It’s the lunch that waits for no man, a Sunday feast of iconic allure. Which is why that blessed roast is such a sacred affair, a cornerstone of home and hearth. Timing is everything – as the meat rests, the gravy is made. And as gravy bubbles, the potatoes get their last-minute blast to ensure that every part is crisp, golden and brilliantly burnished.
At that exact point, the table is gathered, eager supplicants awaiting their Sunday sacrament. Leave it too long and all is ruined. Spuds go soggy, the meat cold, the veggies wan and weary. In short, it’s very much a domestic affair, one best avoided in pubs and restaurants across the land – too many bad memories of dry, dreary meat, wretched potatoes and insipid gravy have instilled a fear of eating it anywhere else but home.
Inside The Compasses Inn near Canterbury. It’s the lunch that waits for no man, a Sunday feast of iconic allure
£ £20 and under
££££ £30 and over
For one person, based on a main course and pudding and excluding wine and service
There are, though, some notable exceptions. Places where the meat is chosen with loving care, the beef cooked rare, the lamb cooked pink. Where the vegetarian option moves beyond goat’s cheese salad, where Yorkshire puddings billow rather than bore, and the gravy’s good enough to slurp. These places are few and far between, but they do exist. Because if you’re going to trust this most magnificent of lunches to someone else, it had damned well better be good.
My list, which mixes both laid-back local and the rather more exalted, is not exhaustive. Of course it’s not, although I’ve asked the opinions of eating experts and friends alike. You’ll all have your own adored places, and quite right too.
But the 50 places below take their Sunday lunches seriously. As, of course, do we all…
London and South East
1 The Drapers Arms, London
Sunday lunch has become legendary at this adored Islington gastropub. There are whole roasts to share, including roast chicken with bread sauce, slow-cooked shoulder of lamb, roast fore-rib of beef and loin of pork. Meat is impeccably sourced and arrives with proper roast potatoes, carrots, greens and gravy.
44 Barnsbury St, Islington, London, N1 1ER, 020 7619 0348, thedrapersarms.com £££
A roast platter at Hawksmoor. Great joints of rump are started on charcoal before being slowly oven-roasted and served with duck-fat potatoes, greens, carrots and lashings of gravy
2 The Anglesea Arms, London
This West London pub, on the border of Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush, is one of my favourites in town, with good beer, a decent wine list and ever reliable food. There’s a fire in winter, as well as a small outside bit, and dogs are allowed in the main bar. Choose from roast rump of beef, or roast pork belly, with all the usual trimmings. There’s even the occasional roast pigeon too. All tip top, with service to match.
35 Wingate Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 0UR, 020 8749 1291, angleseaarmspub.co.uk ££
3 45 Jermyn Street, London
This perennially popular modern brasserie is open from breakfast until late. Order the roast Glenarm sirloin – it has intense flavour, partly thanks to long ageing in a Himalayan salt chamber. It’s cooked pink and comes with magnificently puffy Yorkshire puddings.
45 Jermyn St, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 6DN, 020 7205 4545, 45jermynst.com £££
If you’re going to trust this most magnificent of lunches to someone else, it had damned well better be good
4 The Compasses Inn, Crundale
This place won ‘Food Pub Of The year’ in the Great British Pub Awards 2017, so not too shabby. Classic roasts use local meat and all the trimmings and, in season, veg from its own garden. Veggie options and good puds too. Sole Street, Crundale, Canterbury, Kent, CT4 7ES, 01227 700 300, thecompassescrundale.co.uk £££
5 The Ram Inn, Firle
Set in one of the prettiest villages in the shadow of the East Sussex South Downs, The Ram, all rambling old brick and flint, has been around for more than 500 years. The vast majority of ingredients are sourced locally. Very locally. The lambs and cows graze minutes away, the game comes from the Firle Estate and fish are caught by the local vicar. On Sunday there’s always a beautifully done roast.
The Street, Firle, Nr Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6NS, 01273 858222, raminn.co.uk ££
6 Hawksmoor, London
Hawksmoor Sunday lunches are special. Great joints of rump are started on charcoal before being slowly oven-roasted and served with duck-fat potatoes, greens, carrots and lashings of bone marrow and onion gravy.
