Nothing beats a homemade Sunday roast – except, of course, a Sunday roast that comes with no washing up and an extensive red wine list. London, with its world class restaurants and cosy pubs, is full of places to wile away a long afternoon with warm, wintry dishes to enjoy in chic surroundings. We’ve eaten our way around the capital to hunt out the top spots for the very best Sunday roasts. You’re welcome…
The Selkirk, Tooting
So famous are The Selkirk’s mighty Sunday roasts that the pub even offered them for takeaway during lockdown. But nothing quite beats sitting outside in the sunshine on a weekend in SW17 with a plate of this south London institutions finest pub grub in front of you. The slow-roasted loin of Suffolk pork (with lashings of apple sauce and mountains of stuffing) is your best bet here.
Whenever Londoners are hankering for a worldly steak, more often than not they’ll head to Hawksmoor. It’s little surprise, then, that this carnivore’s mecca also serves up an exceptional Sunday roast. Having opened its first venue in Spitalfields in 2006, Hawksmoor now operates seven venues across the capital (as well restaurants in New York, Edinburgh and Manchester), each of which offers up a Sunday roast with a difference.
Large joints of meat are roasted over an open fire before being finished in the oven in a technique inspired by historic roasting practices. They’re then served up alongside beef dripping roast potatoes, all the trimmings and Hawksmoor’s legendary bone marrow gravy. Heaven.
The Gun, Docklands
Hidden away in the shadow of Canary Wharf lies The Gun, a charming traditional pub that offers waterside views with a buzzy atmosphere and, most importantly, a Sunday roast worth traversing the capital for.
Crafted by head chef Matt Colk, The Gun’s gourmet weekend offering runs from herb crusted chicken to 12-hour slow roast Stokes Farm beef sirloin, and are delicate, beautifully presented and downright delicious. There’s also an extensive offering of craft beers, gins and fine wines to wash everything down.
Possibly not the best place to take your vegetarian friends but, if you’re in search of a real meat feast, then Blacklock won’t disappoint. With outposts in Soho, Shoreditch and the City, this classic chophouse specialises in perfectly chargrilled lamb, beef and pork chops. All its meat is sourced from a single family-run farm in Cornwall that specialises in fine rare breed cuts and this really shines through in its Sunday roast offering.
Options include 55 day aged beef rump, Middlewhite pork loin and Cornish lamb leg, all of which are roasted over open coals and English oak. Our tip: take a carnivorous friend and opt for the all-in combo. This gargantuan sharing platter arrives at your table laden with medium-rare cuts, oversized Yorkshire puddings and a generous helping of duck fat roast potatoes.
The Marksman, Hackney
The first pub in London to be awarded Michelin’s Pub of the Year, The Marksman in Hackney offers up a solid menu of brilliantly cooked classics given a modern overhaul – and its Sunday lunch offering rightly draws in quite the crowd each weekend.
Tom Harris (formerly of St John’s Hotel) and Jon Rotherham (of Jamie Oliver’s 15) are behind the stoves, dishing up a frequently changing three-course set menu featuring the likes of potted suckling pig, Hereford wing rib and brown butter and honey tart. Booking in advance highly recommended.
The Anchor & Hope, Waterloo
For a menu that ventures slightly away from the traditional Sunday roast, The Anchor & Hope in Waterloo is the place to be. Sister venue to the equally highly rated Canton Arms, Magdalen Arms and Clarence Tavern, highlights at this cosy gastropub include ‘Venetian style’ cuttlefish, braised pig cheeks and a three cheese and hazelnut souffle for the less carnivorously inclined.
For the gluttonous gourmand, there’s also a varied dessert menu (we’re eyeing up the poppyseed cheesecake) and a huge wine list to choose from.
Harwood Arms, Fulham
As the only Michelin-starred pub in London, the Harwood Arms is the place to take out-of-towners you want to impress. Expect decadent interiors, lashings of top-quality meat and beautiful, refined trimmings.
Set the afternoon aside for a long lunch – as well as its star 45 day Shorthorn beef and braised shoulder of Aynhoe roe deer roasts, there’s a full complement of starters and desserts, including the indulgent Cornish crab royale and raspberry marshmallow teacake. You’ll never have had a Sunday lunch quite like it.
Let’s get one thing straight about Rabbit; the ‘Sussex Sirloin’ is some of the best beef you’ll ever taste. But it’s not the best part of this roast. Tucked just off the iconic King’s Road, this homely spot also does top-notch Yorkshire puddings — and the desserts (if you’ve got room) add even more to the experience. Go for the ‘Mille Feuille’ or the ‘Pannacotta’ for true indulgence.
But it gets even better. The drinks options at Rabbit will knock your Sunday socks off. Begin with a ‘Rabbit Bloody Mary’ (made with Adnam’s British vodka; like a boozy start itself), before sipping at a flavourful Negroni (pre-mixed and batch-dispensed from a wall-mounted jar) and rounding off your lunch with one of the creamiest lattes we’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying.
London Stock, Ram Quarter
Next to Sambrook’s Brewery in Wandsworth (pop into the adjacent taproom for a pre-roast pint of the ‘Pagoda Pilsner’ if you’ve got the time), you’ll find the high-class stylings of London Stock. This swish establishment is run with the precision and bonhomie of a five-star hotel, and the Sunday menu is served with the sort of welcome, quiet sophistication you’ll never find in a hustling, bustling pub.
And the food! The bread alone is outstanding; infused with truffle and spread with black olive butter. The Chicken Liver Parfait is sweetened with cherry-port wine jelly, the melt-in-the-mouth Roast Beef Sirloin is ruffled into the shape of a blossoming rose, and the Chocolate Fondant has added zing and zest in the sugary form of caramelised orange peel. It may not be on a tube line; but it’s well worth a visit.
Dean Street Townhouse, Soho
Despite its vibrant and swanky ambience, think crisp white tablecloths and velvet chairs you’ll never to leave, this Soho all-dayer delivers fuss-free, unpretentious British cuisine.
Offered as a two- or three-course set menu, its Sunday lunch comes with a choice of Yorkshire chicken, Lincolnshire lamb or Hereford beef (plus roasties, cauliflower cheese and seasonal veg), and can be bookended with the likes of spritely house-cured salmon and classic sticky toffee pudding.
Need dinner plans too? Here’s where to get the best fish and chips in London…
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