August has always been a lazy time in England. Lazy like a Sunday afternoon. Kids are out of school. Families head off on holiday. Major events occurring over the summer start to slowly peter out. While the autumn season has yet to properly begin.
In fact, it often seems hard to find much to do beyond enjoying the lazy, late summer days. But at the Varsity Hotel Cambridge, we still have plenty to offer.
A Quaint Tradition
The #1 traditional English pastime for such a lazy occasion is the Sunday Roast. A meal that can bring the whole family together. From the overworked mother and surly teenager, to the grumpy grandad and the “just moved out but back for the weekend” young adult. Excellent home cooked food, eaten together.
Every family will have its own traditions regarding what makes the perfect Sunday Roast. For some, it is a slightly pink rib of beef, served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. For others, it is surely a roast chicken, with roasted parsnips and fresh, crunchy peas.
Others still would tell you to keep your meat. That nothing can beat wild mushrooms and seasonal vegetables freshly picked from the back garden.
And for some the food itself is irrelevant. Instead, it’s all about the time that a family spends together around one table. Quality time, free from the distractions of television or mobile phones.
A Tall Order
Given this heritage, trying to emulate a real Sunday Roast within a restaurant setting is tough. Because it really isn’t just about the food. We try, of course. And in the near future we hope to introduce a Sunday Roast option to our Panoramic Six Restaurant.
But in order to match the tradition the entire theme must be correct. A laid back ambience, where the very walls radiate warmth, comfort and safety. Just like home. And a simple elegance to the food which matches a home cooked feast in its outlook. Simple food, expertly cooked. To be enjoyed in a relaxed environment.
In other words, the experience of dining in our River Bar Steakhouse. Here, instead of trying to replicate that family tradition dish for dish we instead try to follow its ethos. The brick walls and wooden tables echo the snugness of home. The chargrilled steaks and burgers served with thick, hand cut wedges. The aromatic baked camembert. The homemade style of the desserts. All remind one of those traditional family meals without trying too hard to copy it. Even so, if guests still pine for the traditional Sunday Roast we are soon to be launching Sunday Roast at the River Bar. Watch this space.
As the summer ends and the days grow darker this intimate riverside restaurant becomes an ever more enticing destination. Until, in the dead of winter when the cold seeps into your bones, it becomes the place to go. To feel not just warm in the body and the belly, but in the heart and soul as well.