The 50 Best Sunday roasts

Whether you are after Michelin-star dining and fine wine or roast chicken with all the trimmings, we have scoured the nation for the top spots to enjoy the week’s most important meal

Sophie Morris@morris_sophie
Friday 18 January 2013 19:00

The experts:

Joanna Busk is editor of ‘Fork’ magazine

Karen Barnes is editor of ‘delicious’ magazine

Donald Reid is editor of ‘The Larder’, a guide to Scotland’s food and drink

Emma Sturgess is a food writer and restaurant critic and is on the committee of the Guild of Food Writers

The South

The Cornish Arms, Padstow

“I’m a fan of Rick Stein’s pub in St Merryn,” says Karen. “There’s Tribute and Proper Job on tap, plus Chalky’s Bark and Chalky’s Bite.” Sunday roast — beef with Yorkshire pudding or pork with crackling and apple sauce — £12.95.

Churchtown Padstow PL28 8ND (

The Beckford Arms, Tisbury

“Local ales, cosy sofas and exceptional food make a perfect Sunday lunch,” says Joanna. “Go for whole roasted chicken with all the trimmings for four or hire the private dining room and have a roast rib of 42-day aged beef for six.”

Fonthill Gifford, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6PX (

The Hand and Flowers, Marlow

“You can’t go wrong with Tom Kerridge’s food at the only pub with two Michelin stars,” says Karen. “I’ll mention one dish from the current menu: treacle-cured chateaubriand of beef with Yorkshire pud, roasties and red wine sauce £27.50… sigh.”

126 West St, Marlow SL7 2BP (

The Three Chimneys, Biddenden

“A long-standing favourite,” says Karen. “The menu tells you where the food is from and local suppliers include Frogshole Farm for asparagus, Morghen Park for potatoes, Park Farm for meat, and herbs from the pub’s garden.”

Hareplain Road, Biddenden, Kent TN27 8LW (

The Gurnard’s Head, St Ives

“The Gurnard’s Head used to be a shabby walker’s pub,” says Karen. “Now it’s spruced up with local beers on tap, and hearty food with a modern twist. Take a walk on the cliffs, then back to the fire with a glass of ginger wine and a book from the shelf.” £15 two courses, £18 three; roasts from £11 on Sundays.

Nr Zennor, St Ives TR26 3DE (

The Three Oaks, Gerrards Cross

“There’s always a good roast at The Three Oaks,” says Karen. “My number one choice? Suckling pig. And there’s usually something interesting alongside, such as chorizo and apple jam.” Sunday roasts from £14.90per person for whole roast chicken for two.

Austenwood Lane, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire SL9 8NL (

The Kensington Arms, Bristol

“The local pub everyone would have in an ideal world,” says Joanna. “Warm and inviting, full of families, friendly staff, laid back music and a roaring fire, the roasts (from £13) are large and consistently good. They’ll even do a whole roast suckling pig if you order in advance.”

35-37 Stanley Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 6NP (

At the Chapel, Bruton

Smart restaurant in a former chapel; the dining room is spacious and light. There is food all day and pizzas from a wood-fired oven. Roasts include lamb shoulder, £17; partridge, £18; and fillet of beef with horseradish and potato gratin, £22, all locally sourced. There are bedrooms (from £100) and a bakery.

High Street, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0AE (

The Royal Oak, Swindon

Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association, also owns The Royal Oak, where the food is mostly organic; the meat top quality, and an allotment provides the vegetables. Sunday roasts are jolly and informal, accompanied by the papers and a roaring fire.

Cues Lane, Bishopstone, Swindon SN6 8PP (

The Horseguards Inn, Tillington

“A relaxed, friendly pub with wooden tables and chairs and oak beams,” says Joanna. “The menu is small, seasonal and full of local suppliers. Longhorn cattle are matured on pasture for 34 months and hung for at least 28 days and the roast beef is very good.”

Upperton Road, Tillington, West Sussex GU28 9AF (

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach

A hip Cotswolds inn with rooms with serious foodie credentials: pork belly with chorizo and butter bean mash (£12.50), roast chicken with gnocchi (£16) and a côte de boeuf for two (£60). The same team gave The Chequers at Churchill, a few miles down the road, a facelift.

West End, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3EZ (


Anchor & Hope

“The Anchor & Hope in Waterloo is one of my favourite relaxed haunts,” says Karen. “The emphasis is on dishes to share, which works well with a roast, though there are individual dishes too.”

36 Waterloo Road SE1 8LP (020 7928 9898)


“The delicious. team’s vote goes to Lamberts, where the focus is on local, seasonal ingredients, ethically sourced,” says Karen. “The menu is so good, it’s difficult to choose.”

