The Best Sunday Roasts in London

Nick Savage

21 February 2019

So British is the Sunday Roast that it has become France’s preferred epithet for denizens of Albion. Now we’re having the last laugh as the traditional beef-based lunch is raised to an art form

Roasts to write home about in London, from piles of Yorkshire puddings to champagned-fuelled Sunday specials

21 February 2019 | Nick Savage

The Game Bird, SW1

For old-school opulence that is archetypally British, The Game Bird at The Stafford gets top marks. The Sunday lunch menu delivers on all fronts. Kick off with one of the city’s most excellent salmon tartares – packed with pickled shallots, crispy capers and horseradish crème fraiche. If you aren’t in the mood for a traditional roast, the pan-fried black bream with Jerusalem artichokes is something to tweet about. 

Rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes, £30, 16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A,

Blacklock, Various

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better menu of affordable and delicious chops than at Blacklock – and its Sunday roast is comparable in value and equal in deliciousness. We recommend going all in with a mix of beef, lamb and pork roasted over oak and served alongside duck fat potatoes, bone-marrow gravy, a selection of seasonal vegetables and the compulsory pudding from Yorkshire. And you’d be a fool to miss a side of cauliflower cheese.

Beef £18, Lamb £17, Pork £16,

Bob Bob Ricard, W1

Frenchman Eric Chavot, executive head chef at Bob Bob Ricard – the Russian-British brasserie famous for its Press for Champagne button in every booth – has created what he says is the ultimate incarnation of the Sunday roast. Having held two Michelin stars at The Capital in Knightsbridge, Chavot has refined every element of the quintessential Albion dish, resulting in slow-roasted Agria potatoes triple cooked in veal fat, duck fat and butter; maple syrup-glazed heritage carrots and parsnips; cauliflower cheese finished with 14-month cave-aged Dorset cheddar; and a beef-stock jus made by roasting veal bones. This being Bob Bob Ricard, four champagnes, including Bollinger Special Cuvée NV and Ayala Rosé Majeur, are offered by the glass to pair with Chavot’s big-hitting flavours. There are few better ways to while away a Sunday afternoon.

Bob Bob Ricard Sunday roast, £29.50, 1 Upper James Street, W1F,

Hawksmoor, Various

Meat mogul Hawksmoor reinvented the steak game and has done something similar for roasts. Aiming to replicate the authentic flavour of a spit-roasted joint of beef, the chefs start the rump on charcoal and finish it in the oven. The final product is slathered in bone-marrow and onion gravy. Anyone who’s ever visited Hawksmoor can attest that the sides are some of London’s best. Beef-dripping roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, carrots, greens, roasted shallots and garlic are all exceptional.

Slow-roasted rump of beef with all the trimmings, £22,

1251, N1

James Cochran wins devoted followers with his cooking, just as he won Great British Menu last year, and his Sunday roast is a force to be reckoned with. Ayrshire 50-day aged côte de boeuf is complemented by a slow-braised short rib of beef, with honey-glazed parsnips, beef-dripping spuds, coal-roasted cabbage, Yorkshire puddings, smoked bone-marrow and gravy. The coup de grâce? Truffled cauliflower cheese.

Ayrshire 50-day aged côte de boeuf, £25 (minimum two people sharing), 107 Upper Street, N1,

Cora Pearl, WC2

This Covent Garden restaurant, ayounger sibling to Kitty Fisher’s, is in the running for London’s best chips, which has helped to earn it pole position in terms of London’s top roasts. Starters are sublime – particularly the devilled eggs – but the roast achieves even higher levels of divinity with ruby-red tranches of beef, perfect Yorkshire puddings and mind-bendingly good potatoes.

Pork, £25, Beef, £28, 30 Henrietta Street, WC2E,

The Marksman, E2

The accolades have been rolling in since St John alumnis Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram opened The Marksman in 2015. Michelin named it British Pub of the Year in 2017 and its Sunday roast, in particular, is praised. Kick off with the legendary beef and barley bun with horseradish while girding your loins for a flavour odyssey through classy, considered options like Tamworth ham with lentils and celeriac or smoked eel broth with hen’s egg and chanterelles. And, of course, there are big Hereford T-bones and braised short ribs with all the fixings for any traditionalists at the table.

Photo courtesy of Katherine Anne Rose

Two courses, £29, three courses, £33, 254 Hackney Road, E2,

The Bull & Last, NW5

Back before London’s food scene kicked into overdrive, The Bull & Last in Highgate laid the tracks for gastropubs across the land with a generously portioned, painstakingly provenanced roast. Booked up months in advance, the restaurant had punters lining up for classically executed roast shorthorn sirloin with potatoes, greens and Yorkshire puds. It’s closed for refurbishment until autumn 2019, which may be how long you’d have had to wait for a booking regardless.

168 Highgate Road, Highgate, London NW5 1QS,