If you’re going to be a carnivore, I reckon you best do it right. Don’t shy away from the offal, don’t feel guilty for eating something just because it was cute when it was still going about on its legs, and make sure it’s tasty meat that’s been well treated (both before and after the slaughter). I’m a real meat-lover and consider a piece of well-aged beef a glorious thing, the culinary equivalent of sunsets in the Tuscan hills or staring out across placid blue fjords. Which is why I find having the Sunday lunch at the Marquess Tavern such a treat. All their meat is UK-reared and free range, and though you won’t find this the cheapest gastro-meal you’ve had, you are paying for quality. The star in my eyes is the forerib of beef, served hanging off the bone and begging to be lifted up and eaten as if you were Henry VII.
You select your forerib based on the weight; as weights get ordered they go out of stock so you’re advised to a) book a table (essential) and b) book early. The staff is helpful in guiding what weight would be good for your group size and hunger volumes. The last time I went, 5 of us dined on the beef and we had the biggest rib available, costing about £85. Not cheap, but when you pile on the Yorkshire pudding, vegetable, potatoes and gravy – all included in the price – things start to level off again. The bigger your piece the longer your wait for it to be cooked, but there’s proper beer on hand to give you something with which to occupy yourself. At the end of your dining, there is a bone to take home or feed to the neighbourhood dog (I take it home wrapped in acres of foil in order to make soup, much to Mr. A&N’s embarrassment and the neighbourhood dog’s ire) and a sense of well-rounded beefiness like no other.
A caveat worth mentioning is that the kitchen can get a bit harried during Sunday lunch, resulting in beef that goes beyond rare and