With everything from sky-high Michelin dining venues in London to rural gastropubs under their shared, Michelin-starred belt, Chris and Jeff Galvin can do no wrong – especially in their home county of Essex. Sharking a parking spot in the Green Man’s ample car park on a Sunday afternoon requires multiple circuits; and, when we finally get inside, there’s scant space in either the bar or dining room.
Luckily, we have a plan. Or, rather, a booking – without which we’d be thoroughly up the proverbial without a paddle. We’re ushered upstairs to one of the pub’s four family rooms, all available for hire for up to a dozen diners. Each room is themed around a local business, and our group of nine sits very comfortably in the one whose decor is inspired by Suffolk brewer Adnams. On the table, a shiny copper still serves as a centrepiece, and vintage prints adorn the walls.
We’re here to ‘Host a Roast’; i.e. enjoy a full, family-style Sunday dinner served to our room with unobtrusive charm whilst we simply get on with the serious business of having a lovely afternoon.
And a lovely afternoon is, indeed, had by all. The two under-sevens who we’d predicted would last little more than 45 minutes before raising merry hell have done no such thing after almost three hours; the wine has owed in a steady stream, and the three-course feast is both abundant and excellent.
To start, we divvy up slabs of pork pie with ale chutney, and salmon and leek tart. Our centrepiece, a handsome leg of lamb, is presented first whole then carved; sat alongside brimming bowls of red cabbage, killer roast potatoes, and super-sweet carrots whose dimensions and oversized serving fork make even the largest of our party feel positively Lilliputian. Of course, there is fresh mint sauce and lashings of gravy to accompany the lot.
Savoury stomachs sated, we announce that yes please, we are ready to receive dessert – a pile of white chocolate-studded profiteroles and a pleasingly-tart rhubarb crumble joined by vanilla ice-cream and jugs of chocolate sauce and custard.
All is enjoyed; little is left; and the whole experience is unanimously announced as a winner dinner.
Make it happen
When: Galvin Green Man’s Host A Roast experience is available on Sundays
Where: Howe Street, Great Waltham, Essex CM3 1BG
Find out more: To visit the website, click here