Sunday lunch is one of the meals I least like to cook. There are so many different elements that all have to be ready at the same time. I inevitably end up with overcooked something, undercooked something else, burnt something, squishy something and not enough gravy.
Thus even though Sunday lunch isn’t a particular favourite with me, I have come to enjoy the peaceful ease of letting someone else have all the stress of cooking.
Last weekend we headed deeper into Hampshire to the attractively-situated Anchor Inn. The main part of the pub has insanely low beamed ceilings; even my 5′ 5″ proved too tall to stand comfortablyÂ under some sections. The dining area was a more regular height though, and was pleasingly decorated with mismatched chairs, wooden tables and an assortment of candlesticks.
1. Do they have lamb?
They did! I didn’t have it, but it was there, along with stuffed leg of chicken, beef and pork.
2. Does the pork come with crackling and apple sauce?
It came with a reasonable serving of a not-too-sweet apple sauce, and some very salty crisp crackling.
3. Do they give you Yorkshire pudding even if you donâ€™t have beef? If yes, is it home-made?
No Yorkshire for me, but H got two little ones with his beef and we arranged a crackling for pudding trade. It was a light, crisp pudding that tasted home-made to me.
4. What veg does it come with? Are they frozen?
Real carrotty tasting carrots with a home-grown colour, some bright green cabbage and some slightly disappointing cauliflower cheese. I don’t doubt that it was made on the premises, but it tasted like it might have been made earlier and reheated, as the cheese was quite gluey. At least they had cauliflower cheese though, which is a favourite of mine.
5. What are the roast potatoes like?
3 large potatoes each and they were very crisp, but it wasn’t a fatty crispness. It was more of a dry crispness, that made them taste like they had been sitting in an oven for a while, even though we were an early sitting. Mysterious. They were cooked perfectly well.
6. Is the meat sliced really thinly, and/or does it seem not to have been carved from a joint?
Medium-thick slices and both my pork and H’s beef tasted great.
7. Letâ€™s talk about gravy. Thoughts?
Lots of gravy, which lasted through the whole plate.
8. What about puddings?
I had eschewed a starter (sneaking a bit of H’s very delicious crab) to save myself for dessert. Although the chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice-cream called to me, I went for baked strawberry cheesecake with Eton mess. The cheesecake was creamy and rich, and the side of Eton mess was very pleasant with a fruity strawberry sauce.
9. Any comments on drinks?
H had a squat wine glass of Malbec and I had a really enjoyable apple and blackcurrant juice, which was a well-balanced blend of sweet and tart.
Very family friendly, with a middle class vibe.
I forgot to note this, but it was around Â£20 for 2 courses.
12. Any freebies?
We were asked if we wanted bread, which I guess would have been free, but we didn’t want to get too full. Tap water, I suppose!
13. Worth returning?
I’d be intrigued to try a non-Sunday meal, so I wouldn’t rule out a return trip, even if only for another piece of cheesecake.