A traditional Sunday lunch is still a firm favourite with me. What could be better than roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, fresh vegetables and a boat of gravy all accompanied by a glass of red wine? So when Victoria, a Director from The Blacksmiths Loft, Blacksmiths Yard, Sadler Gate, Derby invited us to try their new Sunday Lunch menu it was without any hesitation that we accepted.
Whether the Sunday lunch dates from medieval times when those who had practiced their battle moves were rewarded with a roast or, in the 1700’s when, before going to church people would put a joint in the oven to be ready for afterwards, wherever it came from I’m not too worried. We were travelling to an area of Derby that dates back to the 15th century so I was getting the best of both worlds – history and lunch. I have to say that when the main course arrived I was bowled over. Just look at the picture, how’s that for a platter of food.
Let’s start at the beginning. As I wandered down Irongates I reminisced about times spent, years ago, at either Jorrocks, The Bell or Irongates Tavern and today this is still a thriving area of Derby, full of history and with many beautiful, independent shops and restaurants. I like this end of Derby and was surprised by the number of shops open Sunday afternoon.
As I turned into Blacksmiths Yard I saw the sign pointing left for The Blacksmiths Loft. Winding our way up the stairs to a restaurant I hadn’t visited before, I was a little apprehensive but that soon vanished as the door opened into a sun filled room with windows overlooking Sadler Gate. The decor is modern with nicely laid crisp white tablecloths. Matt made us feel at home right away, and sipping a G&T we were soon into ordering our meals.
To start I chose the chicken Caesar arancini with little gem lettuce and Caesar dressing, slithers of salty anchovies, parmesan and pancetta, a light fresh tasting starter. My wife chose a Greek salad cheesecake (v) whose smooth and creamy feta cheese with a sharp tang was complimented by a tomato and oregano granola, olive tapenade and the cucumber salsa with black olive soil adding texture and flavour. Not overpowering as a starter these just awoke the taste buds.
Our main course sharing platter provided us with a selection of Derbyshire sirloin, Derbyshire lamb and corn fed chicken breast ( I wonder where the chicken came from!), beef dripping roast potatoes, braised red cabbage, seasonal greens, cauliflower cheese, roasted root vegetables with my favourite, parsnips, (you just can’t beat them), Yorkshire puddings and homemade gravy. This was going to be a test of our appetite. The lamb and beef were beautifully tender and the chicken, roasted and cooked on the bone had an excellent flavour. Sharing the vegetables piled high on an oval platter in the middle of the table worked very well for us, especially as my wife’s appetite and taste is quite different from mine so there was something for both of us, and the vegetables still retained their colour and flavour.
Matt showed us the new early evening menu which features Chateaubriand, an old favourite of mine, and a firm favourite with regulars at the Blacksmiths Loft, and if it’s anything as good as the beef at lunch, it will be one on my list to try.
The Black Smiths Loft serve lunch through until 4 o’clock on a Sunday, and you can wander downstairs to the cocktail bar where there is live music from 3 o’clock.
We finished our meal with English vanilla burnt custard, smooth and silky with a fresh raspberry sorbet, a nice sweet taster to end our lunch with.
After a very busy week it’s time to take a break on a Sunday and The Blacksmiths Yard sets the perfect pace to sit back and draw breath before a new week starts.
For table reservations, please ring 01332 368822.