A good Sunday roast is one that can turn a bad week around and make you almost forget about the upcoming Monday morning (almost).
While nothing will ever beat mum’s homemade roast potatoes and her special gravy, a cosy pub with the family after a walk in the autumn air is just the ticket.
The Golden Lion in Southwick village is one such pub.
Set in an old Tudor house on the main street, The Golden Lion is filled to the brim with beams, bricks and history – it is famous for its meeting between Generals Eisenhower and Montgomery before the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944.
Perhaps most importantly, the pub is filled with people – not unexpected on a Sunday afternoon – but the atmosphere is friendly and the landlord welcomes in punters like old friends, finding seats for those waiting for a table and offering tasters of his wide array of ales and beers for people to try.
When we enter the establishment all the tables have reserved signs – we booked a few days in advance and only two time slots were left. While we were there two hungry families were turned away.
Luckily we were close to a radiator as it was a cold day, but there were a few unlit fires around the room. If they'd been lit they would have added to the atmosphere – and I'd have been a bit warmer.
As we perused the Sunday lunch menu we were given slices of warm tomato bread and rosemary focaccia with salted butter – I could have eaten a whole loaf of the rosemary one.
The Sunday lunch menu is more a list of comfort foods with a couple of twists.
Although we did not opt for starters, the chicken and sweetcorn soup with focaccia (£7.45), sounded like a hug in a bowl.
For something a little different from the more traditional pub fare, there was chorizo sausage and manchego cheese arancinis (£7.45).
And for the main event I chose roast sirloin of British buffalo served with homemade Yorkshire pudding, honey-roasted parsnips, roasted butternut squash, baby chantenay carrots, braised red cabbage, pork, sage and onion stuffing and roasted rosemary goose fat potatoes (£13.95).
Mother opted for roast honey and mustard glazed gammon which came with the same sides as my dish (£13.95).
The food arrived quickly and I am surprised the waitress did not require a forklift to bring the plates over.
To say the portions were huge would be an understatement.
My plate would have fed a family of five for a week. The mountain of Sunday roast goodness was drenched in deep shiny gravy – I am reliably informed by mother that this is the sign of a good gravy.
The buffalo was rare and melt-in-the-mouth, the roast potatoes crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, and the braised red cabbage added a nice sharpness.
I only managed half the plate – and it was truly delicious.
Mother loved her honey and mustard glazed gammon and her only criticism was she needed more gravy.
If a Sunday roast is not your cup of tea, there was pan-fried fillet of Brighton plaice served with shrimp and caper butter.
Following the enormous main, dessert was off the cards but the peach and plum crumble and the chocolate and orange torte with blueberry paint and chocolate pearls sounded divine.
This cosy pub is perfect for a Sunday roast but do not eat for at least 48 hours beforehand so you stand a chance of actually clearing your plate.