This year The Townhouse won best Sunday Roast at the Bristol Good Food Awards. I am notoriously picky about my roasts, preferring to make my own or go to my mum for hers. I've only ever had one worth going out for and that was from Bill Butt at The Grapes in Clifton, before the current owners. His 24 hour roast pork with all the trimmings was a proper Sunday treat indeed. I am happy to report that I can add a second venue to my 'worth leaving the house for on a Sunday' list.
Super organised Wuthering Bites had set up our September food blogger meet up at The Townhouse for a Sunday Roast last weekend and we had the whole mezzanine level to ourselves, perfect light for photographing the food, a blogger's primary concern, obviously.
|First to arrive, got my priorities...|
What is great about the roast at The Townhouse is that you can choose from 4 meats, usually most places only offer two choices, so with all bases covered, and with something for the veggies, everyone is likely to be happy. As far as I know the menu changes every so often, so what's on the website is just a sample and likewise the photo of my menu, will get you drooling but don't get too attached.
We were a group of 12 of hungry food bloggers and food enthusiasts I did feel a slight pang of guilt for the pressure we must have added to the staff at the Townhouse but having heard such great things from a few of our group, I had every faith we would be rewarded greatly. After seeing truffled mushrooms on brioche I decided to go for a starter as well as a main. Regular readers will be familiar with me waxing lyrical about mushroom dishes that have sent me to heaven (see here and here for more details) so my starter choice will be of no real surprise.
Rich went for the Lyme Bay scallops with applewood smoked bacon, black and white pudding, English peas and beans with a cider butter sauce. Not everyone in the group went for starters, with hindsight I almost wished I hadn't because the roast was so massive.
|Truffled Mushrooms on Toasted Brioche|
|Truffled Mushrooms, a closer look|
|Lyme Bay Scallops with Applewood Smoked Bacon|
|Scallops with a Cider Butter Sauce|
My starter was a delight, the buttery brioche melted in the mouth with the cream, sage and mushrooms giving off growing flavours with each chew. Personally not quite as good as the breakfast truffled mushrooms on toast at Rosemarino but pretty much there, very delicious indeed, I urge you to order this starter if it's on the menu when you go. Rich's scallops were cooked to perfection and the cider butter cut through the richness of the black and white puddings. We had never had white pudding and it was very tasty indeed, complete revelation to me so will be looking out for it on menus eagerly next time I am out and about.
Roast wise I plumped for the roast belly of Devon rose pork which came with Stornaway black pudding and a rhubarb and ginger sauce. Rich was swayed by the truffled bread sauce and white pudding that accompanied the roast chicken. He adores bread sauce, something which I cannot understand at all, and proclaimed this one to be the best he's ever tasted and was only a bit sad that there wasn't more of it.
|Roast Pork in Full|
|Juicy Flavoursome Rolled Pork Belly|
|Roast Chicken with all the Trimmings|
|How hungry are you now?|
As you can see from the photos they are generous with the portions and I haven't even covered the vegetables yet. Wonderful meat and more importantly for me, being a roast potato nut, these were some of the best I've had. Properly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Check the close up photo below for proof of roast potato nirvana. We got a wonderfully creamy ramekin of cauliflower cheese and some mixed vegetables to share but for a lot of people roasts are all about the Yorkshire pudding. Both Rich and my mum are massive Yorkshire pudding enthusiasts, mum will make a tray of 12 for lunch but her and Rich will have about 5 each leaving one a piece for dad and I, there is no sharing on their watch.
Luckily The Townhouse have solved this conundrum by supplying their roasts with a Yorkshire loaf to share between 4. It is enormous, even Rich could not finish it so I will be interested in how my mum does when we visit there with her. Also very impressed with the service, nothing was too much trouble, even when the table asked for a few extra roasties a couple of small dishes plus crispy bits were brought to us to crunch over, delicious.
|A Crunchy Potato Dream|
|Yorkshire Pudding of Doom|
So there you have it, Bristol's best Sunday roast. One course will cost you £12.50 or you can get two for £16 and 3 for £20, which is a great deal considering the high quality of food on offer. There are some non roast items available on the menu, but after seeing what we were given, are you really going to choose anything else? To have a browse at the menu check out their website, they are also pretty active on Twitter so give them a follow @TownHouseBris.
Coming up on the blog, American diner style food from London, dinner at Noa and a trip to Marshfield Ice Cream farm.