Thought your local or your nan made the best roast dinner? Well, one pub in Bristol has such a popular roast dinner that it now has a mammoth-long waiting list. So long, we can’t find an unavailable Sunday for a quite a few years ‘ time! Some of us have accepted having to wait for some things until this pandemic blows over, but the wait for this roast may just be pushing it.
However, the roast dinner served at The Bank Tavern is no ordinary roast dinner and has even won awards such as Bristol’s best Sunday Lunch at the Observer Food Monthly Awards in 2019 and the Bristol Good Food Awards in 2018. The Sunday menu here must be something truly special as the first Sunday slot available at the pub on John Street is apparently in 2025, and with 52 Sundays in a year and only open for four hours the waiting list fills up fast.
The pub has been around since the 1800s, and its Sunday roast features ingredients sourced from local suppliers in the city, offering customers several meaty options, in addition to a vegetarian vegetable and lentil loaf. Despite the prestige of this roast dinner at The Bank Tavern, you won’t be bending over backwards when you see the price. The roast alone costs £11.95 and you can upgrade to two courses for £14.95 and three courses for £17.95.
The main meal comes served with a classic Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, parsnip purée, creamy leeks, braised red cabbage and seasonal vegetables. And the starters and desserts are not to be sniffed at either. Enjoy dishes such as cider and onion soup with a Stilton crouton to start with and chocolate mousse, honeycomb and malt butterscotch to finish. Yet, landlord of The Bank Tavern, Sam Gregory, said: “We don’t repeat the same menu and although we always have beef. We also do pork, some vegetarian options and perhaps venison or poultry.”
The landlord also added that the the starters and desserts change weekly so the menu is never the same. The Bank Tavern sources their meat from West Country farms, while Sam Gregory frequently catches deer and rabbit to serve, too. Some of the pub’s regulars even pop down themselves with fruit and veg from their allotments to be used in the kitchen. Talk about local, alright.
During the pandemic, the size of the pub’s tables had to be reduced, with only seven tables available to seat up to 40 diners, which has been a significant factor in the currently long waiting list, said Mr Gregory, who has been landlord of the pub for 13 years.
While it may take a while for any new customers to book a Sunday lunch at The Bank Tavern, if anyone who already has a booking has had to cancel due to the pandemic or because they are shielding, the pub said they will ensure their reservation is honoured at a later date.
Mr Gregory told The Independent: “As a business we decided that we would honour every booking that was missed because of Covid, so we’re doing extra sittings now into the evening. We’re offering these places to people that have missed bookings.” However their kitchen opening hours from Monday to Saturday continue to be from 12pm to 4pm.
If you fancy having a taste of this award-winning roast you can book your table here. Or, if you don’t already know your plans for 2025 (who does?) or you just can’t wait that long, then you can always opt to eat lunch at the pub on another day of the week, which will most likely leave you very satisfied.
The Bank Tavern, John Street, BS1 2HR