Sunday Lunch At The Royal Oak In Westwood
I’m not gonna lie, I’m still not back to firing on all cylinders after the Festive period; I mean, who is, really, if you’re being honest?! With that in mind (and the fact that we’ve all had this wretched cough/cold that been doing the rounds – ugh) there wasn’t much enthusiasm in me to cook a Sunday roast dinner for us all, so we bagged a table at The Royal Oak in Westwood. We sometimes do polls on our FB page and when we asked where the best Sunday lunches were, you lovely bunch put this at the top spot!
We’ve visited this venue before with Mummy Bird, but for dinner rather than a Sunday Roast, and it was quite a while ago I’m shamefully admitting. There still isn’t much parking at the venue itself and none at all on the double-yellow-lined adjacent road, but that’s about the only gripe you’ll hear about this much-loved gastro pub. Anyhow we did manage to grab a spot – clearly Lady Luck was smiling down on us! – and headed inside.
As soon as you step through the door there are clear signs indicating that the restaurant is to the left and the bar to the right, which happily clears up any confusion and avoids bottle-necks at the restaurant reception. We were greeted very warmly and shown through to our stunning table, a feature which, if you haven’t been to The Royal Oak before, will grab your attention! I’m not exaggerating when I say that The Royal Oak is home to perhaps the most strikingly beautiful tables and high-back chairs in the ’Shire. The solid wood beauties are inlaid at their centres with rounds of smaller pieces of timber and you can see the marvellous intricacies of their grain thanks to some careful polishing and varnish.
Anyhow, before you all start making comments about my fascination with wood and ticking off a tile on your ‘innuendo bingo’ board, I shall bring your attention to the great selection of draught lagers and wines-by-the-glass on offer here. I had a glass of Rioja (the house red is Tempranillo, which isn’t shabby by anyone’s standard, is it?), The Man had a pint of Madhri, and Fledge had a glass of chilled water with a slice of lemon in.
Like everything else at The Royal Oak, the Sunday Roast menu is clearly set out: the ‘single choice’ costs £11.95, the double is £13.95, and the triple is £15.95; this can be all meat or a combination of meats and the house Nut Roast. Smaller portions for children and/or OAPs cost £7.95. All roasts come with mashed and roast Potatoes, house Yorkshire pudding, Sage and Onion stuffing ball, a bowl of fresh selected Vegetables and a jug of rich pan gravy. There are several options to add-on as well if you fancy; we grabbed some Cauliflower Cheese (£3.50), but there’s also extra Yorkies, Stuffing Balls, Pigs-in-Blankets, more Mash, extra veggies or a bowl of Roasties to tempt you, too!
Our lovely server took our order and it wasn’t long before our meals were being placed carefully in front of us. Having not had anything to eat for a good 4 hours, we all tucked in enthusiastically. All of us had chosen Honey and Mustard Glazed Gammon and this was utterly delicious, with a brilliantly meaty taste and superb depth of flavour that had us all grinning happily. Some folks don’t like Gammon, thinking it’s going to be a bit dry, but let me assure you that the morsel served here was moist, succulent and tender.
His Nibs had also plumped for the slow-braised Lamb Shank (there’s a surcharge of £3 for this) and again this was tender as you like; so much so that it just fell off the bone! I had also gone for the double option, but my second meat was the roast Top Rump of Beef. The beef was lovely and tender and melted on my tongue, but if I’m being totally honest, I’d have liked it to have had a bit more oomph to its flavour; it was a tad too mellow for my personal taste, but there wasn’t anything wrong with it, don’t get me wrong. Portion-wise, you certainly can’t complain; Chef at The Royal Oak in Westwood is certainly a feeder. The star of the show though was definitely the Lamb Shank, getting the gold award for taste and tenderness, and I have to say that it was well worth splashing out the extra £3 for.
Our vegetables (of which we got a pair of good-sized bowls) contained a medley of shredded Savoy Cabbage, Carrot Batons, Garden Peas, trimmed Green Beans, roasted Parsnips and small florets of Broccoli. Without exception, the vegetables were all cooked perfectly to retain a bit of bite and they all had lots of flavour. We’d ordered Cauliflower Cheese as an extra and this came in another ample bowl, its golden Cheesy crust still gently bubbling. The vegetable itself still had a gentle bite to it (nothing worse than soggy Cauli!) and there was a nice amount of mid-thickness Cheese sauce to help ourselves to; I mixed mine in with the ripple topped quenelle of glass-smooth mash on my plate!
The Yorkie was a good-sized beast with a beautiful flavour to it - and no soggy bottom in sight! Nestled in its golden bosom was a perfect sphere of Sage and Onion stuffing and this was surprisingly robust in flavour which pleased me, as another of my bug-bears is insipid stuffing. I know, I’m a fussy bugger; but to my mind, if something doesn’t make its presence known, then why is it on the plate? Anyway, I’d got no complaints here. I should just mention the gravy too, it is totally and utterly banging! Chef clearly deglazes his meat roasting pans and those intense, sticky bits of meat (I call them the ‘meat candy’) had melted into the stock and properly ramped up the flavour profile of the rich, dark gravy. We all larupped lots of it over our plates, not because the meal needed the gravy, but because we all fell in love with its deep flavour.
