Posted 8th November 2013
On a drizzly Sunday there’s not much better than the promise of a Sunday roast, especially after visiting Bristol’s best food festival. So a couple of Sunday’s ago we did just that.
We knew that Love Food festival was going to be at Paintworks on the Bath Rd, so when we heard that June’s Kitchen were putting on Sunday roasts at The Thunderbolt down the road, we booked a late afternoon slot.
I first met June at two of my best friends’ wedding last year. It is still one of my favourite weddings to date and June’s food definitely played a part. The wedding breakfast started with a sort of savoury afternoon tea, beautifully presented on china cake stands and something I will never forget.
But that’s hardly surprising, given that June has worked with some of the best chefs in Bristol; she spent four years as sous chef at Café Maitreya and has also worked at Ronnie’s in Thornbury and The Muset (sadly closed earlier this year). Now you can sample June’s food again every Sunday at The Thunderbolt.
The Thunderbolt as a pub is only open when there is live music or food being put on. I had never been there before and didn’t know what to expect, but inside is a cosy, traditional pub with tables laid and ready for diners. It is cash only at the well-stocked bar, but there is a cash machine inside.
The menu is straightforward roasts, but with the added bonus of three delicious sounding vegetarian options. Yes nut roast was there, but also a savoury tarte tatin (butternut squash, mushrooms and caremalised onions) and a spiced carrot, parsnip & cashew nut cabbage parcel. Sadly we were all meat eaters and the promise of slow cooked pork and Angus beef was too much, but I reckon vegetarians would have been very happy.
All mains are refreshingly priced at a flat £9.95 across the board and half portions for children at £5.95. There’s no paying almost £20 for a roast dinner here, but there is no skimping on quality either. Meat is very carefully sourced, as June’s Kitchen strongly believe that animals should be allowed to grow and mature with the minimum stress, providing meat that is superior in taste and tenderness.
I went for the outdoor bred Somerset spare rib of pork served with a jug of cider gravy, crackling & apple sauce. Served with simple but well cooked vegetables alongside a delicious sweet potato gratin, a huge Yorkshire pudding and crunchy crackling.
The meat was soft and tasty, the Yorkshire was perfect and the potatoes were nice and crisp. I also loved the fact that it came with it’s own gravy – beef came with red wine gravy instead. The beef was equally tender and tasty, so there were smiles all round.
After a roast I don’t usually have room for a pudding, but knowing about June’s pastry skills we couldn’t resist, especially when one of my all-time favourites, profiteroles, was on the menu.
There was a nice long gap between our roasts and puds, which gave us time to build up an appetite again. Luckily we had done just that because the puddings were huge! Delicious though – my profiteroles even came with homemade honeycomb, while the sticky toffee puddings and baked blueberry cheesecake were wolfed down in seconds.
We left feeling well looked after, full and satisfied after spending a leisurely couple of hours at The Thunderbolt. December Sundays will change to Christmas roasts so we look forward to going back to try those soon too!
Verdict? Great roast – well cooked, high welfare meat, creative veggie options and fabulous puddings – all in a relaxed pub environment and under a tenner! Good for kids too. Booking advised.
Find out more about June’s Kitchen at www.facebook.com/juneskitchenthunderbolt
124 Bath Rd
0117 373 8947
Open 12 – 4pm on Sundays