Grazing On A Sunday Afternoon Michael & Jack Grahamslaw Visit The Holiday Inn Washington

Issue 20

After an unusual period of abstinence following on from an especially lardy Christmas, our first BIG meal of the New Year happened to be Sunday Lunch at the Holiday Inn Washington. The hotel boasts a bright and airy in-house eatery named "Traders" and whilst this isn't perhaps your immediate choice for a Sunday luncheon, it did seem popular with those locals "in the know."

Having received the warmest of Washington welcomes, we sunk into our cosy corner spot and cast an eye over their Sunday lunch offering. What struck us immediately was that all dishes were of the plated not carvery variety which ensures for a higher quality, more personalised experience.

The range of dishes is extensive too. Although often subject to change, we sized up starters of Soup of The Day (Broccoli and Stilton), duck spring rolls with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and the chicken liver pate with toasted bread. Although somewhat unadventurously, we disembarked with a couple of old favourites, the Prawn Cocktail for me and a Melon Duo for Jack. Albeit simple to produce, both dishes were fresh, sprightly starters which bursted with flavour and were lapped up by the both of us. Palettes now awoken, we ventured on to the mains.

As part of Sunday Lunch, Traders offer up roasts of Chicken, Pork and Beef alongside other Main Courses like Chicken & Leek Pie, Baked Salmon and a Tomato Ragu for veggies. I tucked into a non-vegetarian Chicken Breast whilst Jack opted for the traditional topside of beef. The portions at this establishment are also to be applauded with our plates arriving piled high with meat, mash, roast potato and Yorkshire pudding. Vegetables were also in abundance as we feasted on broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, swede and my new personal favourite, sautéed cabbage. It soon grew apparent that this was well beyond your typical Sunday Lunch fodder with the meat sumptuously succulent and the veg a crunchy al-dente.

Diners with a little more self-restraint may have body-swerved the Strawberry Cheesecake yet I have none of that and was glad of it when a great slab arrived drizzled in raspberry coulis. Jack meanwhile rounded off proceedings with a lemon meringue pie served with fresh cream which sadly wasn’t around long enough for me to steal a spoonful.

All in all we enjoyed a splendid Sunday afternoon repast which we both agreed offers great value with 2 Courses available for £12.00 and the obligatory 3 for £15.00. Before departing, we did get the chance to chat to General Manager, Paul Mandeir or at least his weekend incarnation! Never off duty, Paul works tirelessly to ensure the best possible customer experiences and is keen to keep this well-established North East hotel on the map. With great access to the A1, The Holiday Inn lends itself nicely to business meetings, overnight stays and lunchtime pit-stops not to mention Sunday Lunch. Totally replete we headed for home with our new years resolutions in tatters, but why should this year be any different ?!

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