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Spare me your side of despair. Sunday Lunch in Shelford.

The Earl of Chesterfield in Shelford is an odd sort of pub. For a start it doesn’t look like a pub, it looks like a house with bits added. Secondly, it has had an odd couple of years, being a pub then closing then being bought by the village as a community owned asset and then latterly by a partnership that includes the ex England cricketer Chris Board.

It is a fairly popular place – particularly good for dog walking and horse-riding types who can get straight to the door from the surrounding fields and down a quick half before ambling, or trotting, off.

But how is its Sunday Lunch? I wish you hadn’t asked, because I really, really wanted to like this odd little place. I’ll keep it brief.

Service was fine, although there seemed to be too many staff for the number of customers and we were asked perhaps 5 times by different people if wanted a bottle of wine with our meal – even while we examined the wine menu. One poor girl managed to both knock over a glass of wine on the table next to us and then trip and send their glass of coke flying over the floor (felt for her, happens to the best of us, love, and I bet she was only about 16, poor thing).

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Starters were promising. The FWH had, well, fish. In this case, pan-seared red mullet, potato salad and a red pepper dressing. It was good, it looked good and tasted good.

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My starter was the crispy shredded ham with Chilli Mayo and a dressed Cos lettuce (leaf). I am not sure if this was an innovative way of using up the ham, because I am not sure what the dish was really. It looked like the sort of thing I would make to use stuff up. However, that doesn’t matter as it was really very nice indeed (except all that scraping your mayo off the slate thing set my teeth on edge a bit). These really good starters meant I was beginning to get ever so slightly excited that I had found another great place for Sunday lunch.

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The husband went slightly off piste (which might be wise, as it is the “Sunday Roast” that usually lets a place down) and went with a Confit of Duck Leg on a Bed of Five Bean Cassoulet served with a bacon crisp. Said he loved it and polished off the lot. I was slightly more skeptical, if I’m honest.

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The daughter  opted for the Goats Cheese, Tomato and Basil Tart with a Balsamic Reduction, Parmesan and Rocket Salad with New Potatoes. Again, she enjoyed it. But let’s be fair, we are way off the Sunday Lunch here, more a  Tuesday supper.

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The Fishwife’s mother went for the pork, and summarily placed her Yorkshire Pudding on the side plate as she sees no place for a Yorkshire with pork. She’s right of course, but you can take these things to an extreme. The picture is with the offending item removed (the yellow stuff was swede and carrot “glue” I think, to hold the Yorkshire up).

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Alas, I went with the beef. This arrived, with these vegetables.

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Is it any wonder kids don’t learn to love veg when our propensity is to serve them devoid of all seasoning and flavour. They shouldn’t be an afterthought surely? (at least I did request the gravy be in a jug and it was). This is why I haven’t until this year eaten a Sunday Roast in a pub for about 20 years. I think I am punishing myself on this quest and may well abandon it (see previous posts). Still, I did finish off the strategically discarded Yorkshire.

The puddings arrived. The FWD had the strawberry cheesecake and polished it off. I left my white chocolate mousse as it had split. I did mention this to the server. Bit of a “meh” moment there.

Oh well.

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