2 Station Parade, Balham High Road SW12 9AZ (

The Abbey Tavern

An unremarkable pub on Kentish Town Road recently welcomed farmer Tom Jones, who has supplied his meat to St John and The River Cottage Canteen, into its kitchen. This is true field-to-plate cooking and eating. And with dishes from £8 to £15, the prices are hard to beat.

124 Kentish Town Road NW1 9QB (

Hawksmoor, Seven Dials

If you’re after an indulgent Sunday roast featuring the best beef in town, head here (there are outposts at Spitalfields, Guildhall and Air Street) and share a bone-in prime rib (£7 per 100g) with creamed spinach, triple-cooked chips and beef-dripping fries on the side.

11 Langley Street, London WC2H 9JG (

The Modern Pantry

Even traditionalists are unlikely to be disappointed with experimental chef Anna Hansen’s roast pink peppercorn and rose-dusted venison haunch with carrot and miso puree, £19, or cumin and yoghurt roast lamb rump with Jerusalem artichoke, £21.50. Set lunch, two courses, £20, three courses, £25.

48 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell EC1V 4JJ (

The Albion

A Georgian mansion with a peaceful walled garden close to Upper Street, The Albion does proper posh pub food: roast poussin, chicken, Romney Salt Marsh lamb and Berkshire pork (from £14.50) plus a roast suckling pig for 10 at £300. Kids’ menu, £6.50.

10 Thornhill Road, Islington N1 IHW (

The Pig & Butcher

“Specialising in rare breeds such as White Park cattle, Iron Age pigs and Hebridean lamb, the carcasses come straight from the farm into the kitchen before being butchered and cooked,” says Joanna. “The beef served rare is excellent but the roasted whole Norfolk free-range chicken for two to share, £15 per person, is popular. With craft beers and English wines, it’s getting quite a reputation. Get there early.”

80 Liverpool Road, Islington N1 0QD (

The Jugged Hare

This smart city pub boasts a ‘theatre kitchen’, with an eight-spit rotisserie and charcoal grill. It takes its meat seriously: haunch of venison (£21), half pheasant (£16.50) and seasonal game feature. Accompaniments include blood sausage and snails, with glazed pig’s cheeks to start.

49 Chiswell St, London EC1Y 4SA (

The Admiral Codrington

A proper pub in Chelsea which has gained fame for its fabulous meat. The Sunday roasts menu is a thing of rare beauty: 28-day aged forerib of beef, Devon lamb rump and Suffolk free range chicken, all under £20; with dripping roasties, mac ‘n’ cheese and greens.

17 Mossop Street, London SW3 2LY (

The Old Brewery

A restaurant, cafe, bar and microbrewery, next to The Cutty Sark. Whole roast grouse with game chips, £24. Chicken with pancetta and baby onions, £12.95, each matched with a beer.

The Pepys Building, The Old Royal Naval College SE10 9LW (

Midlands and East

The Bridges, Ratlinghope

“A fine old pub in the beautiful south Shropshire hills,” says Karen. “All the food is locally sourced and the Sunday roasts are legendary. It’s a memorable and leisurely lunch. The local beer is brilliant too.”

Ratlinghope, Shropshire SY5 0ST (

The Crown at Woodbridge

Woodbridge is the ideal resting spot between Aldeburgh and Southwold for a genteel Suffolk weekend. You’re in safe hands with Stephen David and Rebecca Mackenzie, who ran the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market. The menu includes loin and confit leg of local rabbit with black pudding, £16, and guinea fowl with rosti potato, £16.50.

Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1AD (

The Victoria, Birmingham

Roasts come ‘deep South-style’ here, in keeping with the rest of the southern US-influenced menu. There is cola-glazed ham and cajun-rubbed beef, with a chilled out Sunday soundtrack and peanut butter and Oreo cheesecake for pud.

48 John Bright Street, Birmingham B1 1BN (

The Edwardstone White Horse Inn, Sudbury

A lovely Suffolk pub with locally sourced meat, nestled in pretty lanes and fields: perfect for a post-roast walk to its sister pub the Fleece in nearby Boxford. The menu offers pub classics for £5.95 at lunchtime, Monday to Thursday. Roasts include lamb, £12.95, and pork belly, with chorizo and cassoulet for £14.50. Mill Green, Edwardstone, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 5PX; (

The North

Hambleton Hall, Oakham

“For poshness, there are few places like Hambleton Hall,” says Emma. “Wrap up to wander the grounds before a Michelin-starred lunch, which is not too grand to feature sirloin of beef with horseradish hollandaise.” Three courses £45.

