Let’s do lunch: The Boars, Spooner Row
PUBLISHED: 16:31 08 April 2019
Enjoy a good Sunday lunch in a friendly, traditional pub
Sunday lunch always used to be a bit of a thing when I was growing up. Every weekend we had the full deal; roast beef, lamb, pork or chicken, potatoes beautifully crisped in the Aga, plus assorted (seasonal) veg bound together by serious gravy.
When we set up our own home a combination of idleness and unsocial hours meant we never established our own tradition and nowadays if we do have a proper Sunday lunch it means that someone else has cooked it.
And so one damp weekend we decided to let the kitchen at the Boars in Spooner Row, near Wymondham, take the strain. People have generally made approving noises about the Boars, which is always reassuring.
We added a little extra test to the mix by booking for 4pm, so neither lunch nor dinner in terms of timing. Would the kitchen be flagging? Would the veg be sagging?
It all started well with a charmingly warm greeting. The room was still busy with diners making their leisurely way through lunch. Mrs C had been set on a nut roast but when the menu appeared took a sharp left turn and ordered a halloumi burger. I havered between pork and chicken, before delegating the choice to our server, who went for the Dingley Dell pork.
It was a good decision. The pork was sweet and tender, not at all dry; the vegetables were firm and fresh – the broccoli and cauliflower gratin was especially fine. The potatoes, so often the Achilles heel for roast lunches, were as crisp as a new tenner (though clearly not quite as good as my mum’s).
The gravy was up to the task of bringing it together and the spiced apple sauce was a revelation. It could all have been a little hotter, perhaps, but it didn’t stay long enough on the plate to actually get cold.
Herself’s halloumi burger was declared “wonderful”. Escorted by harissa mayo, good salady bits and crispy chips it was apparently as good as it gets, though there was some eye-rolling at the presentation on a wooden board.
Puds at the Boars are kept simple; the tarte tatin spoke to me, the crème brûlée to madam. They spoke clearly of good things; the brûlée – and I quote – was “the best I’ve ever had.”
The tarte was good and sticky, possibly stickier that it needed to be, but that’s not necessarily a fail unless you have a loose tooth.
The Boars doesn’t try and be something it isn’t. It’s a warm, welcoming traditional joint with a menu that doesn’t write cheques the kitchen can’t cash and majors on doing the simple thing well.
Our bill, including drinks, came to £49. Our review visits are unannounced and we pay for our meals.