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Sunday Dinners: The Vincent, Southport

A meat and four veg to savour on Lord Street

Written by . Published on May 17th 2011.

Sunday Dinners: The Vincent, Southport

Like, perhaps, many Liverpolitan types, our promenades to Southport are regrettably few and far between.

But this weekend, enticed by the town's food and drink festival, up the long and winding road, AKA the A565, we went.

DSCF8651.JPGThe Vincent, on Lord Street, has been on the radar for a long time. It sets out to be chic and modern. Words you do not generally associate with a resort crammed with places called Nostalgia Tea Room and the like. No matter how good their scones and cream teas.

Back at the food and drink fest, the delectable whiff of hog roasts and ostrich burgers, from the many stalls, was becoming too much. Torture, said the kids.

Therefore, a slap-up Sunday roast was on the cards. Just the thing to chase the December-style wind away. And speaking of which, not a sprout in sight.

Where this time?
V-Cafe and Sushi Bar, the Vincent Hotel, 98 Lord Street Southport PR8 1JR. 01704 883 800

DSCF8669.JPGWhat's on the table?
A one-course carvery experience at £11.95. Three courses for £19.95. Children's carvery £5.95

Why go there?
Lord Street remains a good weekend shopping destination. It's a bit like Liverpool One or the Trafford Centre, but with wrought iron, daintiness and an Edinburgh Wool Mill. Pacing - or Zimmering - the magasins of this wide, lengthy boulevard is hungry work. Or perhaps you are a hen night. Or perhaps you have lathered up an appetite in the nearby Splash World all day. Remove your goggles and let's tuck in at this bustling, breezy venue.

Where do we begin?
This is a carvery. In other words, you have a say in how much you get. Sensing that this could get big and messy, we skipped the three course option and went straight in for the main line. Although the regular menu is all available and there are plenty of snazzy starters on there.

The main course
Rare beef sirloin in thick, tender slices, or big hunks of pink lamb leg on our visit. Can't decide? Have both. If you don't like red meat, however, or any meat, you are rather snookered.

Yorkshires: Big, uneven and clearly cooked here. Crunchy, until a dollop of caramelised onions is dropped in the middle and coated with a ubiquitous gravy.

DSCF8675.JPGRoast potatoes: The best we have had yet on a Sunday lunch. They had been properly roughed up (stop it), were floury and crunchy and gooey and flavoursome. They had hung around for a bit in one of the huge self-service tureens and should have been suffering. Yet they were none the worse off for it. How do they manage that?

Veggies: An amazing choice of four. Good cauliflower cheese, while carrots, cut on the angle, and sugar-snap peas were faultless. Our pick of delight was the savoy cabbage swathed in cream. So wrong. So right.

What if you are a vegetarian?
See above. However, there are plenty of non-meat dishes on the regular menu which remains available, in the form of a handy paper place-mat/aeroplane all day.

What if you don't like Sunday dinner?
See above. One of the children ordered sausage, chips and baked beans (£5.95) and received excellent fat meaty bangers and French fries. Baked beans wise, the kitchen had eschewed Heinz for a home-made version. It was pronounced marvellous by the lad.

Room for any more?
With fresh horseradish, mustards and mint sauce, plus new potatoes and gravy, this is a fill -your-boots experience. And we unfortunately did. The other child, who insisted on an adult portion, was eating the beef on his school sandwiches the following day – thanks to a beautifully wrapped doggie bag. Groaning, meantime, we reached for the dessert menu.

A homemade, hot chocolate chip cookie (£5.95) was a brownie by any other name, crunchy on the outside and gooey gorgeous inside, served with flecked vanilla ice cream it was a cocoa hit. The lemon and blueberry posset, topped with summer berries, came in a champagne flute and was thick, creamy and wag-tastic.

All in all
Despite the self-service nature of the main course and the price, which is at the higher end of the Sunday lunch bracket locally, this is well worth seeking out. There was practically nothing to fault on this plate. With so many elements going on, Sunday lunch is really easy to get wrong.

Despite a slightly erratic service, The Vincent food offering was a surprise treat and there are plenty of excuses to go and have a day in Southport and check it out.

A thoroughly modern-meets-traditional marriage, and therefore a Confidential go.

*Liverpool Confidential food critics dine unannounced and pick up their own bills.

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Wayne RooMay 18th 2011.

God I want that.

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