A wonderful friend of mine’s flat literally overlooks the Clifton Sausage and they are therefore regulars to the meaty delights that this place has to offer. Until recently, however, I was yet to try anything but their bar snacks. I would say their bar snacks are worth a visit themselves though as they include the best sausage rolls I have ever eaten (to be expected of a restaurant named after the food I guess) and deliciously moreish parsnip crisps.
Celebrating the birth of my beautiful flatmate I was particularly impressed by her choice of location: having previously been a vegetarian this was a true sign as to how far my training back to being a carnivore has come! It may come as little surprise that the key meal choice is sausage and mash (or champ) – of which there a many to choose from – ranging from traditional pork (‘The Clifton’ is Pork, Wholegrain Mustard and Cider) to more interesting varieties such as Beef, Beetroot and Vodka. Amongst our table the obvious winner was the toad in the hole of which four people picked with their own choice of sausages.
My friend and I actually digressed from the obvious and got tempted by the specials. As a massive fan of sharing food (I’m very indecisive and find it tricky to choose just one meal off a menu) I persuaded said friend into various platter options: the first of which involved a platter of cured meats, sausage rolls, salad, potato salad, sticky spare ribs (particularly scrumptious) and pickles. The second included sausage, pork tenderloin and (melt-in-the-mouth) pork belly served with mashed potato and gravy. Lets just say we filled up quickly and decided the only route was to avoid all non-meat based goods on the plate for the rest of the meal. Unfortunately this meant severe wastage of potato salad, mashed potato and bread – of which I am usually a massive fan. 😦 In future I would say one platter to share was enough.
The Clifton Sausage’s aim is “to show that when British food is done well, it can compete with the best food in the world for taste and satisfaction.” And this they achieve. Menu options also cover other traditional British meals such as casseroles, roast rump of lamb and fresh fish from the Cornish coast. The portion sizes are healthy, to say the least, and reasonably priced (sausage and mash is £9.75). None of us could do pudding and I actually had to go back and lie down to recover from a case of the meat sweats. This is extra disappointing as they have sorbet on the dessert menu – a rare treat!
I think next time I will satisfy myself with a simple plate of sausages and mash – the more sensible option.