UPDATE: The Architect changed hands in September 2017. It offers a “design your own meal” concept with sharing boards, fish & chips and pie & mash combos. I wrote an updated post so click on this link to read about The Architect’s new menu.
I’ve been following The Architect with interest and was pleased when they announced their first Sunday roast. They even called it “epic”… how could I resist? We were a group of 3, wanting something new for Sunday Lunch so we decided to give The Architect a try (well, one of us is an actual architect so our curiosity was piqued).
The Architect has only recently opened, following an extensive refurbishment when they took over from the County Arms. I was immediately impressed by the exterior: mock-Tudor architecture with sleek signage and a clever compass logo.
The interior truly reflects this establishment’s name: the space has been beautifully designed, with its “industrial meets vintage” decor and juxtaposition of vibrant and muted colours. The lighting lends a cosy and inviting ambience to the place.
The Architect describes itself as a pub and social dining room and it certainly delivers. There are two large communal tables at each side of the entrance near the bar. Made out of wooden wall panels covered in glass with metal tubular clamp fittings that serve as legs, the tables are absolutely stunning and can be used for large groups or as a gathering spot to socialise.
We were shown to a table near one of the gorgeous fireplaces and given the Sunday Roast menu. Our order had to be placed at the bar, which was fine, and gave us a chance to look at the beers on tap. All three of us ordered Maisel’s Weisse, a wheat beer brewed in Bayreuth, Germany. (Guess which lightweight had the half pint *ahem*).
There were some tempting choices on the menu. Two of us had the seafood cocktail featuring king prawns in Marie Rose sauce, deep fried calamari rings and taramasalata (a dip made from fish roe).
Both portions were served on one wooden board and the presentation was lovely, but it was a bit puzzling. There was no mention that the board was for two people to share so we had to ask, just in case one of the starters was forgotten. There were 6 king prawns and 6 calamari rings in total (3 of each per person). The taramasalata was in one pot but it didn’t seem like a lot of dip for two people. It was also supposed to be served with flatbreads, which would have made the dip more enjoyable but we only realised when we got home that the flatbreads were forgotten. I’m sure this would have been immediately rectified had we remembered at the time. The prawns, topped with a creamy and tangy Marie Rose sauce, were very fresh. The calamari rings were served with a lemon wedge and the batter was nicely seasoned.
My other lunch companion had the cream of tomato soup with olive and goat’s cheese croutons. I tried some of the toasted crouton and thought the vegetables and cheese were very tasty. My friend described his soup as “wholesome goodness in a bowl”.
All of the meat at The Architect is cooked on their in house spit roast oven. Although The Architect’s specialty is chicken, I ordered the garlic and rosemary leg of lamb, which was tender, pink in the middle and crisp on the outside.
The other two ordered the Norfolk Banham free range chicken and they loved it. Both mains were served with fluffy Yorkshire pudding, a small jug of gravy and an impressive range of vegetables… roast potatoes, buttered cabbage, honey-roast parsnips, swede mash and cauliflower cheese. I can’t remember ever having such delicious vegetables elsewhere for Sunday Lunch.
Dessert was a lemon drizzle cake, served with softly whipped cream. The cake was moist but dense with a real lemon flavour. The cream on the side was superb.
We finished off our meal with cappuccinos and tea, served in Mr Men / Little Miss mugs with a jammie dodger on the side (bringing out the little kid in all of us).
We’ll be making many return visits to The Architect not only for Sunday Lunch, but for their “chicken shop” menu as well. Of course, we will also partake in their excellent selection of craft beers whilst we enjoy the friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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