Branches in Borough, Knightsbridge, Guildhall, Mayfair, Spitalfields, Covent Garden, thehawksmoor.com £££
7 Jolly Cricketers, Beaconsfield
This much-loved pub takes Sunday lunch very seriously indeed. Alongside five beautifully kept ales, you’ll also find roast sirloin of Aberdeen Angus beef, chargrilled rump of Chiltern lamb and Stockings Farm pork belly and black pudding. As well as all that there’s roasted Dover sole, grilled hake Welsh sea bass, English asparagus (in season) and a good choice of classic puddings.
24 Chalfont Road, Seer Green, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2YG, 01494 676308, thejollycricketers.co.uk ££
8 The Three Daws, Gravesend
Gazing out over a wide expanse of the Thames, this Kentish pub has fantastic food. You’ll find Harvel Farm roast beef, Romney roast lamb and rosemary roast chicken, as well as vegetarian dishes far removed from the dull.
Town Pier, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 0BJ, 01474 566869, threedaws.co.uk £
9 The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market
HERE it’s all about fire. A great hearth, where chef Stuart Tattersall does magnificent things. OK, on Sunday the fire is out of use. But the cooking is always excellent – a whole rib of beef from the local Blickling herd, slow-roast lamb shoulder, and venison from the surrounding park.
Cromer Road, Thorpe Market, Norwich NR11 8TZ, 01263 832010, theguntonarms.co.uk £££
10 The Fordwich Arms, Sturry
Get stuck into roast rump of Herefordshire beef, saddle of Lydden Court Farm lamb, slow roast suckling pig, Cornish monkfish or roasted hen of the woods mushroom with pickled walnut and hispi cabbage.
1647 King St, Sturry, Canterbury CT2 0DB, 01227 710444, fordwicharms.co.uk ££££
11 New Yard Restaurant, Trelowarren
The location is stunning – an old stable yard on the Trelowarren Estate in the heart of the Lizard in Cornwall. In the winter, fires crackle and roar, and in summer you can eat al fresco. Many of the fruits and vegetables come from the estate, and the kitchen sources from local farmers. Sunday lunch features barbecued rump of beef and hay-baked chicken, as well as a nut roast with cauliflower purée, and a fine fish stew.
Trelowarren, Mawgan, Helston, Cornwall, TR12 6AF, 01326 221595, newyardrestaurant.co.uk £
12 Roth Bar and Grill, Bruton
Based at Hauser & Wirth gallery in Bruton and situated in an old cow shed, Roth Bar & Grill combines wonderful food with some incredible contemporary art. Oh, and it’s a working farm too, with Hereford, Aberdeen Angus and Wagyu cattle, Lleyn, Mule and Exlana sheep and Oxford Sandy & Black pigs. So you know exactly where your lunch is coming from. The meat is dry aged in their own salt room. Expect spit roast leg of lamb, roast pork shoulder, roast top side of beef and beetroot and Westcombe ricotta tart. Plus dripping roast potatoes, buttered greens and cauliflower cheese.
Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0NL, 01749 814 700, rothbarandgrill.co.uk ££
Timing is everything with a good old fashioned Sunday lunch. This list is gathered from the experts, but we all have our favourites
13 Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick
One of the great British gastronomic experiences, Coombeshead Farm sits deep among the green hills of Cornwall, and offers a true field-to-fork feast. Chef proprietor Tom Adams, and head chef Tim Spedding (along with New York-based chef April Bloomfield, who is a partner in the farm) are magnificent cooks, and the mostly home grown and reared ingredients are top notch. Sunday lunch is a three-course set menu, featuring local lamb, cooked three ways. Make sure you book well in advance.
Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick, Cornwall PL15 7QQ, 01566 782 009, coombesheadfarm.co.uk £££
14 The Five Bells, Clyst Hydon
The Five Bells serves real ales and good Devon cider. They have all the pub classics, done well, but Sunday lunch is particularly impressive. The meat all comes from local farmers, and includes stuffed belly of pork, roast leg of lamb (served pink), topside of beef, lemon sole, fish and chips and a beetroot, goat’s cheese and mint risotto. In fact, the vegetarian options are every bit as decent as the carnivorous ones.
Clyst Hydon, Cullompton, Devon, EX15 2NT, 01884 277288, fivebells.uk.com ££
15 The Gurnard’s Head, Zennor
Gaze out over the Atlantic at a place adored by chefs and punters. Sunday lunch has all the classics – roast rib of beef and leg of lamb, gurnard and artichoke with hash browns and chanterelle mushrooms. Feast, then work it off on a walk along that coast.
