With the increasing commercialisation of the Sabbath day and the decline in families eating together, it sounds like the bell tolls for Sunday lunch.. or does it?

For what we are about to receive...

If you have followed eating trends in the press recently, you could be forgiven for thinking that we are a nation of overworked, solitary guzzlers, munching microwaved meals in front of our favourite soaps. Changing social lifestyles are reflected in eating habits - take the booming restaurant industry for example. But eating lunch out isn't always a piece of cake. Who hasn't experienced the abrupt manner of the strict gauleiters in black apparel who patrol the reservations book with the charm of a tetchy Rottweiler, telling us that we might try in "a few weeks". So, we, the hungry punters, are left with a distinct feeling of low self-esteem, and are forced to cast our sights ever downward.

Oh ye of little faith, our redeemer, the pub, is at hand. Spit and sawdust, revamped perhaps, to a mock-rustic style has now settled into the styling midground with half-decent beers and a tolerable attempt at real food. We don't imagine that the dreadful days of the draught-excluder lasagne are quite gone, so seek... and ye shall find.

Lunch at the pub is one of the great ways to spend a Sunday, and as national standards gradually improve, they may prove to be the Sabbath's salvation. You know the drill - you get up late, read the papers, potter around a bit and you're off.

Here, we've ignored the culinary death traps with their plastic sausages to reveal some of our great finds just in time for you to amend your plans this weekend.

As we are based on the west side of London, we will take this as our starting point. And, by the way, this is not a gourmet guide, rather it is highlighting the best pub grub.

May we be truly grateful. Amen.

Nosh Sunday favourites

The White Swan in Twickenham was the Evening Standard's Pub of the Year in 1997 and has a traditional feel, riverside ambience and roast beef etc. Beers include Old Speckled Hen, Theakstons XB

Riverside (0181-892 2166)

The Flask A preferred pub of Hampstead locals, without being overridden by Tarquins, Jocastas or baby buggies. Also notable for its wine selection. Flask Walk (0171-435 4580)

The Rose Revived

Carvery, with Old Speckled Hen

on draught. Newbridge, nr Witney, Oxon (01865 300221)

The Trout Inn Throw unwanted broccoli to the overweight trout in the river. Wolvercote, nr Oxford (01865 302071)

The Cricketers Inn Beams, great food and a wide choice of beers. Cobham, Kent (01474 812163)

The Nosh Brothers book, `Entertaining', is available from the Macmillan Hotline: 0181-324 5700.

Correspondence for the Nosh Brothers to nosh@mall.bogo.co.uk or c/o The London Eye, Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL

This week's highlights on Carlton Food Network:

Too Many Cooks (today 1.30pm) Michelle Collins and chef Aldo Zilli take part in a charity scavenger hunt.

Russ's Foreign Assignment (Wed 2pm) Russ Burdon recreates Martin Bell's meal of dandelion leaves and baked beans that he ate while reporting in Bosnia.

French Lunch (Fri 3pm) Sylvain lives in northern France, where he runs a snail farm. In today's episode, he serves snails with roquefort, parsley and garlic sauces.

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