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Bristol pub wins UK’s best Sunday lunch

By martin booth, Friday Oct 18, 2019

It’s no longer Bristol’s best-kept secret.

The roasts at this city centre pub are regularly booked up months in advance and there is going to be even more demand for a table now after the team have scooped the Observer Food Monthly Awards gong for the best Sunday lunch in the UK.

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The Bank Tavern on John Street in the Old City serves lunch from midday every Sunday, with all ingredients sourced locally from trusted suppliers in and around Bristol, and vegetarian options as well as classic meat offerings.

Typical starters for £4.45 include ham and cheddar beignet, herb pesto and tomato; asparagus, hay smoked ricotta, herb vinaigrette and crispy egg; and salt beef, sweetcorn puree, crema and watermelon.

The £9.95 roasts themselves might include rare topside of beef, slow roasted pork shoulder, roasted free range chicken leg, and a vegetable and lentil loaf; with all roasts served with a Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, swede puree, creamy leeks and seasonal vegetables.

While puddings at £4.45 could be chocolate mousse, honeycomb and malt butterscotch; rhubarb bakewell, honey and thyme cream, and oat crumble; or a cheese board with pickles, chutney and crackers.

The Bank Tavern team with their Observer Food Monthly award

On their website, the Bank Tavern say: “If we had a philosophy (we don’t – we’re far too relaxed to maintain one of those) it would be to ask of every dish; is it seasonal? Is it local? If not, why not? Next we ask, is this going to make a cracking lunch for someone and will they go out of their way to come back for more?

“If you choose to eat at The Bank Tavern you will be presented with a menu that holds elements of pub tradition combined with a rather eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional dishes from around the world.

“We are responsible for perhaps the best burger in Bristol and every Sunday you will find a menu that would not be out of place at a fine dining establishment, but served up with a down to earth demeanour.”

The team were presented with their award on Thursday evening by Nigella Lawson and Jay Rayner:

The Observer Food Monthly Awards celebrate the best in food and drink and are voted for by both readers and a panel of judges.

In the reader-voted categories, best food personality was won by TV chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver, while best new cookbook was given to 2017 Masterchef winner Saliha Mahmood Ahmed for her Indo-Persian cookbook Khazana.

Best restaurant was presented to The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen in London, best place to drink was scooped by 1000 Trades in Birmingham

The Bank Tavern has been firmly fixed in the corner of John Street since the 1750s

Observer Food Monthly editor Allan Jenkins said: “OFM readers have again shown brilliant taste, voting in larger numbers than ever and supporting their favourite food and drink heroes to produce another stunning set of winners.

“From a seafood bar in London and Sunday lunch in Bristol, to fast Chinese food in Cheltenham and a bar championing local craft beers in Birmingham; our 16th year celebrates the best of the UK.

“Inspiring stories also honour the work of Refugee Community Kitchen, with the lifetime achievements of Claudia Roden and Andre Fairlie championed alongside Manchester’s Danny Wallace and Yorkshire’s Tommy Banks.”

Good luck getting a table for Sunday lunch at the Bank in the foreseeable future 

Read more: Pub of the Week: The Bank Tavern

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