Nr Zennor, St Ives, TR26 3DE, 01736 796 928, gurnardshead.co.uk £
Beckford Arms, Fonthill Gifford. The Beckford Arms offers cracking bar snacks and a great Sunday lunch
16 The Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn
The Three Tuns is a proper old-fashioned village pub, with a wonderful garden, roaring fires in winter, local ales and some serious cooking too. The roasts are almost as good as you get at home – rare roast beef with real flavour, billowing Yorkshire pudding, rich thin gravy and, joy of joys, crisp, golden, roast potatoes. This is a Sunday lunch to savour.
1 High Street, Great Bedwyn, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3NU, 01672 870 280, tunsfreehouse.com ££
17 Beckford Arms, Fonthill Gifford
The Beckford Arms offers cracking bar snacks (home-made pork pies, Westcombe rarebit) and a great Sunday lunch – slow-roast belly of pork, 42-day-aged rare roast beef, thyme-roasted chicken with stuffing and bread sauce, and slow-braised lamb shoulder.
Fonthill Gifford, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6PX, 01747 870385, beckfordarms.com ££
18 The Compasses Inn, Tisbury
Another lovely country pub, built in the 14th Century, this is a few miles from Tisbury in Wiltshire. There are the usual well-kept local ales, an excellent wine list and a menu filled with lots of local loveliness. Their Sunday lunch doesn’t try to be clever, but takes classic roasts and does them well. Which, to be honest, is all we ever want.
Lower Chicksgrove, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6NB, 01722 714318, thecompassesinn.com ££
19 The Anchor Inn, Shapwick
You’ll find all the great pub stalwarts here – fish and chips, ham, egg and chips, proper sandwiches and local beers on tap. It’s a free house, saved from closure by a co-operative of villagers, and concentrates on simple, seasonal cooking. Chickens come from nearby Piddle Valley farm, plus there’s game and trout in season. Sunday lunch is classic, featuring good meat, properly sourced, with a decent vegetarian option too.
West Street, Shapwick, Dorset, DT11 9LB, 01258 857269, anchorshapwick.co.uk ££
20 The Bower House, Shipston On Stour
Sitting on the northern edge of the Cotswolds, The Bower House is a hotel with an excellent restaurant run by Darren Brown, formerly of the Lucky Onion group of restaurants. So expect modern British tucker with a softly Gallic accent. Meats are of impeccable quality and beautifully roasted, service is slick and the food consistently reliable.
Market Place, Shipston on Stour, CV36 4AG, 01608 663 333, bower.house ££
North West and Wales
21 Hare and Hounds, Aberthin
Head chef and proprietor Tom Watts-Jones grew up playing in the garden of the Hare & Hounds, then moved to London to train in some of its finest kitchens. Which means no-nonsense modern British cooking, with the usual emphasis on good local suppliers, and cooking in harmony with the seasons. Sunday lunch includes confit pork belly, roast Aberdeen Angus beef, lamb (roast and braised) and interesting veggie options.
Maendy Rd, Aberthin, Cowbridge CF71 7LG, 01446 774892, hareandhoundsaberthin.com ££
It’s the lunch that waits for no man, a Sunday feast of iconic allure. Which is why that blessed roast is such a sacred affair, a cornerstone of home and hearth
22 Plough and Harrow, Murton
The Plough And Harrow comes garlanded with prizes, including Best Gastropub in Wales 2018 and an AA rosette. They try to keep their suppliers as local as possible. Their slow-roasted rump of beef is aged for 42 days, while pork belly is cooked overnight. Roasts come with duck-fat potatoes, and vegetarians are looked after with equal aplomb – jackfruit and feta quesadilla, for example, with pico de gallo and pink onion slaw.
88 Oldway, Murton, Gower, Swansea, SA3 3DJ, 01792 234459, ploughandharrow.eu £
23 Bunch Of Grapes, Pontypridd
The Bunch has won all manner of awards, including CAMRA’s Best Pub in Wales – hardly surprising as they have eight cask ales, two ciders, five craft kegs and an open fire. All meats are sourced from within a 50-mile radius, many of the herbs and vegetables are grown in their own garden, while bread is baked fresh each day. On Sunday they have three kinds of roast beef – slow-braised brisket, along with roasted silverside and rump – plus roast Breconshire lamb leg and shoulder, and a pretty fine mushroom pie. Iechyd da to that!
