Review – Sussex Yeoman
Winter is here and if you’re anything like me, this now means that Sundays can be spent guilt free in a warm pub, devouring a roast dinner. Battling my way up the steep Guildford Road, arriving at the Sussex Yeoman felt like some kind of reward for my efforts and stepping inside into the steamy, warm atmosphere was a Sunday dream come true.
The Sussex Yeoman has been serving home cooked roasts for years and there are only a few other Brighton and Hove pubs that sit alongside the Yeoman in the much respected roasting category of ‘the best’.
Booking ahead is very much advised as the pub gets very, very busy every Sunday. Spread out across a multitude of hardwood tables were couples, families, large groups of friends and those nursing sore heads from the night before. Opting for a large glass of pinot noir (£5.75), we propped at the bustling bar whilst we waited for our table, a perfect chance to read the menu.
Not only does the Yeoman offer roast delights on a Sunday, you can also create a more gastro-pub/restaurant experience and order from a selection of starters and lunches. With a tempting collection that includes lemon sole tempura, Sussex mutton goujons and whole grilled local plaice with lemon, garlic and thyme dressing, the Yeoman offers something for everyone.
At the time of visiting we were right in the middle of game season, so alongside the usual meat fare of Sussex leg of lamb, Sussex topside of beef, slow roasted shoulder of pork or free range local chicken, there was also wild Sussex venison haunch and roasted pheasant to choose from. Great to see a pub expanding on the traditional repertoire. Vegetarians need not worry as the Yeoman serves a tarragon and mushroom steamed suet pudding plus a lentil, walnut and mint bake, which can also be made vegan upon request.
Feeling slightly flush, I ordered the Trio of Sussex Lamb from the specials board that came with roast leg, pressed shoulder and stuffed breast. Priced at a fairly steep £14.90, I had high hopes and certainly wasn’t disappointed.
Served in a deep plate and adorned with parsnip crisps, my Sunday roast came with a plethora of vegetables including broccoli, red cabbage, crunchy carrots, buttery mashed swede, seasonal greens plus roast potatoes and a wonderfully crunchy Yorkshire pudding.
The trio of lamb was scattered around the plate, hidden in nooks and crannies of vegetables and potatoes. All cuts were beautifully cooked and I loved the subtle difference between each one, particularly relishing the sublime fattiness from the pressed shoulder. Coupled with hot and fluffy roast potatoes plus the array of fresh vegetables, the roast dinner was topped off by a wonderfully rich, dark and silky gravy.
The Sussex Yeoman is a fantastic Sunday treat. Next time I’ll certainly leave enough time for another glass of red wine and one of their glorious puddings. A gem of a Brighton pub and well worth the climb up the for, I urge you to make a booking as soon as possible.
Originally printed in the Brighton and Hove Independent Newspaper 6/12/13
Words and photograph by Claire Beveridge