Planning to head out for a Sunday roast in Staffordshire? How does three courses for under £20 sound? Then you should definitely book the Valiant Suite at Port Vale.
You can book the Vale Park Sunday Lunch over the phone or via email, with tables up to six people available between 12pm and 4pm. Three courses costs just £19.95 for adults, and £9.95 for children, or you can opt for two courses for £16.95 and £7.95 respectively.
Arriving at Vale Park, off Hamil Road, Burslem, Jake and I were greeted with the warmest of welcomes from the staff at reception, where we were signed in and had our temperatures checked for Covid-safety. We were guided upstairs and to the Valiant Suite where we were shown to our table, adorned with a vase of blooms. On my right was a well stocked bar, and to my left, a Port Vale friendly was being projected onto the wall.
We ordered soft drinks despite the tempting wine list, seeing as it was only 12.30 in the afternoon. Though there were two adorable elderly ladies on the next table who’d opted for a bottle of Rosé – it seemed they were regulars at the suite. It warmed my heart to be reminded just how much Port Vale bring the community together, and provide the opportunity and familiarity for people to make it their regular Sunday spot. In fact, the Port Vale FC Foundation recently launched a programme called Golden Valiants, which offers over 50s free social activities including coffee mornings, carpet bowls and walking football.
To start, I ordered the heritage tomato and mozzarella bruschetta with fresh pesto, were piled high with toppings alongside a tasty balsamic glaze. Jake had the crispy panko breaded chicken salad with BBQ dipping sauce which was deliciously light. I had been tempted by the cumin roasted root vegetable soup, with another option being the classic king prawn cocktail with marie rose sauce and sourdough bread.
For the main event, I opted for the 21-day aged topside of beef and Jake decided on the hand carved local pork loin. Three thick slices of meat arrived with a huge homemade Yorkshire pudding, perfectly fluffed roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing and a thick gravy. A separate dish of mashed potato was brought out, alongside a plate of veggies including carrots, roasted parsnips and steamed broccoli.
The roasties and Yorkshire puddings were the star of the show for me – but I do wish we’d asked for a touch more gravy. Jake was very complimentary about the pork, and whilst I’m not really a fan of loin, it was a great cut of meat. And I’m not one to usually rave about vegetables, but the carrots were lovely and sweet, with the right amount of ‘crunch’. If you don’t fancy beef or pork, there is also the option of lemon and thyme roasted chicken breast, which I’m definitely going to try the next time we go. And for vegetarians, there’s a stilton and mushroom wellington.
Truth be told, we were both completely stuffed after our mains, but I already had my heart set on a baked chocolate brownie, and I knew Jake would have the sticky toffee pudding (he always does). That said, I heavily debated the entire dessert menu, which has been thoughtfully crafted to appeal to everyone’s tastes and texture preferences, from a refreshing lemon cheesecake topped with raspberry, strawberry and blueberry, or raspberry jam bakewell, to the decadent chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. My brownie was warmed through and fudgy, smothered in a rich sauce which began to melt the ice cream. Jake’s sticky toffee pudding also came with ice cream, as well as a toffee sauce which was super sweet and really spongy.
The Vale Park Sunday Lunch was a really homely experience, with wholesome home cooked food using local products with perfect portion sizes. Staff were extremely friendly from front of house to servers and bar staff, and I can’t wait to go back and take a tour of the pitch after!