I love to eat. Looking at my pictures that is an obvious fact….I don’t look as if I skip many meals…
I’m not an adventurous eater, but I love a good meat and potatoes kinda meal. Because I LOVE traditional British foods, I decided early on in my summer adventure that I was going to search for and find the best Sunday roast in the city of Canterbury. I put on my stretchiest outfit and tackled this quest head ( or stomach) on. I didn’t get to try one every Sunday, but I gave it the old college try.
Perhaps we should start with a short tutorial, American version, of what is a Sunday Roast. It consist of a meat, usually roast beef, but also can be pork, chicken or –my favorite–lamb. It comes with vegetables. Roasted potatoes are a requirement, but a variety of others in addition can be turnips, squash, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower or peas. This is not by any means a comprehensive list, but ones that I had over the summer in a variety of styles. Other items, like stuffing ( close to a Southern dressing taste/ consistency) can be added, depending on your meat or pub chef. The most important and tasty part, in my opinion, is the Yorkshire pudding which is akin to an American popover. I can harshly judge the entire dinner based on this one item. All this yumminess is topped off with a brown gravy.
My ideal Sunday Roast has lamb, peas and carrots, 2 puds that are fluffy and thick, crunchy outside and soft inside roasted potatoes with an ample amount of brown gravy. I will rate these dinners using the scoring guide of “Tucker Taste”, on a scale of 1-10.
So…enough background info. Let’s get to the meat of the story…pun intended. Two doors down on Ivy Lane, was the Two Sawyers pub and they served a Sunday lunch. (Insert gasps of awe and joy here) I know, right??! Let the research begin!Looking to the left from my front door.
Sunday Roast number 1
The Two Sawyers Sunday Roast was pleasing to look at, but my initial thoughts were the pud (cause I’m gonna use my British lingo) was almost burnt! Square plate…ummm…plates aren’t supposed to be square…so already I was thrown. I also did not like the piece of cauliflower and the orange glob on the bottom left was tasteless(I think it was squash…but I still am not sure.) The roast beef was good although scant, roasted potatoes were tough….Not at all a great way to begin my Sunday Roast adventure. Tucker Taste: 5
My next Sunday Roast came from The Three Tuns.
This was an exciting find as they not only offered a traditional Sunday Roast BUT they had this…the Beef Yorkie Wrap! Nothing about this looked bad, my favorite thing…the Yorkshire pud…was wrapped around the beef and stuffing AND you could DIP it in GRAVY!! Add to that green peas and really good fried chips…DANG! They had me at yorkie wrap!!! Tucker Taste:10 (although not tradtional)
My next Sunday Roast brought me back to The Two Sawyers pub. Remember I said it was next door…I guess I need to add points for the sheer convenience. This Sunday, instead of roast beef, they had roast pork.
The veg looked pretty much the same, except they added some fried onion and a pork scratching and a bit of apple sauce. The pud was again almost burnt, which made me realize that was a chef choice. Little to no gravy on this meal and again with the square plate. Sometimes convenience isn’t a good thing…Tucker Taste: 4
When finding pubs in Canterbury to try, I would wonder around the back streets and find ones off the tourist’s path, to make it more of an adventure. I stumbled on Thomas Beckett…not literally…because he’s dead….but…a pub named after him.
This Sunday Roast looked promising! Roast beef was tasty, but had some gristle. Yuk. The potatoes were good, bleck on the cauliflower BUT peas and carrots were good, the pud was ok and plenty of gravy. Tucker Taste: 6 (purely for the peas and carrots).
My next Sunday Roast wasn’t actually on a Sunday BUT it think this meal deserves an honorable mention. My son found this while were out buying stuff for his apartment. Kathton House in Sturry.
This meal made up for the Sundays I missed. This lamb was like nothing I had ever had before! No knife was needed, only a fork to cut this into bits that melted…I’m. Not. Kidding…MELTED in your mouth! Placed on a bed of pearl barley AND served with the tastiest green beans, carrots AND broccoli, it quite possibly was the best meal I had during my entire stay! Tucker Taste: 100 gazillion BUT since it was NOT a Sunday Roast…I have to give it a 9.5.
My final Sunday Roast came from an Indian restaurant next to the Oxfam, the Kashmir Tandoori . I was looking for last minute things that I had to have but didn’t know about…(basically shopping for shopping’s sake) and it started to rain. I was hungry, as I turned to head back toward the house. I saw a sign advertising a Sunday Roast….it was a sign to get out of the rain. It wasn’t until I was inside that I realized it was a middle eastern restaurant.
If you have learned anything on this roast journey…you should immediately notice several things. I’ll pause to allow you to name some of the key components you see…
OMG!! YES!!! You got it!
This lamb! Lots of tasty lamb.The potatoes are crunchy on the outside and they were creamy on the inside. (Take my word). Carrots and broccoli were tender (spinach….ummm…???? Idk…but ok). The pud was not over done and look at all the gravy!! I know what you are thinking….it’s almost perfect but the plate is square! Well, I’m gonna give this a pass because the wait staff (other than the Kathton House) was the absolutely friendliest, nicest people that waited on me this entire trip. My American-ness didn’t offend them or annoy them. They were really nice to me and I appreciated it more than they will ever know. Tucker Taste: 10
The best traditional British Sunday roast, in my opinion, came from not an English pub, but an Indian Restaurant. Thank goodness for the traditional English rain, because I may have missed this wonderful meal.