I went to The Crown for a family Sunday lunch and it was an all-round lovely experience. Even though it is so central, it is easy to overlook, thanks to the passageway which tucks it away from the main hustle and bustle of Cornmarket Street. This is a shame because it is really a well-run establishment with its priorities in the right place. It's friendly and traditional with good, reasonably priced homemade pub grub.
The staff were helpful and kind at every interaction we had with them, from the initial service at the bar to the paying of the bill. We were diligently checked on a few times during our meal in an engaged but unobtrusive way, and our food came very soon after we ordered it.
I am a vegetarian and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of options available to me on the menu, as pub food menus are not always best suited to me. Every section of the menu had an interesting vegetarian alternative. Nevertheless, my brother and sister-in-law are not vegetarian, so we were able to sample a range of meals. I chose a proper Sunday lunch with nut roast and all the trimmings. My brother had bangers and mash and my sister-in-law went for the same Sunday lunch as me but with beef.
Impressive speed of service can sometimes betray microwaved meals straight out of the freezer. This was certainly not the case here; the food was very clearly homemade and fresh. My nut roast was delicious, with whole peanuts, good flavour and a crispy edge. The yorkshire puddings were a thing of beauty: huge, airy pillows of crusty goodness.
My sister-in-law's beef, we were informed, had only just come out of the oven, and she testified that it did melt in the mouth (and it had a tasty peppery crust). My brother enjoyed his bangers and mash, but the highlight of his meal was the homemade onion rings, at whose deliciousness he marvelled continually. Other food items of note were the gravy and the cauliflower cheese, both of which excelled in their balance of flavour: not too salty and not too strong!
The enormous bunch of lilies which stood proudly in bathroom between two sinks, emitting a beautiful clean scent, was icing on the cake of a lovely meal. I would recommend The Crown wholeheartedly to families, individuals or friends looking for very central Sunday lunch spot.
PRICE: £35.70 for three meals and a side of cauliflower cheese.