This weekend was the sort of weekend you don’t want to be lying in bed watching films & snoozing. Sunday was the sort of day you woke to the sunlight streaming through your curtains & the birds chirping away. And to me that’s not the sort of day you should be wasting.
It’s very rare that I get a Sunday free, so on the uncommon occasion I do, and hangover free, I don’t want to waste it. And this Sunday the only thing I was craving was a good Roast Dinner. Throw in the sun & living in a beautiful part of England means I am spoilt for choice when it comes to beer gardens & yummy traditional roast dinners.
The boy & I took a meander up to The Sportsman, Goddards Green. However we very quickly realised that, although it was a beautiful day, the wind was quite bitter & eating in a garden would only be enjoyable if you wore a hat, scarf & gloves. Another downside was that I am not the only one who thinks eating a roast on a beautiful day would be a good idea and inside The Sportsman, and many pubs in the surrounding area we’re fully booked.
By this point we had met up with another couple & we were all starving, despairing at the thought of having to wait over half an hour for a table & even more for food we decided to make a journey to Pyecombe, fingers crossed that we could find some food there.
Nestled on the foot of the downs, and just off the A23 you have Pyecombe, a small village with beautiful views & a stone’s throw away from the hustle & bustle of Brighton & Hove. Here lies a traditional country pub with a great reputation.
I am always nervous when I leave my comfort zone & go somewhere that I have never been before, but I was glad that my usual haunts were fully booked, forcing us to try this little pub.
Set off the South Downs Way, The Plough is the only restaurant in the little village of Pyecombe. It has parking out the front & it very easy to access from either way that you’re travelling from.
A sign on the door says ‘please remove muddy boots’ showing this is a popular dwelling for ramblers, and who can blame them – it’s in a perfect setting, roughly halfway between Ditchling Beacon & the Dyke.
When you first enter, you enter into the bar side which is immediately on your right, with seating all around it. The restaurant is straight on, rather small, but in a warm conservatory which you can see out into the terraced beer garden.
The décor is wooden & fresh, lots of light which is great because sometimes you can feel you’re in a dingy ol’ pub, regardless of the way it looks if there is barely any light.
There is a huge beer garden, terraced and in the summer they do BBQ’s. It was too windy to eat out there however I’ve been out in the garden before and it’s wonderful. It has stunning views of the surrounding countryside, the only downside is the A23 is close by so you can hear traffic but unless you really want to be picky, that doesn’t affect the loveliness of sitting in a beautiful garden surrounded by stunning scenery.
The menu is huge, mainly Italian and all the food of the other customers around us smelled & looked wonderful, making us doubt the decision to have roast.
However, three out of four of us stuck with ordering roast dinner & boy was that a good idea.
Out came the roast, I opted for Beef. The presentation the second it was front of me was wonderful. I am somebody who really thinks good presentation is a key factor in a great meal. Don’t get me wrong, I make a mean Turkey Dinosaurs, waffles & beans but it doesn’t look that great on the plate!
The portion size wasn’t huge, great for the fact I’m on a diet – bad for my stomach who just never wants to stop eating. But it did mean you could if you fancied squeeze one of their stunning looking puddings in and not walk away feeling like you had eaten a house.
Now I love roasts, really I do. And I love nothing more than a good Yorkshire pudding, preferably not burnt. This roast came with the Yorkshire on top, beef, potatoes & vegetables underneath. On the top of the Yorkshire were crispy little things that I have never had before, on investigation these were parsnip crisps, not overly bad on the calorie front when checked, and divine when dipped in my gravy.
The beef was lovely and tender, not over cooked, maybe could have been a little rarer if I was going to pick holes but it certainly left my tummy with a great big smile. The potatoes & spring vegetables were perfect, not too much & not too little. Also, and this is a big point for me. I haaaaate hate HATE too much gravy, even to the point I would rather pour my own as it could ruin the food, and I really don’t like gravy on my Yorkshires. They had the perfect amount on everything bar the Yorkshires which were gravy free. Perfect!
The roast really was amazing & I would highly recommend anybody who is craving a roast that doesn’t involve cooking and washing up, get yourself to The Plough. The service was brilliant, they were all friendly and helpful and full of smiles, which on a busy Sunday is often a rarity in customer services. It was really reasonable, £10.25 a head which truly is a bargain for what you get.
I can’t wait to go back and give myself a huge food baby while working through the menu. It would be a great place to come for a special occasion, couples, families, anybody really. Some places you feel uncomfortable going in if you’re not a local, not The Plough though. It truly was a lovely afternoon & like I said, I can’t wait to get back!