The team were working slickly and a couple of them had checked we were enjoying our roasts and then another member came to clear away the trio of clean plates and the assorted dishes and bowls that had housed the rest of the scrumminess we’d scoffed. We were asked if we’d like pudding and, although it hadn’t been part of our original plan, we said yes please!
The Man Bird chose the dessert of the week, a rich Chocolate Fondant on this occasion, opting to have it with Custard rather than pouring Cream or Ice Cream. I couldn’t decide between the Winter-Spiced Berry Strudel or the Apple and Sweet Mincemeat Crumble (how good do they both sound?!), but in the end I went for the crumble, again with Custard rather than Cream or Ice Cream. Fledge went for the Royal Oak Triple Choc and Orange Baked Cookie Dough with Clotted Cream Ice Cream.
If you’re a dessert person then you definitely need to scoot down to The Royal Oak, all three of us were raving about our choices! Fledge’s Cookie Dough delight was warm, gooey and chockful of flavour and the Ice Cream had begun to melt and spread over the skillet-contained dough, making indulgent rivers over its top. Our lass isn’t the most loquacious person by any stretch of the imagination (no career as a chat show host looming for her!), so for her to actually speak praise means that this was a dessert of note.
His Nibs was savouring the intensity of the cocoa in his fondant, licking his lips as he cut into the gently crisp outer and popped that first glorious piece into his mouth. So thick was the fondant’s middle that it clung to, and coated, the artfully fanned fresh Strawberry as the fruit sank into it, accidently providing a second dessert: the popular, chocolate coated Strawberry. Chocoholics were going absolutely barmy for this minx because The Man bagged the last one, and it was only 2.30pm! Look out for it on the specials board when you pay The Royal Oak a visit, it’s certainly worth saving space in your tummy for.
I haven’t chucked that many Mince Pies down my gullet as usual, despite having made several batches of them for The Flock over Christmas, which surprised me, as I do love them. I guess I was just too blooming busy with prepping the Christmas food!! Anyhow, my little eyes lit up when the distinctive taste of Mince Meat hit my palate, swiftly followed by Apple’s tartness and its hint of crunch. I was pleased by the ratio of crumble topping to juicy filling; it was neither too wet or too dry, and I got both elements clearly coming through in my mouth as I merrily chomped away. The creamy custard added a beautifully rounded vanilla note to this pudding choice, and I sat back with a contented sigh as the last morsel touched my lips.
From start to finish, we ‘d had a great family meal at The Royal Oak in Westwood and I’m more than happy to award Hot Wings here! To book your table (and given how busy it was, I would definitely recommend reserving rather than chancing it and just walking in) give the team a bell on 01773 602839 or visit the website www.theroyaloakwestwood.co.uk for more details.
The Royal Oak is closed on Mondays but opens Tuesday-Sunday from Noon-11pm. Food is served until 8pm, with the exception of Sunday when it’s served until 5pm.
|Out For Dinner At The Spirit Vaults In Melbourne The town of Melbourne, in South Derbyshire, is a really picturesque place, and it's also where you'll find The Spirit Vaults. Originally built in the 1700's, the building began selling alcohol, named as Read The Article
|Out For Dinner To Celebrate Olive Restaurant's 8th Birthday Fashionably late was taken to a WHOLE new level by this flock! We were supposed to be bringing in the new year with a family meal at Olive Moroccan restaurant in Belper Read The Article
|Dinner At The Recently Opened Lagan Indian Tapas In Nottingham The restaurant formerly known as Paris closed at the back end of 2023, but new owners took over in November and opened as Lagan, an Indian Tapas dining offering. The Man Read The Article
|Sunday Lunch At The Galleon Steakhouse In Chesterfield What with one thing and another, His Nibs and I found ourselves booking a table for two for Sunday Lunch - a very rare occurrence! We've visited the Galleon Steakhouse Read The Article
|Lunch At The Oakfield Farm Shop Restaurant In Stanley Common The early bird gets the worm they say, don't they? Well, this bird was getting the early Christmas worm by getting The Man to take her out for lunch on a cheeky days Read The Article
|Sunday Lunch At The Tickled Trout In Barlow Another Sunday, another jaunt out for a Flock roast lunch! Mind you, it was somewhere fab to see out 2023: The Tickled Trout (TT) in Barlow. The Man Bird and I had recently been here Read The Article
|Breakfast At The Edensor Tea Cottage, Edensor The last day of our short break with friends had arrived and we were all loathe to say farewell. In order to eke out those last few glorious hours together, we'd booked a table for a late, lazy Read The Article
|A Return Visit To The Shalimar Indian Restaurant In Darley Dale After such a rip-roaringly successful visit to Shalimar last year with friends, we decided to do it again as we all convened at Landal Darwin Forest for our get-together. Read The Article
|Back At The Fishpond In Matlock Bath For Their Sunday Carvery I don't know about you, but when I'm away for a short break, the last thing I want to do is cook - especially on Sunday! Our flock was enjoying a long weekend at Landal Darwin Read The Article
|A Pre-Theatre Dinner At Son Of Steak, Nottingham His Nibs and I were off out out to the theatre in Nottingham recently, and decided to make a night of it by going for pre-show dinner - get us being all grown-up!! Now Read The Article