A Brief History of the Sunday Roast
Our Bath hotel looks back at the origins of our beloved Sunday Roast.
With Winter drawing near, we can finally look forward to open log fires, red wine and most importantly, the time-honoured tradition of the Sunday Roast. As one of the most exquisite restaurants Bath has to offer, Homewood Park knows a thing or two about creating the perfect roast. In honour of this quintessentially British meal, we look back at how it came to be…
History of the British Sunday Roast
It’s no secret that the British have always loved roast beef, so much so that the French have been known to call us “rosbifs”.
It is said that the Sunday Roast came about during the reign of King Henry VII in 1485 and the Yeoman of the Guard (the royal bodyguard) have been affectionately known as “Beefeaters” ever since due to their love of roast beef.
According to William Kitchener, author of Apicius Redivivus or The Cook’s Oracle (1871), a sirloin of around 15 pounds would be suspended from on a spit or a suspended from a bottle-jack over a large fireplace for up to four hours. This would be enough not only to feed a large household, but for cold cuts, stews, and pies throughout the week.
The less wealthy could visit the bakeries on a Sunday to cook their meats in the large ovens as baking bread would not be carried out on the day of rest (Sunday). This is what allowed the Sunday Roast to be so widely accessible.
Yorkshire puddings have always been the perfect accompaniment to a roast however in the past they were served with gravy as a starter in the hope to fill diners up so much that they would be full and eat less of the costly meat.
Although it is no longer roasted over a fire, the Sunday Roast is still as popular as ever. As one of the best restaurants Bath has to offer, we take pride and consideration into how we curate our roasts and where we source our produce from. We serve lovely pink roast rib of Dexter beef supplied by Bath’s finest butcher, Bartlett and sons. And if that isn’t enough to get your taste buds tingling; our Yorkshire puddings are always tall and crispy, our potatoes are crisp on the outside and abundantly fluffy and salty within. And the vegetables? They are a just-cooked vibrant green with a delectable bite and our classic red wine gravy is dark brown, thick and plentiful.