Oakham, Rutland LE15 8TH; (

The Durham Ox, Crayke

“Atmospheric pub with rooms in a lovely Yorkshire village, The Durham Ox’s professional, friendly staff could run a Sunday lunch service – roasts around £14 – standing on their heads,” says Emma. “It’s a reassuring atmosphere in which to guzzle smoked haddock rarebit followed by herby roast porchetta.”

Westway, Crayke, York YO61 4TE (

Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax

“In a valley just on the edge of Halifax, Shibden Mill is a 17th-century inn with a lovely garden and a secluded feel,” says Emma. “Sunday lunch for £12.95 is a cracker, with pork raised in the valley served with homemade black pudding. Carb fiends note: they serve roasties and mash.

Shibden Mill Fold, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX3 7UL (

Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom

“The Eagle and Child is a pub with a heart: it runs a social enterprise scheme and the garden is devoted to growing project Incredible Edible,” says Emma. “Food is local and bolstering, and the classic roast is Bowland beef sirloin with duck fat potatoes. Veggie options don’t feel like an afterthought.” Three courses are £15.95.

3 Whalley Road, Ramsbottom, Lancashire BL0 0DL (

Damon, Stockport

“For more crushed velvet and polished glassware than a pub can provide, consider Damson, where the set lunch (roast leg of lamb or Cheshire sirloin for the traditionalists) comes with restauranty accoutrements,” says Emma. “Damson will expand to Salford’s MediaCity soon, but Heaton Moor is home to the mothership.” Three courses £17.95.

113-115 Heaton Moor Rd, Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire SK4 4HY (

The Yorke Arms, Pateley Bridge

“Sunday lunch at Frances Atkins’ Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms is the ultimate weekend treat,” says Emma. “Classy takes on seasonal ingredients are hard to resist. Grouse, turbot and red deer are roasted alongside Dexter beef with trimmings.” Three courses £40.

Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 5RL (

The Highwayman, Kirkby Lonsdale

“One of Nigel Haworth’s pubs, The Highwayman has a children’s menu that won’t make parents shudder, so it’s great for family Sundays,” says Emma. “They serve their roasts, replete with local produce, right through until 8pm, and you can check online beforehand to see whether the star protein (a roast is around £14) is lamb, pork, beef or chicken.”

Burrow, Kirkby Lonsdale LA6 2RJ (

Blackfriars, Newcastle

“They might flog the medieval monastery setting but there’s a fine kitchen ethos at this former Dominican refectory,” says Emma. “Troy Terrington’s menu is loaded with local produce and the surroundings give roast beef a ceremonial air.” Three courses £18.

Friars St, Newcastle NE1 4XN (

The Feathers Inn, Stocksfield

“This old drovers’ inn feels a long way from anywhere, but plenty trek to Rhian and Helen Cradock’s much-loved pub,” says Emma. “Slow-roast saddleback pork comes with cauliflower cheese made with local Doddington’s cheese.” Three courses with tea and coffee £20.

Hedley on the Hill, Stocksfield, Northumberland NE43 7SW (

The Beagle, Chorlton

“A relaxed bar and restaurant, the result of a mind-meld between some of Manchester’s best beer, wine and food teams,” says Emma. “It gives local favourite The Parlour a run for its money with roasts of Goosnargh chicken, forerib of beef or hay-smoked salmon. The Sussex pond pudding is alarmingly delicious.” Two courses £17.50. 456-458 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 0BQ (


The Cumberland Bar, Edinburgh

“One of the most civilised bars in the New Town,” says Donald. “Tweed jackets aren’t compulsory, but you might feel underdressed without one. Proper but not pretentious pub grub includes organic pork, lamb, mutton and veal roasts from Peelham Farm near Berwick.” Two courses £13.95, three £15.95. 1-3 Cumberland Street, Edinburgh EH3 6RT (

Eat on the Green, Ellon

The ‘kilted chef’ Craig Wilson takes meat seriously, as you must so close to the origins of Aberdeen Angus, with Scotch Beef Club membership. Local sources include The Store and Presly & Co Butchers in Old Meldrum.Two courses £24.95, three £29.95.

Udny Gn, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 7RS (

Guy’s Restaurant & Bar, Glasgow

“Former Holywood film-catering chef Guy Cowan is one of the characters of Glasgow’s dining scene. He likes nothing better than playing host to a convivial Sunday roast,” says Donald. “The menu offers Scotch Beef Club credentials along with eclectic tales.” Three courses £15.95.