Ynysangharad Rd, Pontypridd, CF37 4DA, 01443 402 934, bunchofgrapes.org.uk £
Hispi, Manchester. This place is something of a local legend, with people travelling across the country to sample its modern European grub
24 The Three Fishes, Mitton
part of chef Nigel Howarth’s small but perfectly formed pub group. Local suppliers are the stars here – you’ll find Goosnargh chicken and duck, as well as Bury black pudding and lots of different Lancashire cheese. On Sunday they keep it simple – just an excellent 21-day aged roast rump of beef, surrounded by all the usual suspects.
Mitton Road, Mitton, Nr Whalley, Lancashire BB7 9PQ, 01254 826888, thethreefishes.com £
25 Hispi, Manchester
This place is something of a local legend, with people travelling across the country to sample its modern European grub. Sunday lunch is especially popular – well sourced and properly cooked. Choose from beef, pork or lamb, alongside roasted cauliflower with butterbean mash or pan-seared sea bream with potato salad and samphire.
1C School Ln, Manchester M20 6RD, 0800 160 1811, hispi.net £
26 Parkers Arms, Newton-In-Bowland
A proper old-fashioned place that just happens to serve particularly good food with no faff – you might find a black-pudding sausage roll, roast rump of Bowland beef, pie of the day or creamed potato and Lancashire cheese pie.
Hall Gate Hill, Newton-In-Bowland, BB7 3DY, 01200 446236, parkersarms.co.uk ££
27 The Hardwick, Abergavenny
Stephen Terry is one hell of a chef, having trained under Marco Pierre White, Michel Roux Jr and Alain Passard. So the cooking at The Hardwick is serious, but never swanky. On Sundays you can start with a Provençal fish soup, say, or haddock risotto cake, before moving on to a roast sirloin of Johnny Morris’s Herefordshire beef (cooked pink, of course), slow-roasted local pork shoulder or deep-fried Jerusalem artichoke with grilled purple sprouting broccoli, mayonnaise and Old Winchester cheese. Grown-up cooking in the most laid back of country pubs.
Old Raglan Road, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9AA, 01873 854220, thehardwick.co.uk ££
28 Nutters, Rochdale
Set in six acres on the outskirts of Norden, Nutters is a local institution. There’s a French accent to the cooking, even on Sunday – starters include onion soup and chicken liver parfait. But with the main courses it’s very much back to Blighty, with roast rib eye of beef, a trio of pork and (the slightly more Gallic) wild mushroom and leek tart.
Edenfield Road, Norden, Rochdale, OL12 7TT, 01706 650167, nuttersrestaurant.co.uk ££
29 Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom
This pub serves up good ale and cracking food – it won the British Pub Awards Pub of the Year in 2017. Its Sunday lunches are more than decent, offering roast Bowland sirloin, for example, or roast loin of Gloucester Old Spot pork with smoked belly, and duck fat potatoes. Vegetarian options are ever-appealing.
3 Whalley Road, Ramsbottom, Lancashire, BL0 0DL, 01706 557181, eagle-and-child.com ££
30 George and Dragon, Clifton
Set deep in Cumbria, in the Lowther Estate, The George And Dragon uses estate produce and that of its tenant farmers. So when they say local, they mean it, and the result is well brought-up meat, puffy Yorkshire pudding, lashings of gravy and fine roast potatoes.
Clifton, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2ER, 01768 865381, askhamhall.co.uk ££
31 Peace and Loaf, Newcastle
Head chef Dave Coulson trained under Michel Roux Jr, but his style is his own – European with a Chinese twist. But on Sunday things become a little more traditional, with mains including roast rib of beef, or belly of pork, alongside ‘asparagus, duck egg, shiitakes,’ say, or a piece of brill in a chicken pie sauce. Starters are a little more adventurous… don’t miss the raw steak and mushroom pie. And with two courses for £20, it’s very good value too. Little wonder it’s perennially packed.
