Sunday Roast

Wynette:  Around Cornwall we had noticed that the pubs advertised a “Sunday Roast” served just a few hours on early Sunday afternoons.  We never quite made one of those since the hours are so limited.  Yesterday (Sunday), as we were driving from the far tip of SW Cornwall to Bath, we needed to stop for lunch and Charlie remembered about the roasts and thought maybe we could find one on the road.  We were on a “dual carriageway” (known as “freeway/interstate” to our US readers) so knew we’d have to leave the highway to find a place.  I studied the map as Charlie sped along.  Saw a little town named “Altarnun” 30 miles ahead just off the highway (we remember the name because it’s altar-nun and Charlie was raised catholic).  The guide book said Altarnun had a little hotel/food place named “The Kings Head”.  Charlie said “that sounds like a pub, let’s give it a shot”. 

When we saw the Altarnun exit we pulled off and about 200 yards later we were in a TINY village and there was “The Kings Head” and on front was a large banner that said “Sunday Carving 12 to 3, booking recommended” (or something like that).  We couldn’t believe our luck.  We asked if they had room for two more and Bridget Jones (just joking but she reminded me of her) said “certainly” and a younger woman take us to our table.  She said “help yourself to the meat and other food on the carving table” and I’ll bring you your gravy. 

We had our choice of any or all of the following: beef roast, pork roast, gammon (I had to ask, it means “ham”), cheese cauliflour, (amazing) roast potatoes, squash, applesauce, cabbage,  stuffing balls,  little sausages wrapped with bacon, and yorkshire pudding.  (I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.)  I’d never had yorkshire pudding before.  They’re kind of like popovers with the top sunken down.  We spooned gravy in them and ate them like that.  Very good. 

It was an old place and just exactly as you’d probably imagine an old English pub in a tiny village half way between Lands End and London.  Just about everyone else there was local.  Across from us was a table with 6 women probably all in their 70s or 80s, chatting up a storm.  They were very friendly with us, asked us where we were from, were very sypathetic when they found out we were from New Mexico ( re. that flu they’ve been hearing about so I’m sure they thought we were having it in NM because of the news about Mexico).  At one point I snapped a picture of Charlie eating his Sunday roast and they all thought it was amusing that I wanted a picture.  As they were leaving one woman in the group stopped by our table and told us that in Yorkshire you always eat the Yorkshire pudding (with gravy) BEFORE the meal.  She said that is to fill you up so you don’t eat as much of the expensive meat that comes later.  (We weren’t in Yorkshire so I think it’s ok that we ate the Yorkshire pudding along with our meat.)  I asked her if she came for the roast often and she said she tried to come frequently.

The woman behind the carving table who carved the roast for us was fun, too.  We asked her if we were supposed to help ourselves to the veges, etc. and she said, with a smile, “if you don’t get enough to eat, you have only yourself to blame”.  Practically everyone there chatted with us.  We said how lucky we felt we were to have found this place just off the highway and two different people said “this is one of the best roasts you’ll find”.  Later on, the carving woman was taking a break and sitting with some people at a table near ours and I heard her say “I don’t mind cooking at home, but a ‘please’, and ‘thank you’, and ‘that was lovely’ makes all the difference.  I don’t get any of that at home.”  (Those were her exact words, I wrote them down.)  Charlie and I surmised from that that she was also the cook.  We had some tea at the end.  Some of the best tea I’ve had on this trip.  The whole thing cost us £15 pounds (for both of us).  I.e., about $10 apiece, including the tea.

When I was growing up, my mom often made (delicious) roast beef for Sunday dinner (lunch).  Dad grew the beef  and mom cooked it.  I wonder if that tradition came via their UK heritage.  I also, as a young girl, I remember drinking tea with milk and sugar and loving it.  Must be the Brit in me.

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3 Responses to “Sunday Roast”

  1. Bob Says:

    It sounds like you’re having a great time! I’m jealous.

  2. Berniece Says:

    ‘Nette, our ‘Sunday noon meal’ with roast, potatoes, carrots, roast gravy and ‘old hot rolls’ (Remember telling your Aunt Theressa that I couldn’t make biscuits, all I could make were ‘old hot rolls?) was almost a ‘tradition’. Not because of our UK heritage but because we had the home grown beef roasts and I could leave them cooking while we were in church services. Lunch was almost ready by the time we returned.

    Today when I cook a beef roast I say it “smells like Sunday”!

  3. Berniece Says:

    P.S. Did you not tell the people that MEXICO and NEW MEXICO were not the same?

    As yet, the national news doesn’t report any cases of the flu in NEW Mexico.

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