Last week in A Cotswold Sunday Lunch I wrote about my disappointment at the Sunday Lunch offerings in the Cotswold pubs along the A40. This week I feel the need to redress the balance.
My need to make frequent visits to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford continues, so again we had the prospect of a Sunday lunch on route. This week we decided that we would give the Burford Lodge a try.
As far as location goes it couldn’t suit us better, being very conveniently A40-adjacent in, as the name would suggest, Burford. Having learnt our lesson from last week we weren’t going to rely purely on the internet to make our choice. This time we checked the place out in person earlier in the week and had seen the menu: a choice of 3 roasts plus a veggie option if you are so inclined as well as a couple of alternative dishes. Sunday roast is £9.95 – £4 cheaper than last week’s turned out to be.
We had seen from our brief visit that it was very nice inside – loaded with typical Cotswold charm – although it doesn’t fit my fussy description of a good pub as it doesn’t really provide a comfortable environment for you just to go and have a drink; it is very much geared around food. However, the layout is in a very informal pub restaurant style, so nothing too pretentious.
Things didn’t get off to a very good start though when I discovered the main reason why it doesn’t fit my description of a good pub: there’s no beer. The drinks choice was, in fact, shockingly poor, with the choice of just that travesty of the brewer’s art, John Smiths Smooth, and one lager. They did have bottles, but the only thing approaching a proper beer was Theakstons Old Peculier, which was a bit dark and strong for the occasion, but I went with it any way. It arrived so cold my teeth froze.
Clearly then the Burford Lodge does not take drinking seriously. Fair enough I suppose, it is really a hotel restaurant rather than a pub and anyway, I was driving. I didn’t let this stop me from whinging though.
My whinging quickly stopped, however, when the lunch arrived: this is what a Sunday lunch should look like. We had all selected roast lamb and there was lots of it, heaped on the plate surrounded by plentiful quantities of roast spuds, cauliflower cheese and a good variety of veg. And to top it all off, a huge Yorkshire pudding with just the right texture combination of fluffy and chewy: you get a Yorkshire pud whatever roast you order, not just the beef.
The lunch was superb; I can’t sing its praises loudly enough. And by the time it arrived my Old Peculier had even warmed up to a drinkable temperature, so everything was good. If we’d wanted it there was also an excellent selection of proper puddings, including banoffee pie, but we declined.
So there you have it, you can get a decent Sunday lunch on the A40. If only you could combine the Burford Lodge food with the Frogmill’s beer you’d have a winner.