London's best Sunday lunches
Traditional pub roast? Dim sum? Here's our guide to the capital's best Sunday lunch spreads
Let the Time Out experts guide you through the best Sunday lunches in London - from traditional pub roasts to Chinese dim sum and modern French cooking. Time Out reviews anonymously and pays for all meals.
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Sunday lunch reviews by: Guy Dimond, Anne Faber, Euan Ferguson, Ruth Jarvis, Charmaine Mok, Jenni Muir, Sally Peck
The best Sunday lunches in east London
Sunday lunch at this bonzer boozer is a relaxed affair – at first. As the afternoon progresses, a couple of low-key locals yield to crowds of swag-carrying Brick Lane marketeers and the mood cranks up from low-key to lively. In keeping with the pub’s unpretentious ethos, the food here is more about satisfaction than aspiration. Sunday-specific options are two roasts and a quiche (or you can order off the regular menu). The cooking style is homely, with sweet-baked veg and gravy liberally dispensed. Beef is quality topside correctly served medium; pork is tasty loin. Roasts come in two sizes: the smaller should be plenty, though note that there’s only one pudding on offer, and that one – chocolate fondant – is neither large nor a showstopper. There’s no booking, and the two small rooms fill up fast.
Sunday lunch served 1-5pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.
- 73 Cheshire Street, E2 6EG
If the Sunday press of people around Brick Lane and Spitalfields gets a bit much, you can always retreat to the cossetting interior and service of this branch of a modern French chain. Look at the 100ft-high vaulted ceiling for an inkling of the building’s former life as a parish hall – it’s now Grade II listed. Service is just as smooth and lush, with staff persuasively suggesting drinks, offering another delve into the excellent bread basket, and pointing out the menu’s attractions such the roast rump of lamb, roast monkfish tail with cockle risotto, or the tranche of calf’s liver. Three courses cost a set price of £26.50, and there’s a cheaper kids’ menu too. If you’re looking for something more casual, the adjoining – but less grand – Café a Vin serves a Sunday lunch at £14.95 from noon-3pm. In warmer weather, the Café’s large outdoor terrace is a draw.
Sunday lunch served noon-2.30pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £65.
- St Boltoph's Hall, 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
This den of antiquity in the Olympic borough of Stratford was there (as the King of Prussia) when London’s first Games were held in 1908; it served under its present name right through the second in 1948 and will no doubt remain long after the excitement of the third athletics meet is forgotten. Its Sunday lunch has gastropub leanings, with the likes of oysters, smoked mackerel fishcakes and grilled Gloucester Old Spot ham with apple chutney on a daily changing menu; there’s a good wine list to go with it, and the seats and sofas make the quiet back room an easy place to spend an afternoon. But the more traditional dishes are equally accomplished – fish and chips, bangers and mash, and a choice of (usually) two roast meats with the expected accompaniments. The malty house bitter is a fine drop too.
Sunday lunch served noon-9pm Sun. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £40.
- 47 Broadway, E15 4BQ
If you like your Sunday lunches big and bold and your gastropubs more bar than restaurant, this cracking little corner pub near Columbia Road flower market will do you proud.The crowd is fashiony without being deathly cool and the food is straightforward but flavoursome. You can eat Sunday lunch from noon to 4pm. Several roasts are offered; we tried a well-matured, tasty beef rump and slow-roast belly pork, tender within but a little dry on the outside and sadly not accompanied by the Marksman’s epic, softball-sized Yorkshire pud, which, like the roast potatoes, is good and crispy. There are several other main-course choices plus a handful of puds and starters; drinks include three ales and an oversized bloody mary.The corner room isn’t large, but table service from a friendly young squad spares you too much squeezing past your fellow diners.
Sunday lunch served noon-4pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service (two courses): around £55.
- 254 Hackney Rd, E2 7SJ
Sunday lunch is served until 8pm in this handsome pub, and both downstairs bar and upstairs restaurant are packed with a convivial crowd for the full eight hours. Choose from pork belly, a whole roast chicken for two and what could be the smoothest beef sirloin in town: if you can’t decide, go for the combination plate. All come with seasonal veg (colourful red cabbage, sweet potato mash and broccoli in winter, say), just the right amount of jus and a big, tasty Yorkshire. One disappointment: the roast potatoes were crunch-free and pallid last time we ate here, which was a surprise in a restaurant that generally teases out every last bit of flavour. Roasts (or a fish or vegetarian choice) are bracketed by standard gastropub starters and restaurant-style desserts.
Sunday lunch served noon-8pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £65.
- 76 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE