Food & Drink Thursday, May 11th Words by: Adam Knight, pictures by: A Rule of Tum

Sunday Roasts are just not as good as you think they are (but this one is)

Food & Drink Thursday, May 11th

Sunday Roasts are just not as good as you think they are (but this one is)

I have a confession. After 29 years on this Earth I finally feel comfortable enough to admit it – I just don’t get what the big deal is about roast dinners.

I get that it’s sacrilegious to question the primacy of the Nation’s Official Favourite Dish. But that’s kind of the point. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m not sporting a stomach-churning hangover, I enjoy everything else about the Sunday Dinner Experience. You catch up with those you love, you take your time over a meal, and no-one bats an eyelid if you polish off a half-bottle of red at three in the afternoon.  

But when it comes to the food, it is categorically not worth the hype.


Strip away the cultural significance of the meal and it’s ostensibly a mountain of unseasoned meat and vegetables which requires gravy to make it all vaguely palatable – and yet that doesn’t stop half of my News Feed filling up every Sunday afternoon with pictures of plates piled high with incinerated beef, perhaps a token carrot, and some limp cabbage floating around in a pool of congealed gravy. If you squint, it's just square after square of beige and brown.

The worst ones are invariably captioned “NOM” or "omg".

I’m not saying Your Mum’s Roast is bad. I'm not. I’m just saying that it’s a simple, simply-cooked meal that in no way warrants this hero worship we give it. Deep down you must know this.

That is, unless of course Your Mum is whoever cooks the roast dinners at A Rule Of Tum’s The Bookshop.




You can take what I said about home-cooked roasts, and basically double it when it comes to my opinion on the re-heated, over-priced and tinged-with-sadness concept of the Pub Roast.

But comparing The Bookshop’s Sunday Roast to whatever cement-mixer gravy they churn out at your local is like saying Kendrick Lamar and Honey G basiscally do the same thing.

Check out the Bookshop menu:


They have a pig’s cheek croquette. I have absolutely no idea what that is but I want both that pig’s cheeks in my mouth right now. They smoke their cauliflower cheese, confit their shallots and have four types of cabbage.

It’s artful, and yet ruggedly local, and rich enough to put you to sleep in two hours or less. And it deserves some love.

Which is why, flying in the face of my long-held distain of all things Sunday Dinnery, I’m calling on all you Herefordians to treat yourselves this weekend and head to the Bookshop. And then - most importantly - to vote for The Bookshop for the Observer FoodMonthly Sunday Lunch of the Year.

Their beef and their veggies, much like their chefs and owners, were grown in the Herefordshire mud. There is a food revolution of sorts going on around these parts, and it’s time someone got a little national recognition for it.

So, click here, enter 'The Bookshop' in to the Sunday Lunch category, and this Spring vote for something that won’t leave you feeling a bit queasy after.

(please direct all hate mail to



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