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Top 5 Sunday Roasts in Oxford
Image Credit: Magdalen Arms. Photo: Patricia Niven.

Top 5 Sunday Roasts in Oxford

1 April 2017 | Edd Elliott

Family weekends can hardly be summed up better than a Sunday Roast. It’s one of those perfect childhood synecdoches: the smell of chicken in the oven just beckons gravy followed by pud followed by an afternoon walk – it’s a tangible, edible fact of life. And there’s no better location for this weekly dance than Oxford. The university city is packed with great pubs and restaurants offering roasts. Here are our top five to try any given Sunday.

Magdalen Arms
 
The undisputed prize of Oxford’s Sunday platter is the Magdalen Arms. The Iffley Road inn has been awarded numerous accolades for its gastro cuisine, and its traditional, rustic Sunday roast is the menu’s pinnacle. Every meat is on offer – lamb, beef, pork, venison – and the fish options of bream or hake are not to be sneered at either. Buttered potatoes and roast vegetables complete the ensemble for a hearty, and classy, dining experience. Be warned: The Magdalen Arms is pricey – the Hereford rib of beef goes up to £66 between three (two if you were particularly ravenous). But if you are looking to splash out on a really special meal, this is the Sunday lunch to pick.

Magdalen Arms pub on a sunny day
Magdalen Arms. Photo Credit: Patricia Niven.
 
To see more of the Magdalen Arm’s Sunday roast, see their menu online.
 
The Jericho Tavern
 
The Jericho high street has more than a few fancy pubs lining its curb, but the favourite for many locals is the Jericho Tavern. This modern barroom is all things for all people: a sunny beer garden in summer, an upstairs mini-venue at night, the perfect cubby hole for a quiet whiskey to while away those weekday evenings. On Sunday their modest but homely roast menu is unfurled, delivering a few unassuming classics. Chicken is the highlight of the selection: roasted spatchcocked lemon chicken with gingerbread stuffing can be shared between two for £28. There’s also a really good crop of desserts if you feel like something sweet to see you into the afternoon.
 
All of the Jericho Tavern’s menus are available on their website.
 
Port Mahon
 
Venturing back to East Oxford and St. Clements is home to the Port Mahon. A tall, even imposing building, the Mahon often gets a little overlooked: a trip inside for a weekday pint is usually a rather quiet evening. It’s a shame as this quirky pub is bursting with charm, from its scattergun decorations to its stately furniture. The Sunday roast is the true highlight. They offer a topside of beef, corn-fed chicken, or the truly magnificent slow roast pork and crackling. All mains are served with a goo of cauliflower cheese (the underrated side), veg and homemade Yorkshire puddings. At £9.95 a head this is the best value Sunday lunch you’ll find in Oxford.

Port Mahon roast
Port Mahon's Roast.
 
To find out all you need to know about the Port Mahon, visit their website.
 
The Perch
 
For the Oxford romantic, there is no better stopping spot than The Perch. This 17th century heirloom lies just to the west of Port Meadow and its green dining garden rolls down to the River Thames and the lazy willow trees on its banks. Their Sunday menu isn’t just roasts – there’s a great selection of starters and mains with lots of vegetarian options if you are so inclined. But if you are looking for meat, their rump of beef or shoulder of lamb (with mint relish) will fill you to the core. Eating outside here on a summers day is the height of leisurely bliss, and you can follow up your meal with a stroll along the meadow.
 
The Perch’s Sunday menu is available online.
 
The Trout
 
It’s impossible to mention The Perch without also acknowledging The Trout. This tavern twin – The Trout lies upriver of The Perch and also dates back to the 17th century – is the slightly swankier of the pair, and their cream-coloured feng shui does scream upmarket home counties. The menu is also a few notches plusher: weekday selections are a jazzed-up ensemble of globe-trotting dishes from Thailand to Brittany. Sunday Roast goes a tad more traditional, but there are still a few little touches—lemon & thyme stuffing, honey roasted apple and onion gravy—that suggest the kitchen’s penchant for flair is still beating strong. Eating out on the patio you can overlook the Godstow brooks as the Thames trickles down over the gentle rocks. The Trout also offers a large wine selection if you like your roast with a glass in hand.
 
To find out more about the Trout, see their website.

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