Sunday Lunch at Ryton Country House

I am not really a fan of the traditional Sunday dinner (awaits gasps and cries of 'Whaaaaatt?!'). I know loads of people love it but not me - I find that on a Sunday lunch, food on the plate tends to touch other foods also on the plate much more than in normal meals, and, depending on what the food is, I really don't like that (yes, I am THAT weirdo). So usually, I go to my mam's for lunch on a Sunday, since she's well practised in my quirky food-touching ways, but occasionally, we'll go out for Sunday lunch. Today we went Ryton Country House which is located in the pretty village of Ryton (errr..obviously), about 7 miles outside of Newcastle. It's also five minutes from where I live. Since we live so close, we've visited Ryton Country House loads of times over the years, in fact, one of my closest friends held her wedding reception there, so I'm very familiar with it, although before today I hadn't eaten there for a couple of years.

We ate in the hotel's Willows bar, and since I hadn't been for a while and wasn't familiar with the menu, I was hoping there'd be other options besides the traditional roast beef/pork/chicken, but since there wasn't (on Sundays, the bar only serve...errmm... Sunday lunches), I chose chicken. I went for a smaller portion but there was still quite a lot on the plate, the chicken artfully arranged with bacon on top of my mashed potato (yes, the food was touching, but as I mentioned, some foods can touch. Chicken in gravy and potato? Ok. Sausage and baked beans? I tolerate it, but I'm not happy. Turnip and...anything? No. Just no.) Also, the veg came on a totally separate small side plate (including turnip) which pleased me.

Overall I enjoyed my food - the chicken was tender and the mash was creamy if a bit salty for me. The portion was just the right size for me to also fit in a dessert. The bar was also fairly quiet despite being a Sunday lunchtime (although it started to fill up when we were leaving). There isn't table service in the bar area - you go up and order your own food and they bring it over - but the staff who brought us our food were all pleasant and polite, checking in during our meal to make sure we were ok.

I did order a dessert, in the interests of writing a balanced review, obvs. I went for the jam roly poly, and the Husband ordered the butterscotch pudding. When the puddings arrived the Husband's looked perfectly arty and inviting whilst mine looked like there'd been a terrible accident in the jam and custard factory. But, what really matters is how it tasted, and it was very nice - stodgy and sweet with homemade custard. Not quite back-in-the-day school dinner standard, but nice all the same! I was also begrudgingly allowed a miniscule taste of the Husband's butterscotch pudding and, from the meagre quarter-spoonful I was given, can report it was also yummy.

Guess which was mine?!
 The Willows bar was relaunched earlier this year and I'd be keen to go back and try some other dishes on the menu as I have heard good things. (Plus there's at least five more options on the dessert menu that I need to report back on). Oh, Ryton Country House have also started offering afternoon tea so I'll definitely be giving that a whirl soon.

Where's your North East pick for Sunday lunch?


North East Family Fun

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