Do you have a favourite local pub? My husband and I aren't really drinkers and when we go out for meals it tends to be after work in central London, or when we are away visiting family or friends, rather than anywhere around where we live. But a few weeks ago I really fancied a Sunday roast. We were visiting my brother-in-law and his family but they had to be somewhere at midday, so I suggested to my mother-in-law, who was also with us, that we go for lunch afterwards.
We only decided this at the last minute and I don't know any pubs in the area where we were going to be - around Caterham and Kenley, so resorted to Google Maps to see what was nearby, then went to the establishments' websites and read some reviews. Perhaps not the way most people decide on a pub for Sunday lunch, but it worked for me!
I chose the Fox which described itself as a "country pub oozing rural charm and rustic behaviour" with "hearty, seasonal pub food". It's part of the Vintage Inns chain but it didn't feel like a chain pub at all, with its own unique character and a menu that didn't look mass-produced.
The restaurant area where we sat had wooden tables and chairs, while I could see armchairs elsewhere in the pub. A few people were sitting in the pub garden but it was too cold in my opinion - but as the restaurant started to fill up with people who had reserved tables, I wondered if the ones outside were there because there was no room indoors!
I couldn't decide which roast to have and decided to be a bit of a pig and have all of them! The Fox does a platter where you get beef, turkey and lamb for £11.95 - not a huge amount of each of course so it is a fairly big meal but quite manageable for one person (I would have liked more roast potatoes, but I'm a bit obsessed with roast potatoes). The Yorkshire pudding was nice, though the menu stated it came with a jug of gravy, and the gravy was already poured on - it looks like a lot in this photo but
My husband had a burger (£9.95 with an extra £1 for cheese), because that's what he generally orders when we go out, and said it was really nice, while his mum had the baked camembert from the starter menu - it's designed to be shared as a starter, so made a reasonably-sized main course, though at £10.75 I thought it seemed a bit pricey for bread and cheese (even if the cheese was topped with cider-soaked raisins). She'd said she was saving room for dessert and though I was supposed to be following Sugar-Free September, I have to admit that I cracked!
My mother-in-law ordered the bakewell slice (£6.75) which was absolutely huge - we all ended up trying a bit and even though I don't normally eat bakewell tarts I thought this was very good. My husband had the Belgian chocolate brownie (£4.75) - he is very predictable - and I was torn between a few things.
I plumped for the Bramley apple pie (£4.75) - I love apple pie but never make it at home as my husband doesn't like apple, but I think I might just make one anyway and see if I can persuade him! It was extremely good, and overall we were very happy with our meal and will definitely be going back.