Sunday Lunch at The Caxton Arms, Brighton

I consider myself quite an aficionado when it comes to a traditional Sunday roast. It's rare I eat one in commercial premises which comes anywhere near a good homemade one but this weekend I enjoyed a fabulous roast lunch at The Caxton Arms in Brighton which was so good I decided to write about it even though I am not being paid or otherwise rewarded to do so.

The Caxton Arms beef Sunday lunch


I'm not joking when I say I take food, and roasts in particular, very seriously. Nothing to me is more disappointing that pre-sliced or worse, preformed meat, mushy veg and frozen roast potatoes, parsnips or yorkshire puddings.

I even won a food writer's roast cook off competition organised by Red Tractor Beef and Lamb  and judged by Cold Feet actress and cookery book author, Fay Ripley a few years ago - an accolade I am very proud of.
madmumof7's award winning mini roast

A good roast lunch made with quality meat and fresh vegetables can be quite pricey so I tend to be a little suspicious of cheap Sunday lunch offers and always check the reviews.

Last Sunday was no different so after deciding a traditional roast was the plan to round off a lovely weekend away in Brighton I scoured the internet for one which was reasonably priced, had good reviews and images so I could check portion size and there Yorkshire pud situation. You can spot a shop-bought pud a mile off!

Our Air BNB superhost Kim who runs Woodingdean Lodge and Rooms had recommended a couple of her personal faves in nearby Rottingdean but both were fully booked so having parked for a spot of shopping in Brighton we decided to stay in the city for lunch.

Obviously there are lots of places offering a Sunday lunch but given the tourism aspect of the city many were at the top end of our budget or beyond.

Then I spotted a listing for The Caxton Arms which describes itself as "the pub you never knew was there in a road you never knew existed."

Off the tourist track sounded promising and a quick exchange of emails (impressive for a Sunday morning) revealed they had just a couple of spaces left and lunch would cost between £13-15. The menu for that day included strip loin of beef, short rib of beef, pork belly, lamb shank, veggie wellington and  a vegan butternut squash roast.

They had me at beef.

Booked in and salivating in anticipation all that was left to do was find the pub which thanks to good old Google maps was easy - although we could see why you would be unlikely to accidentally stumble across this hidden gem (quite close to the railway station) in North Gardens.

We had a table reserved which I was initially a little concerned about as when we arrived we realised it was three stools round a tall table. However, once seated we found the sturdy backed stools were comfortable and had footrests, great for a shorty like me.

The table was large enough for our three plates, side dishes, condiments and the crucial mobile phones for food photography so would be very happy to sit there again.

reservation blackboard at The Caxton Arms, Brighton

Our reservation was clearly marked with a little blackboard and the bar had lots of options at reasonable prices including seasonal hot mulled cider. I was driving so opted for a soft drink but my friend very much enjoyed her glass of red wine chosen from an extensive list.

Actually if you do like an alcoholic beverage with your Sunday lunch, The Caxton Arms is currently offering a Roast and Reload Sunday lunch with a bottomless drink option for £35. Drink choices included in the deal are lager, cider, bucks fizz or Bloody Mary's - how's that for the perfect post Saturday night pick me up?

Talking of lunch, shall I get onto the food finally?

Firstly, I learned that produce is sourced from local butchers and fishmongers to ensure freshness and support fellow Brightonian businesses. A gold star for Chef Viktor and his team.

Our lunches were served in large, deep dinner bowls which enabled a kind of luncheon treasure hunt as most of the delicious fresh vegetables were hidden under the meat and large homemade Yorkshire pudding.

Roast beef at The Caxton Arms, Brighton

I, along with my friend, had opted for beef marinated in soy sauce. I wasn't sure how this would work as part of a traditional lunch but the meat was moist, perfectly pink and tasty with no overwhelming soy sauce taste.

My daughter chose the pork belly complete with crispy crackling. The piece which adorned her plate was enormous and although she normally has a small appetite she scoffed the lot which is a tribute to how good it was. She ate it so fast her plate was a car crash photograph wise before I had chance to snap it.

The roast potatoes were very flavoursome. Mine weren't totally crunchy but exactly how I like them - slightly crispy outside and fluffy inside.

Veg-wise I had red cabbage, french beans, mange tout, carrots, baby sweetcorn, chantenay carrots, parnsip, cubed smoky celeriac and and sprouts.

All were al dente which was lovely apart from the sprouts which in my opinion were a little undercooked but I'll admit I like mine a little softer. I'd have like more red cabbage too but I'm just greedy and it was superb.

Cauliflower cheese was served separately which I was very happy about as I don't like it but my daughter hoovered up all of it after allowing my friend a taste - it's her favourite side dish.

The meal came served with gravy already on it and there was a little jug to add more if you wished.

The usual condiments were on offer and the guy who took our order didn't flinch at my apologetic request for mint sauce to go with my beef. Great customer service right there.

The pub itself is cosy with board games and jars of Lego for customers to amuse themselves with.

The Caxton Arms, Brighton
Pic Credit: The Caxton Arms

It's obviously a lively venue with adverts on display for all sort of special events including comedy nights, a Hungarian weekend, Ru Paul Drag Race viewing parties and Harry Potter themed events including an upcoming quiz night being advertised by this large chap.

madmumof7, daughter and Hagrid at The Caxton Arms, Brighton

The advertised Christmas menu looked very nice and good value too - check out their Facebook page for further details of what's on. Food is served seven days a week - the Facebook page has details of service times and opening hours for the pub if you just fancy a drink.

Children are welcome - there's a smaller Sunday lunch priced £7 which is clearly marked as only being available for younger diners. It would be nice if they'd offer a smaller plate for adults too as my daughter couldn't manage her whole meal and I know my mum couldn't either.

I'd advise booking in advance if you'd like to enjoy Sunday lunch at The Caxton Arms. I will definitely doing this so I don't miss out next time I visit my daughter at Uni in Brighton.

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