7 Jesmond Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1LA, 0191 281 5222, peaceandloaf.co.uk £
The Star Inn, Harome. Yorkshireman Andrew Pern has held a Michelin star here for the past four years. The cooking is excellent and often sensational
32 The Crathorne Arms, Crathorne
Barbara and Eugene McCoy adore their punters, organising endless music nights at their much-loved North Yorkshire pub. You’ll find locally sourced roast beef, lamb and chicken, as well as fresh fish and vegetarian options as thrilling as the meat. It’s very much a locals’ pub too, the heart of the village, with roaring fires and the feeling of a home. Dogs are welcome, and children.
Crathorne, North Yorkshire, TS15 0BA, 01642 961402, thecrathornearms.co.uk ££
33 The Staith House, North Shields
Charcuterie is made on site at The Staith House, as is the cream cheese and ice cream. Bread is baked each morning, salmon is smoked in the house kiln and seaweed comes from the nearby beaches. When it comes to provenance, responsible sourcing and sheer quality, The Staith House comes up trumps. And its Sunday lunch is an award winner, with roast local sirloin of beef with cheesy leeks, spring onion fritter, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and all manner of greens. Or pulled shoulder of middle white pig, braised shank of Suffolk Cross lamb, and roast loin of fallow deer. This is a pub that takes its Sunday lunch very seriously.
57 Low Lights, North Shields Fish Quay, NE30 1HF, 0191 270 8441, thestaithhouse.co.uk £££
34 Blackfriars, Newcastle
Blackfriars claims to have the UK’s oldest dining room, where modern British food is served on great wooden tables in the 13th-Century refectory of an old friary – halibut with glazed ox cheek and oyster pie, lamb cooked three ways or gnocchi with crisp hen’s egg and smoked cheddar. Sunday lunch is every bit as exciting, with local rump of beef, leg of lamb, pork belly and chicken, all served with the trimmings. There’s also vegetable haggis and poached salmon for vegetarians and a decent kids’ menu and wine list.
Friars Street, Newcastle, NE1 4XN, 0191 261 5945, blackfriarsrestaurant.co.uk £
Like a lot of pubs on this list, The Rat Inn is laden down with awards. And its Sunday lunch is rightly famed
35 The Feathers Inn, Hedley on the Hill
Like any decent gastropub or restaurant, The Feathers Inn cares deeply about the sourcing of its meats. Animal welfare is paramount, and traceability too. Which is why it uses trusted local farms. Fish come from local day boats, and shellfish from sustainable sources. And head chef Rhian Cradock’s cooking has its own distinct Northern accent, although he’s the first to admit his debt to food heroes such as Fergus Henderson and Mark Hix. The man has taste. But taste is nothing without skill, and Cradock has this in spades. Expect roast rib of Haydon beef, slow-roast Ravensworth Grange middle white pork, and spinach, mushroom and Lancashire cheese pie. A true celebration of great North-Eastern produce.
Hedley on the Hill, Stocksfield, NE43 7SW, 01661 843 607, thefeathers.net ££
36 The Star Inn, Harome
Yorkshireman Andrew Pern has held a Michelin star here for the past four years. The cooking is excellent and often sensational. Highlights include grilled black pudding with foie gras and Pickering watercress. You’ll find game in season, plus roast sirloin of Marwood village beef with ale gravy, or roast loin of Yorkshire pork, with black pudding sausage roll and dry Ampleforth cider gravy.
Harome, nr Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5JE, 01439 770397, thestaratharome.co.uk £££
37 The Broad Chare, Newcastle
Good ale, home-made pork pies and scotch eggs at the bar, and daily specials that include mince and dumplings, fish and chips and steak and kidney pudding. Pub staples, sure, but they’re done well. You’ll also find pig’s head terrine, grilled mackerel with gooseberries, and haggis and fried duck egg. On Sunday there’s roast rib of local beef and Yorkshire pudding for a very reasonable £13.50.
25 Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ, 0191 211 2144, thebroadchare.co.uk £
38 The Bay Horse, Hurworth
The Bay Horse is a smart gastropub set within a 15th-Century coaching inn located in the middle of a pretty Co Durham village. The cooking reflects the seasons, and the vast majority of produce is from local farms and shops. You’ll find good beer, roasts hewn from well-brought-up beasts, plus some decent veggie options too.
