We are never usually short on offers in our house when it comes to an invitation for Sunday lunch.
Usually if we play our cards right, come the weekend either my parents or my in-laws will conveniently have bought in an extra large chicken or discovered a joint that needs using in the freezer. Win.
On occasion my best friend’s mum and even her sister have made the mistake of asking us (all four of us) if we would like to ‘stay for tea’ and we’ve wasted no time in sitting down at the table.
So on the rare Sunday’s we get left to fend for ourselves and the conversation turns to dinner, eight times out of 10 we’ll settle on eating out. It’s then a new dilemma, where to go...
I’m a bit of a stickler for a Sunday dinner and when your dad and mother in-law usually put on a decent battle of the British roast between them, there isn’t much room for another candidate in the gravy boat.
We’ve tried and tested a lot of places on a Sunday, I can honestly say I’d rate staying at home (just not my home) the preferred option until another of our dear family members introduced us to a little gem of a place Ashton and Lea Golf Club.
A few times a year Mark’s nan used to rally the family up, tie us to a date and treat us all to a meal; without fail her first choice was always a Chinese banquet until she made a mid-week visit one time to the golf club.
It would become her new favourite (in between the Chinese) and once, maybe twice, a year a new family tradition; each time the table number growing as the new additions arrived.
There have been another five members to the brood since that last meal we shared there with her. So on a recent Sunday, with no invite to lunch, and talking about how much we wished the kids had had the chance to know nan, we called up and booked a table for that afternoon.
We armoured ourselves with everything parents need to get young children through a simple meal, on this occasion it was a hot wheels collection a Barbie and then our back-up plan we invited the grandparents.
As my four and three year olds charged through the bar lounge and started running rings around the dance floor, the staff could not have been friendlier and more accommodating to my slightly feral children.
After a few words about how we behave in public, and a bribe of pudding, we enjoyed a drink over the tempting Sunday set menu, which offers a two or three course option.
Usually I find set-menus to be of a very similar pattern and can tick off my choices in mere seconds. The appeal of the starters alone meant I was left bribing Mark to go for one of my choices and nearly ordering an extra ‘for the kids to share’...
I’m glad I didn’t, although it resulted in having to share my delicious chicken pate, terrine and homemade chutney with Georgia, who also polished off the toasted ciabatta after her own bowl of soup. The extra bread for the table was cleared up too.
For the main I was caught between the pork loin and seasonal vegetables and the traditional roast beef dinner with Yorkshire pudding. I went with the pork loin and ordered the Sunday lunch for the children with gammon.
My thought process being I was in for a free Yorkshire because my daughter doesn’t like them. I don’t know where she came from.
I have never known my children down their greens so quick and be so eager for seconds. We were served up green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, beautifully steamed with a bit of crunch. On occasion we have been treated to the cabbage here too and that is delightful.
My pork was lovely and tender and served on a rich base of creamy mash potato with black pudding.
I’ll be honest I’m not the biggest fan of black pudding but the flavours were fantastic.
Mark chose the lamb and it looked exquisite.
I think it may have even rivalled his mum’s infamous lamb henry dinner.
We had little room for pudding even though we wanted to try but having promised the kids a treat, the staff kindly offered us a last slice of chocolate fudge cake they had.
The restaurant at the Clubhouse is a hidden gem; particularly for its Sunday lunches but I hear the afternoon teas may be well worth it too. Oh and all at a great price too...