Sunday Lunch At The Coach At Horsley
In our flock, Sunday means one thing: rooooaaaassssst dinner!! Yet again, His Nibs and I had been grafting over at Mummy Birds’ gaff, so we were absolutely Hank Marvin (starving) by the time it was time to get in the jalopy and head out to The Coach at Horsley.
The car park has plenty of spaces but it’s a bit snug in some of them – luckily, we bagged a relatively spacious one that was close to the entrance (even handier when it’s raining!). We’d booked our table for 4pm; the tail-end of service time for the roasts, which finishes at 5pm. One of the team showed us to our table and got drinks sorted for us from the very well-stocked bar: if you love Gin, you’ll be more than happy with the choice on offer here #justsaying.
As well as the iconic Sunday Roast there is plenty of other choice if that’s not quite what you’re in the mood for. The Man and I both opted for the Sunday lunch with mixed meats (£16), whilst Mummy had the Beef and Chorizo Lasagne (£12.95) with Chips and Salad – you can swap these for Garlic Bread if you prefer.
Whilst we waited for our food to arrive, I took stock of the surroundings. Don’t be fooled by the venues name, the interior definitely has a marine theme to its décor rather than coaching or equine. The first dining area had a brightly decorated ceiling, adorned with twinkling lights, birds and foliage; this style continued in our space, but with fishing nets, fairy lights and garlands of Hops. I couldn’t quite see through into the rear conservatory area, other than to observe the nicely dressed windows and doors. A box frame filled with types of rope knot-work also caught my eye as we’d come through the door; as I said, the marine theme is strong here!
Most of the tables were already occupied or had ‘reserved’ signs on them, so clearly this is a popular venue. Indeed, one family came in ad hoc, hoping for a table, and were sadly turned away – I’d certainly recommend booking ahead on this evidence. The Coach and Horses is child- and dog-friendly throughout, just in case you needed to know.
All three of us gasped at the size of the meals that were set before us – massive is an understatement! Mummy’s Lasagne was in a deep bowl, surrounded by a colourful, Balsamic-dressed mixed Salad and golden chips in a fancy, miniature frying basket. Both The Man Bird’s and my meats were dominating our plates, so plentiful were the number of thick slices. I had plumped for Beef and Lamb, His Nibs had gone for Beef and Gammon; there was certainly more Beef than Gammon on The Man’s plate, but then we had gone in the final hour of lunch service. I fared a bit better as I had equal amounts of both meats; possibly due to Lamb carrying a small surcharge, and therefore not being quite so popular? However, all the meats were ridiculously tender and bursting with flavour, and the Lasagne was just as moreish with a taste that had been zhuzhed up with intense Chorizo.
At The Coach, all roasts come with Cauliflower Cheese, extra Gravy, and Mixed Vegetables, and our lovely server, Jess, enlisted the help of one of her colleagues to ensure that all the accompaniments were brought out together (including the Mint- and Horseradish- sauces that we’d requested).
What can I say about the Cauliflower Cheese? Oh, be still my beating heart! Saliva flooded my mouth in anticipation at the sight of those marvellous strings of molten cheese as they appeared when I drove the serving spoon into the middle of the dish. The taste was just swoon-inducing, rich with tangy Cheddar and perfectly cooked Cauliflower: top marks here, and also for the smooth, creamy Mash. Broccoli florets, Garden Peas and Carrots had all been cooked to preserve a hint of crunch, and they tasted gorgeous, too.
One cornerstone of any self-respecting Sunday roast is the Yorkshire Pudding and, yet again, Chef had smashed it out-of-the-park with his beauties! Thank goodness Mummy Bird was sat next to me to confirm what I’m about to say: these minxes were every bit as good as the ones she used to make…and I don’t say that lightly! The uppermost edge was marvellously crisp; so much so that when I repeatedly tapped them with the edge of my knife, they reduced to fine, rich brown-toned dust. Texture-wise they were light and crunchy at the top, becoming softer and richer in taste as I reached their base – no soggy bottom in sight at all.
The Man Bird and I had both got jugs of extra gravy (piping hot), and you could definitely taste that one was Beef, the other lightly-minted Lamb. I don’t usually go nuts for gravy, but this one was so delicious that I pinched some of Mummy’s chips to dunk into it! No word of a lie, this was up there with the best roast lunches/dinners -not Carvery - we’ve ever had and, when you factor in the cost, I would even venture to put it at the top!
Many folks skip past the humble Lasagne but, when done well, this is one of the tastiest, most comforting and satiating meals you could want. The one at The Coach in Horsley ticks all the boxes, and Mummy Bird even ran her finger around the bowl when she’d finished to get every last scrap (after checking that no-one was watching her!).
As Jess cleared our empty plates, bowls and dishes away, I was sitting on the fence as to whether or not I could manage a pudding. Given how superb the roast had been, I decided that if the puddings were homemade, I would find that extra bit of room in my tummy. Sadly, the homemade treats had sold out (Fruit Crumble, and Jam Sponge), so I skipped a second course, leaving The Man to carry the baton, with his choice of Honeycomb Cheesecake (£5.95).
Credit where it’s due, whoever the maker of this sweet-treat was, they’d done a sterling job of it. The body of the cheesecake was beautifully rich, whilst remining light, and had a superb hint of caramel/honeycomb to its flavour that was picked up by the decoration of chocolate-covered pieces of honeycomb on the top. A drizzle of sweet, super-sticky sauce completed this dessert, and what a moreish treat it was, too.
To book your table ring 01332 988064 or visit their Facebook page, The Coach at Horsley, for menu details. Opening hours are: Monday 4-10pm, Tue-Weds 12.30-10pm, Thurs-Fri 12.30-11pm, and Sunday 12-11pm; food is served everyday until 8.30pm, with the exception of Sunday, which is until 5pm.
Hot Wings very happily awarded to this great village venue; we’re planning our return visit already!
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