45 The Green, Hurworth, Co Durham, DL2 2AA, 01325 720663, thebayhorsehurworth.com ££
39 The Dun Cow Inn, Sedgefield
The Dun Cow Inn was once a ‘druggist, grocer, stationer, bookseller and agricultural seeds man’ as well as a pub. And, thanks to it being in Tony Blair’s old constituency, has also played host to prime ministers, presidents and pop stars. But this is no glitzy celebrity haunt, rather a proper pub with the emphasis on good ale and local meat and fish. There are two cuts of beef (sirloin and rump), as well as loin of pork, leg of lamb, roast chicken, breaded scampi (hooray) and mushroom Wellington, and a lot of traditional puddings too.
43 Front Street, Sedgefield, Stockton-on-Tees, TS21 3AT, 01740 620 894, duncowinn.co.uk £
40 The Rat Inn, Hexham
Like a lot of pubs on this list, The Rat Inn is laden down with awards. And you can see why. The menu makes the most of local produce, with oysters, wild sea trout and grilled mackerel. And its Sunday lunch is rightly famed.
Anick, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4LN, 01434 602814, theratinn.com £
My favourite Sunday lunch spot
Peter Snow Broadcaster the Bush Inn, Ovington, Hampshire
‘Lost in the countryside down a very narrow road, this has the River Itchen twirling round its garden. Its charm is that it offers the kind of pub food I love, like a ploughman’s lunch, sausage and mash or a nicely served sea bass. The staff are also very friendly. My favourite companion would be my wife Ann, of course!’
The Bush Inn, Ovington, Alresford, SO24 0RE, thebushinn.co.uk
Judy Murray Tennis coach the Cromlix Hotel, Perthshire
‘This beautiful country house owned by my son Andy has a dining conservatory with an open kitchen. I start with Albert Roux’s signature dish, the floating cheese soufflé, followed by (well done) roast beef. If I have any space left, I’ll have apple tarte tatin with proper custard.’
Cromlix Hotel, Kinbuck, Near Dunblane, Perthshire, FK15 9JT, cromlix.com
Thomasina Myers Wahaca founder Palatino, London
‘I am always with the children at the weekends so we tend to go to places where we know they will be OK. When they are not demanding fish tacos this normally involves a friend’s restaurant.
‘Stevie Parle’s Palatino is a trek for us but has reliably delicious pasta. If we are sleuthing reclamation yards we may pop into Morito and, closer to home, the Hillgate and Parlour are reliably good. Otherwise it is a trip to the market and we cook at home where I know they can do no damage.’
Palatino, 71 Central St, London EC1V 8AB, palatino.london
Raymond Blanc Chef The Sir Charles napier, Oxfordshire
‘The Sir Charles Napier, near Oxford, is one of my favourite places to enjoy a long, long lunch with my two sons, Sebastian and Oli, and friends. It has a fantastic atmosphere; I feel so relaxed and at home.
‘The restaurant has a great team, the food is wonderful and the gardens are beautiful – vast and so well-maintained. Sunday roasts at this place are a particular favourite for me.’
The Sir Charles Napier, Spriggs Alley, Chinnor, Oxford, OX39 4BX, sircharlesnapier.co.uk
Thomasina Myers Wahaca; Raymond Blanc
Dave Myers Hairy Biker The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent
‘It is really hard to get a table, but it’s worth waiting for. On a posh occasion I’d have wine – they are well priced with a good Gavi di Gavi less than £30 a bottle.
‘The last time I was there it was hot and I had a pint of St Miguel lager. It’s great to be able to do that in a Michelin-starred restaurant. The slip soles are the most unusual starter, served with seaweed butter – just sublime, as is their turbot. They also have the most amazing cured salmon and local salt marsh lamb. For dessert? Anything with salt caramel.’
The Sportsman, Faversham Rd, Seasalter, Whitstable CT5 4BP, thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk
Ann Widdecombe Former Conservative MP the Rock Inn, Haytor Vale, Dartmoor
‘This is my first choice whenever I have family or friends staying. Set in the heart of beautiful Dartmoor and famed for its hearty cooking, it has a traditional country inn atmosphere.
‘I’m particularly partial to pressed ham hock, roast lamb with mint sauce for mains, followed by whipped chocolate served with ice cream. In summer, the garden is great for children and, in winter, the fires burn cosily in the grates.’