24 Candleriggs, Merchant City, Glasgow G1 1TD (

Cail Bruich, Glasgow

“This sophisticated restaurant in the West End of Glasgow serves up a three-course Sunday feast including roast rib eye of Buccleuch Estate beef with duck fat roast potatoes,” says Donald. “Walk it off with a stroll round the nearby Botanic Gardens.” Three courses £18.95.

725 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 8QX (

Kyloe, Edinburgh

“Book a table for Sunday lunch, with classic views over Princes Street and the Castle, and a fine rib roast from pedigree grass-fed Aberdeen Angus at Hardiesmill in the Borders,” says Donald. “The joint comes with trimmings, a bottle of wine and traditional puds for £100. Feeds four or five.”

1–3 Rutland Street, Edinburgh EH1 2AE (

The Lodge at Carfraemill, Lauder

“A place worthy of honour whenever beef is roasted in the UK,” says Donald. “It was here, in December 1997, that Jim Sutherland challenged the ban on serving beef on the bone with a defiant rib-roast banquet for local farmers, suppliers and supporters. Two years later, all charges were dropped and proper Sunday roasts were back on the menu.”

Lauder, Scottish Borders TD2 6RA (

The Sorn Inn, Sorn

“Craig Grant’s homely pub-restaurant punches well above its weight as a long-standing Michelin Bib Gourmand holder and Scotch Beef Club member, with a roast dinner packed with local produce,” says Donald. Three courses £16.95.

35 Main Street, Sorn, Ayrshire KA5 6HU (

The Roost Restaurant, Kintillo

“A gem on the fringes of rural Perthshire, with chef Tim Dover revelling in a wealth of local produce, including whole carcasses of lamb from farmer Hugh Grierson Organics, which appear as roast leg or shoulder on the menu,” says Donald. Two courses £19.95, three £22.50. The wine list is excellent too.

Forgandenny Roadd, Kintillo, Bridge of Earn PH2 9AZ (

Sutor Creek Café, Cromarty

“Boasting one of the few proper wood-fired ovens in the Highlands, this cosy, quirky, harbourside café majors on artisan pizzas and shellfish landed just yards away,” says Donald. “On Sundays the oven is reserved for succulent roasts, blackboard specials and lazy lunches.” Make sure to save some time to observe the harbour over coffee after your meal.

21 Bank Street, Cromarty, Black Isle, Highland (

Tibbie Shiels Inn, Selkirk

A historic wayside inn, once frequented by playwright and poet Sir Walter Scott, overlooking St Mary’s Loch. Sunday roasts come from one of Scotland’s premier small beef farms, Hardiesmill.

St. Mary’s Loch, Selkirk, Scottish Borders TD7 5LH (

Wales and Northern Ireland

The Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd

“A great gastropub owned by the Otley Brewing Company, which takes its ale, and food, seriously,” says Joanna. “Sunday lunch from £9.50 might be deep-fried Perl-wen cheese with chicory, watercress, apple and pecan salad, then roasted leg of Breconshire lamb with pearl barley, Otley ale and rosemary jus, and they’ll match ales to match.”

Ynysyngharad Road, Pontypridd CF37 4DA (

The Foxhunter, Abergavenny

This pub is part of a vigorous food revival in the area. “Another gem,” says Karen, “serving food with robust flavours – hearty and modern but not fancy.” Sunday lunch costs £23.95 for two courses, £28.95 for 3.

Nantyderry, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 9DN (

YPolyn, Capel Dewi

“This former country pub is now a friendl y restaurant serving simple, gutsy food. It’s a lovely place for a roast,” says Joanna. “Local seasonal ingredients feature. Sunday roast might be white onion, cider and thyme soup with Hafod cheese, crispy roast belly pork and caramelised apples, followed by treacle tart with vanilla ice cream.”

Capel Dewi, Carmarthenshire, SA32 7LH (

The Olde Bull Inn, Anglesey

Anglesey has become more desirable since a certain couple made the island their home, but Beaumaris has supported a drinking hole on the site of The Olde Bull Inn – The Good Pub Guide 2012’s best pub in Wales – since the 15th century. Try roast pheasant breast in pancetta and slow-cooked lamb shoulder with champ mash, both £14.25.

Castle Street, Beaumaris, Isle of Anglesey LL58 8AP (

Ginger Bistro, Belfast

Ginger Bistro has grown from a few tables into a thriving restaurant, but the food is still outstanding and well-priced. Pork belly with fennel, haricot beans and black pudding, £14.50, or roast hake with oyster mushroom and brown shrimp butter, £17.

7-8 Hope Street, Belfast BT12 5EE (

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