Phil Bartley

Best Roast

Hove Place by Claire Beveridge

Tucked away from the baying Sunday lunch crowd lies Hove Place on First Avenue. Slightly off the beaten track this bistro-cum-pub is full of charm, charisma, class and a cracking roast.

Clad in a light oak with photos of Hove from yesteryear proudly placed in the wall panelling, the Hove Place is your quintessential Sunday hideaway. Booking ahead is advised as interest in their Sunday roasts is phenomenal and quite rightly so.

Offering a Sunday lunch menu that spans three courses, this is an establishment to while away an afternoon in. Starter options include hot smoked salmon rillets, duck liver parfait and wild mushroom risotto with mains spanning meat, fish and vegetarian options. The dessert menu embraces whiskey caramelised bananas and a classic assiette of Britains finest including apple and cinnamon crumble tart, rum bread and butter pudding and vanilla ice cream.

Self confessed carnivores can deliberate between the roast rib of South Downs beef, roast shoulder of Standean farm lamb or slow roast South Downs pork belly whereas vegetarians can enjoy the wholesome sounding cheddar, squash, kale and nut wellington. Not forgetting those who sit on the fence or fancy a lighter meal, the pan fried bass and gurnard with baby fennel sounds exquisitely fresh and palatable.

Being well known for my affection for pork, I decided to go against the grain and ordered the shoulder of lamb. All meat roasts come with dripping potatoes, vegetables, herb Yorkshire pudding and gravy.

Presentation was outstanding and the plate looked incredibly welcoming. Layered vegetables played balancing act to a mountain of shredded lamb shoulder, all finished with a large, fluffy Yorkshire.
The choice of lamb shoulder as opposed to saddle or any other cut allowed for a more intense and flavourful lamb sensation to flow throughout the plate, with the meat itself being sensationally tender and melting. A great showcase of Head Chef Phil Bartleys talent and experience.

The textures and flavours from the expertly cooked vegetables on the plate are what really made this dish a triumph amongst Sunday lunches. Crunchy tenderstem broccoli, sweet chantenay carrots, miniature roasted parsnips, braised red cabbage, creamed leeks and buttery mashed swede swam amongst a silky, rich gravy. Well balanced and another plus point from Phil’s team.

The potatoes were golden and crispy, slathered in the lush gravy, these became saturated nuggets of pure indulgence. Coupled with the gigantic herb speckled Yorkshire pudding, these additional elements completed what I believe to be the best roast dinner in town, bar none.

With just about enough room left for dessert, the dark chocolate and sea salt delice served with caramel and vanilla latte ice cream called my name. Presented marvellously, this carefully balanced concoction of bitter, salt and sweet worked wonders around the palate and was the perfect end to a Sunday lunch.

Book ahead and take friends and loved ones to ‘that little bistro I know’ toward Hove. You will not be disappointed.