The Rock Inn, Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National Park, Newton Abbot, TQ13 9XP, rock-inn.co.uk
Dave Myers; Ann Widdecombe
Ken Hom Chef and restaurateur China Tang at the Dorchester, London
‘I love their dim sum offerings, which are exactly what I often had on Sundays with my mum when I was young. I will follow this with my favourite dish: crispy noodles with shredded chicken.’
China Tang at the Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA, chinatanglondon.co.uk
Kathy Lette Author Kaspar’s at The Savoy, London
‘I love the river view you get while dining here, including Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the Houses of Parliament. Not only that, but the food is scrumptious.
‘Tuck into the Dover Sole with truffle-infused mashed potato and you’ll soon be smiling as smugly as a canary-filled cat.’
Kaspar’s at The Savoy, Strand, London, WC2R 0EU, kaspars.co.uk
Scotland and Northern Ireland
41 The Scran and Scally, Edinburgh
When chef Tom Kitchin gets involved with a pub you know it will be a cracker. And that’s exactly what the Scran And Scally is. Salmon is home-cured, beers are resolutely local, the steak pie is awesome, and there’s always haggis, neeps and tatties. As for the Sunday lunch… expect roast Scottish beef (served blushing pink), lamb and pork, with all the trimmings.
1 Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1DT, 0131 332 6281, scranandscallie.com ££
The Parson’s Nose. You’ll find excellent seafood at this beautiful 18th-Century Georgian townhouse, as well as dry-aged steak and sourdough pizzas from the wood-fired oven
42 Balloo House, Killinchy
A place with 400 years of history, this lovely pub, popular with local and tourists alike, gives you the choice between smart restaurant (with well-wrought, modern European food), and more laid-back pub where local seafood is popular, as are the dry-aged steaks. And Sunday lunch is a true feast, with leg of lamb, sirloin of Irish beef, or roast chicken breast, as well as risotto, fresh fish and some serious British puddings.
1 Comber Road, Killinchy, Newtownards, BT23 6PA, 028 9754 1210, ballooinns.com £
43 Stravaigin, Glasgow
Stravaigin is the old Scottish word meaning ‘to wander’, and that’s exactly what the food on this menu allows your tastebuds to do. Expect all manner of thrilling ingredients and influences from all over the globe, from sensuous sea urchins to foraged hedgerow herbs and even grey squirrel. Sunday brunch runs from 11am until 5pm and includes a full Scottish breakfast, slow-roasted venison shoulder, wok-seared West Coast squat lobsters, grilled mackerel and an Indonesian nasi goreng.
28 Gibson Street, Glasgow, G12 8NX, 0141 334 2665, stravaigin.co.uk/restaurant ££
The Bridge Inn is both local pub and place of greedy pilgrimage. They grow most of their vegetables, and breed their pork
44 Noble, Holywood
An ever-rammed neighbourhood restaurant in the heart of Holywood, Co Down, the Sunday lunch menu is short but perfectly formed and features seasonal ingredients. Start with a light vegetable broth or crisp beef, then move on to roast sirloin of beef, fish of the day or roast suckling pig with Jerusalem artichoke and apple.
27a Church Road, Holywood, BT18 9BU, nobleholywood.com £
45 The Parson’s Nose, Hillsborough
‘Honest food, great ales’ says the sign above the door. And it’s not far wrong. You’ll find excellent seafood at this beautiful 18th-Century Georgian townhouse, as well as dry-aged steak and sourdough pizzas from the wood-fired oven. Sunday lunch includes Pete Hannan’s magnificent salt-aged roast sirloin of beef, as well as crisp belly of pork, salt-baked celeriac risotto and a pan-seared fillet of cod.
48 Lisburn St, Hillsborough, Co Down, BT26 6AB, 028 9268 3009, ballooinns.com £
46 Chop House, Edinburgh
This small but much-loved group of restaurants is all about the meat. The steak is dry-aged in-house and cooked over glowing coals. On Sundays all thoughts turn to roasts. The beef is slow-cooked, and served with a feast of Yorkshire pudding, bone-marrow gravy and buttered greens.
Branches in Leith, Bruntsfield, and Market Street, chophousesteak.co.uk ££££
47 The Bridge Inn, Ratho
The Bridge Inn is both local pub and place of greedy pilgrimage. They grow most of their vegetables, and breed their pork. The food is simple, but immaculately sourced. Expect all the Sunday roast classics, at a decent price too.
