Friday, 27 April 2012

Sunday lunch at The Cape of Good Hope

Conveniently located as a compromise venue for meet-ups between residents of OX4 and the rest of the city, The Cape of Good Hope is somewhere I'd choose to quench an alcohol thirst. With a decent wine selection and a range of ales, beers and ciders on tap, it doesn't disappoint. I've also been known to order one of their fish finger sandwiches a few drinks in. But I'd never really thought of going there specifically to eat.

A few weekends ago, a series of unfortunate incidents involving country walks and blisters meant that M, S and I missed the window for Sunday lunch out in the Chilterns. Caught out at that awkward time of 5pm with nothing consumed since breakfast but cake, we returned to the city. Our first port of call, The Black Boy, didn't start serving food again until 6. I was in danger of gnawing at my own arm, so we proceeded to The Cape. And it didn't let us down: Sunday roasts are served all day. Their normal menu changes daily, and features pimped-up pub classics with some locally-sourced ingredients, such as Gloucester Old Spot sausages with crushed pea mash and red wine gravy. On Sundays, they dish up a selection of traditional starters (including potted smoked mackerel and a cured meat platter), roasts and a few mains, among them fish & chips, a West Country beef burger and a fig, goat's cheese, pecan and squash tart.

Nut roast

As a non-meat eater, Sundays are not my favourite day to dine in pubs. Most offer a choice of meaty roasts, but leave vegetarians out in the culinary cold with a couple of salads or goat's cheese and red onion tarts (less inspiring than The Cape's version). I was impressed to see The Cape offered a nut roast with all the trimmings for £9.50. Made from cashews, almonds, peanuts and walnuts with mature cheddar, vegetables and herbs, it was a real treat: densely packed with ingredients, it was a far cry from the dried-up shop-bought versions I've been disappointed by in the past. The herbs really lifted the flavour. The homemade yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetables were also well-prepared: a very satisfying veggie roast all round, especially given the portion size.

Pork. I think it tasted better than it looked.

M tried the Norfolk pork  with crackling (£10.50)and S the  half a Shropshire chicken with thyme and parsley butter (£9.75). Both were served in generous portions and got a big thumbs up, although they both suspected that a vegetarian gravy had been used for all 3 dishes, which they were less keen on. Obviously this didn't bother me, but roast purists may prefer a traditional gravy. They couldn't argue with the good value though.

If you're dining out with vegetarians on a Sunday, give The Cape a go.

Verdict: 7.5 (9 for the veggie option)

The Cape of Good Hope is on the Plain, OX4 1EA.


  1. I've never tried a nut roast before, Kate. But you make it sound enticing. :-)

  2. I agree. I hate generic gravies. But yes, the nut roast sounds yummy. :-) Food Lovers' Kitchen


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