Raymond Blanc is a fan), and the cosy, unfussy interior and pretty outdoor space make it a great family-friendly option. The enormous roasts cost between £16 and £18 – choose from Aberdeen Angus beef, Cotswold lamb or slow-cooked shoulder of Sandy Lane pork, all with beef dripping roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, honey roast carrots and parsnips and creamed leeks & celeriac purée. Vegetarians take note, there’s no roast option here for you, but the mushroom risotto is fantastic.
The Pilgrim Pub, North Marston
A proper community pub through and through, timber-beamed beauty The Pilgrim holds ‘Village Nights’ every Tuesday, which can involve everything from open mic nights to curry clubs. However, we’ll be heading there for the Sunday lunch menu – after all, where else can you get a blade of shorthorn beef roasted to order? You could also opt for a slow braised Welsh lamb shank or even pan roasted calves’ liver and bacon with your Yorkshire and roasties.
The White Horse, King’s Sutton
Squirrelled away on the Oxon/Northants border and overlooking the village green, The White Horse in King’s Sutton is every bit the postcard-pretty village pub – so it’s no surprise there’s a classic English roast menu to match. The Sunday menu is good value, with two courses for £20 and three for £24, with a choice of beef rump or local pork loin for meat-eaters and a veggie option for those less carnivorously inclined.
Nags Head, Great Missenden
Pork, lamb, chicken or beef are your Sunday roast options here, and are all around £17 – there’s or crab Thermidor or confit duck leg if you’re in the mood for something a little fancier. This family-run, award-winning 15th century pub is a great choice if you’re visiting the Roald Dahl museum just down the road. Fun fact to wow/bore your family with over lunch: the pub pops up in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox movie.
The Greyhound Inn, Letcombe Regis
After being bought and dolled up by local Martyn Reed and Catriona Galbraith, The Greyhound is well-loved among the locals for its excellent foodie offerings, which are much more sophisticated than one might expect of a village this small. The Sunday menu in particular is mouthwatering, with local meats including Longhorn beef sirloin, Sandy Black pork loin and Wootton Farm lamb leg for around the £16 mark including Yorkshires and all the trimmings. Veggies can enjoy an excellently-flavoured nut roast (we know, we’ve tried it) for just £14.
The Three Oaks, Gerrards Cross
This handsome pub outside Gerrards Cross is in the habit of collecting Michelin Bib Gourmands (2014-2020 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 £17ish and the presentation is way beyond what you’d expect of a gastropub.
The Boxing Hare, Swerford
I love this pub and so do the Beckhams! The Boxing Hare is a 15 minute drive from Great Tew and Soho Farmhouse, where VB, DB and family spend much of their time. The food here is sensational, and no surprise given head chef is Nicholas Anderson, a two time Michelin star and 3 AA rosette winner, most recently cooking up a storm at The Bell of Hampton Poyle. The vibe here, nevertheless, is relaxed, there are patios, gardens and plenty of nooks and crannies within too. The big beast of a Sunday roast here is the 24oz Dry Aged Cote de Boeuf, for two to share (£68) though you can eat your way through beef rump for £21. If all the roasts are equally tantalising, you can order a plate containing all three roasts for £22!
The Maytime Inn, Asthall
A super-pretty rural pub with rooms in the Mitford village of Asthall, with exposed brick work, Farrow and Ball walls, log fires and a stonkingly lovely garden with amazing views, it also happens to be a 10 minute drive from the Cotswold Wildlife Park and in glorious Cotswolds walking country. It’s unpretentious here, and very dog-friendly, so it’s ideal for families out for the day. Good value roasts at two courses for £21.95 and three courses for £24.95. Portions are generous, take your elasticated trousers!
The Greyhound, Rotherfield Peppard
Celeb chef Antony Worrall Thompson is the man twiddling the knobs in the kitchen at this rural pub. It’s a lovely place– a bit quirky, with giant teddy bears hanging from the beams , but also warm 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 – £18-23 for a roast here is a steal.