27 Baird Road, Ratho, Midlothian, EH28 8RA, 0131 333 1320, bridgeinn.com £££
48 The Sorn Inn, Sorn
The Sorn Inn is something of a stop-off for local hunters and fishermen, and while the restaurant wears its Michelin Bib Gourmand with pride (Shetland salmon with crab dumplings, black pudding beignets), it’s the pub that’s famed for its excellent steaks, as well as fish and chips, steak pie and sausage and mash. On Sunday, you’ll find roast Scottish sirloin, or local fish.
35 Main Street Sorn, East Ayrshire, KA5 6HU, 01290 551305, sorninn.com £
49 The Cock and Bull, Balmedie
Another of those pubs that manages to straddle the line between local inn and restaurant with impeccably sourced food. Pub classics include black pudding scotch eggs, ham, egg and chips, steak and burgers.
On Sundays you’ll find roast Perthshire chicken, and rump of Foveran beef, with all the sides.
Ellon Rd Balmedie, AB23 8XY, 01358 743249, thecockandbull.co.uk ££
50 Il Pirata, Belfast
Ok, so Il Pirata is an Italian restaurant, with food from a country not exactly known for Sunday roasts. Yet the sharing joints here have reached an almost cult-like status, with a revolving choice of braised beef brisket, whole roast chicken, leg of lamb or even a roast stuffed porchetta.
279-281 Upper Newtownards Road, Ballyhackamore, Belfast, 28 9067 3421, ilpiratabelfast.com £
Uncork these delicious wines to drink with your lunch…
GREAT PRE-LUNCH FIZZ
Tanners Cava Brut Non-Vintage, £35
Oh, go on. It’s summer. And the weekend. Most places have at least one sparkling wine by the glass, and cava is the best of all worlds: made by the same process as champagne but nearly as well-priced as prosecco. Appley and delicious.
Gusbourne Estate Brut Rosé 2014, £78
A beautiful rosé fizz all the way from Kent. Has lovely red-berry acidity, so would work like cranberry sauce with a roast bird.
GREAT FOR VEGGIE DISHES
Baron de Badassière Picpoul de Pinet 2017, £22.35
Easy to drink, reasonably priced, and surely with the best name in the wine world: it’s not a joke but the name of the vineyard.
BEST FOR FISH OR CHICKEN
Planeta Chardonnay 2012, £53
Sicilian, crisp and slightly honeyed, this would work well with richer fish dishes or chicken.
Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc 2016, £23
A flavourful apricot wine with salty, mineral freshness, this South African chenin works wonderfully well with fish.
BEST PINK WINE FOR SALADS AND SEAFOOD
Château Ollieux Romanis Rosé 2016, £26
A delicate rosé quintessential summer wine that’s great with salad and pink seafood such as prawns and salmon.
BEST FOR BEEF
Sarget de Gruaud-Larose 2007, Saint Julien, Bordeaux, £55
There is a lot of mediocre Bordeaux around, much of it overpriced. So find a reputable name. This is the second wine from Château Gruaud-Larose, a Second Growth in the famous 1855 classification. Which still holds good. Now that’s tradition.
Pulenta Estate, ‘Hawksmoor Blend’ Malbec, 2016, £46
In Argentina, they say malbec is the grape to drink with steak. So Hawksmoor, being a steak restaurant, have cleverly asked a reputable producer for a malbec they can put their name on. It’s powerful, silky and full of juicy berries – and, unlike some malbecs, very good value.
Fontodi Chianti Classico 2015 Panzano, £52.50
A wine like chianti, seemingly put on Earth to make spaghetti and meatballs even better, can easily stretch to other meat-based dishes. Fontodi is one of the most famous names in Chianti Classico, and fully organic.
GREAT MATCH FOR LAMB
Dandelion Vineyards, Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2016, £35
South Australia’s shirazes pair wickedly with lamb. Dandelion owners Zar and Elena Brooks call these Barossa Valley vines their family: bet Sunday lunch in that household is quite a party.
IDEAL FOR (OR INSTEAD OF) A LIGHTER DESSERT
Errazuriz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley 2016, £20.50
With a lighter dessert, like a fruit salad, this intensely tropical sweet wine from Chile would work wonderfully well.
All selections from the wine lists of the Top 50 Sunday lunch venues.