Derby Road, Canning Circus
Rainy, cold and grey, it all proved perfect timing to go for a hearty Sunday lunch. The Ropewalk’s trendy lights beckoned us inside to an already animated, easy student atmosphere. The broad menu offered a number of snacks and other meals in addition to a selection of beef, lamb or chicken roasts, as well as a nut roast for the vegetarians. We were disappointed to note on the menu a lack of stuffing and cranberry sauce, but this was made up for by the promise of roast AND mashed potatoes.
The food arrived promptly. We all marvelled at the generous portion of chicken and the taste of the lamb alongside a variety of traditional accompaniments. Unfortunately, the nut roast had run out so a vegetable pie was served – without previous consultation – instead. All plates finished, we sat back comfortably to reflect upon the outside rain and Sunday papers. In an effort to delay the walk home (and gorge some more) chocolate brownies with vanilla ice-cream were ordered (no more sticky toffee pudding and the only other option was cheesecake). One of my companions (let down by the lack of toffee pudding) hesitantly raised concern that the brownie might be “too dry”, however we happily discovered otherwise. The brownies arrived in large slab-like portions of warm, rich, chocolatey, melting-gooeyness much to the relief and satisfaction of all. Despite getting completely soaked on the walk home, our stomachs were content and we most definitely will be eating ‘light’ (if at all!) tonight. A great, comfortable atmosphere for eating with friends, but unfortunately the roast just doesn’t quite cut it in comparison to your mum’s.
Sir John Borlase Warren
Canning Circus opposite Ropewalk
Styled as a typical English pub with a modern twist – chandeliers alongside dark, wooden tables and comfy, deep leather sofas, the Sir John evokes many a nostalgic memory. Hence what better place to eat a roast? Roast chicken, beef, pork and lamb were all on offer and recommended by the pleasant, welcoming staff. The meals arrived promptly on huge plates, laden with a range of vegetables, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and a good portion of meat. Hit the spot perfectly. For dessert, a wealth of traditional puddings greets the eye – apple and blackberry crumble, carrot cake with lemon frosting, jam pudding, steamed lemon sponge, sticky toffee pudding and chocolate torte to name a few! All served with a choice of custard, cream or vanilla ice-cream. The generous serving of carrot cake was moist and perfectly flavoured, likewise the steamed lemon pudding. The creamy vanilla pod ice-cream topped it all! Needless to say, we definitely will be going back. The older atmosphere reflected in the more traditional menu complementary for a Sunday roast at the Sir John proved spot on, whereas the Ropewalk would perhaps be a more appropriate mid-week venue.
If you are looking for a wholesome, plentiful and – most importantly to students – cheap Sunday lunch then Scruffy’s is the answer for you. Conveniently situated at the top of Derby Road it is just a short ride away from campus and only few minutes walk for second and third years. For the typical Sunday lunch a variety of different options are available, from the standard roast chicken to beef or pork. If the traditional roast doesn’t tickle your fancy then there is a wide array of other options available, such as a steak sandwich. There is something for everyone on the menu and you won’t be short of a selection. Be sure not to eat before as the portions are quite large and an extra side plate is needed for all of the extras that accompany the roast! The restaurant is very casual and has an intimate, warm atmosphere. The service is friendly but be prepared to wait for your food. If you are in a rush, then it’s maybe best to leave Scruffy’s for another time, but if you have a free afternoon and don’t mind a lazy day chilling over a long lunch then Scruffy’s is the perfect choice.