A Sunday wouldn’t quite feel like a Sunday without a traditional roast at a local carvery, and in the colder winter months there is nothing nicer than cosying up in a charming village pub with a glass of wine, log fire and a scrumptious roast without the concern of doing the dishes after. The Sunday carvery at The Bell Hotel in Winslow is certainly worth a visit or two as it’s by far the best pub-roast I’ve ever had.
The Bell Hotel is a charming chocolate box Inn of cubby holes, exposed beams and quirky trinkets, with a surprising amount of space to dine, as each turn and doorway suddenly opens onto another delightful room. And up until 1914 the owners brewed their own beer on the premises. With its Tudor exterior and hearty homely welcome, it is the ideal venue to while away those lazy Sunday afternoons and indulge in a fantastic traditional roast with all of the trimmings.
I dined from the Sunday Carvery menu as a vegetarian and started my meal with the leek and potato soup of the day which was served with a baguette. The soup was deliciously thick, smooth and creamy, which teamed with a sprinkle of pepper and dunk of torn baguette instantly transported me back to my childhood in my grandmothers kitchen. All too often leek and potato soup can taste bland and lumpy, but this homemade beauty was absolutely spot-on, with a smooth buttery film, a vivid bright green colour from the leeks and warming thick texture.
After the plates were cleared we were invited up to the carvery where a chef cut the meats, and serving trays presented a selection of vegetables, sauces and sides for you to fill your boots. A carvery is perfect for weekend dining as you can choose how much you want of each, without the fuss of confusing waiting staff over switching ingredients or halving portions. It’s also incredibly good value for money, as being a set price per head I tend to have one large food sitting on a Sunday which keeps me full all day as opposed to the routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the rest of the week.
For my main I had the vegetarian roast which I was able to select and serve myself. I literally piled my plate to toppling point with creamy leeks, roast potatoes, carrots, cabbage, peas, roast parsnips, stuffing balls, a yorkshire pudding and scoop of swede puree. The chef also prepared me a boat of vegetarian gravy and I toddled back to my table with my generous feast.
The hand cut potatoes were divine, light, fluffy and scrumpy which melted in the mouth with the thick and creamy sweet leeks. I’m a sucker for roast parsnips as I love the fibrous texture as they fall apart with each bite, with their deliciously crunchy ends. The peas, carrots and cabbage were not only vibrant and colourful, but fresh, juicy and a wonderful accompaniment to the potatoes and thick glossy onion gravy. And I’ve never seen a Yorkshire pudding so big in all my life, as it dominated my side plate and sat proudly puffed and fluffed up until I nibbled it to pieces. The stuffing balls had a lovely kick of garlic, adding a crunchy, grainy texture to the plate, which when teamed with the puree’d swede was a party for the senses, from taste to texture, colour and smell, it was the most satisfyingly wholesome Sunday roast that I’ve ever had and I’m drooling at the thought of it now.
The Bell Hotel Sunday carvery is open from 12pm-3pm costing £10.99 for one course, £13.99 for two and £17.99 for three. Children eat for around half price and under 3’s are free. The portion sizes are very generous and the ingredients used incredibly fresh, well cooked and perfectly presented with huge joints of meat and welcoming and friendly staff. How many days left until Sunday?
The Bell Hotel Market Square, Winslow, Buckinghamshire MK18 3AB