You can never go wrong with a good roast dinner . . . even if it is a heatwave outside. Although on the day I visited The Huntsman Carvery in Dunchurch, just over the Northamptonshire border into Warwickshire, storms were approaching.
It may have been mid-week, but the place was heaving and people were queueing outside before the doors opened. Testament to the good food on offer or the fact it’s great value for money? There was only one way to find out and my friend, Debbie, and I did just that.
The place is large, yet full of little corners and we were shown straightaway to a window table overlooking pretty Dunchurch’s main street. The decor looks rather dated with dark wood and reds dominant and gives the place a nostalgic feel; as though you’d stepped right back into the 1970s. Retro without trying to be.
Having said that, it is cosy and one imagines it would be a welcome retreat, particularly in wintertime. The windowsills are lined with the kind of ornaments you would expect to find in your granny’s house, also circa 1970, like a large brown pottery shire horse I nearly knocked off the ledge on my trip up to the carvery with an accidental swing of my handbag. I was most relieved I managed to catch it in time.
Three courses, including the carvery main, at The Huntsman cost £23.95 per head, but we decided to choose the £18.95 per head for two courses menu instead, opting for a dessert instead of starters.
Starter options included gluten-free and vegetarian choices and ranged from Huntsman pie to prawn salad.
With soft drinks ordered, we headed up at our signalled time to the large and impressive carvery, where a small queue had already formed . . . although there was a bit of confusion about which way around the large pillar you should actually be standing in line.
You can go back as many times as you like for more platefuls of the traditional roast beef, turkey and pork with Yorkshire puddings, creamed potatoes, oven roasted spuds, vegetables and home-made gravy, but after ploughing our way through our incredibly generous portions, we were both incredulous anyone could even think about going back for more.
There is a note on The Huntsman’s website which says you can go back for more and they’ll even give you a doggy bag to take home any leftovers with you, providing it’s not after your second or third plateful, which is fair enough. If, however, you have managed to eat plenty and still want a doggy bag after a second or third plateful, they may offer you that for a discretionary £5.
The meal was lovely and filling; the perfect roast dinner without the hassle of cooking it all yourself. Rich words from someone who’s never had the misfortune of having to stand over a sweltering oven to cook a Sunday roast dinner in her 40-something years, not being blessed with the greatest of cookery skills.
Desserts of ice-cream were, ironically, lovely and cooling afterwards and the perfect end to our roast dinner in this rare heatwave we’ve been enjoying.
We rounded off our pleasant evening of chatter and catching up with a pot of tea before heading back out into the heat.
You can never beat a good roast dinner though, whatever the weather, and The Huntsman delivers just that.
Judging from the packed tables, we obviously weren’t the only people who thought the same.
VALUE: Excellent FOOD Tasty
SERVICE Attentive and friendly
DISABLED ACCESS Yes
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £40
Ruth’s star rating: 7/10
20 The Square, Dunchurch, near Rugby
Postcode CV22 6NU
Telephone: 01788 811748