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 central London
The Delaunay is the new sibling of The Wolseley, and shares many of its key traits – a strong sense of occasion, smooth service, grand room, retro European menu. There’s roast rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding served all day (for a hefty £18.50), but the extensive à la carte menu also lists brunch dishes (eggs every which way) alongside more unusual, and more interesting mittel-European dishes. The schnitzels are excellent, so are the German-style sausages. The menu evokes French salons, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Weimar Republic, when grand cafés were the meeting place of Europe’s bourgeoisie – so perhaps it’s no accident that this is where many of London’s intellectuals now choose to lunch on a Sunday.
Sunday lunch served 11am-11pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £60.
- 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB
Finding a decent Sunday roast in the centre of town used to be a difficult mission, wrought with the dangers of greying beef more suited to working the jaw than chewing the fat. Hawksmoor’s original branch in Spitalfields already did a brilliant roast, but the newer Seven Dials restaurant is now our choice for a Sunday treat, and is more central. There’s no choice of roast. Come if you adore beef, full of flavour and cooked to a rosy medium rare; they use rump of Longhorn here, which offers the right amount of beefiness and chew, and it comes charred on the outside and evenly pink throughout. It’s accompanied by a massive Yorkshire (to get an idea of size, hold two fists together), iron-rich greens and tender – not mushy – carrots, and we love the addition of half a roasted head of garlic and sweet roasted shallots.
Sunday lunch served noon-4.30pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £60.
- 11 Langley Street, WC2H 9JJ
- Rated as: 4/5
- Price band: 2/4
If Sunday roast’s too conventional for you, consider Modern Pantry. Chef Anna Hansen’s known for her creative approach to mixing up flavours and ingredients. Sirloin of beef might be crusted with chilli and curry leaf, served with a tomato relish; and that’s one of the more conventional choices. The vegetarian choices are always enticing, such as the roast butternut squash with a filling of feta, hijiki seaweed, miso, lentils, soy broth and a parmesan crisp. This style of cooking’s not for everyone, but if you fancy something different, you’ll certainly find it here. The dining room is large and bright, and in warm weather tables are placed in the cobbled square outside the front of this attractive Georgian building.
Set lunch £20 (two courses), £25 (three courses). Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £55.
- 47-48 St John's Square, EC1V 4JJ
A proper pub with a proper Sunday roast, if that’s what you’re after. Located near Smithfield meat market, the emphasis at the Old Red Cow is – quite fittingly – on meat. We had a couple of top-notch Sunday roasts on our visit, with free-range chicken and well-hung beef bought from just over the road. Large groups can dig into ‘family-style’ roasts – by carving the meat themselves at the table. The rest of the menu is solid British pub grub – ham hock terrine, beef burger, fish and chips – but with vegetarian options such as buckwheat and cider pancake. The Old Red Cow is also a proper beer-lover’s pub, with three hand pumps to keep the real ales flowing and a selection of 14 changing keg beers.
Sunday lunch served noon-3pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £45.
- 71 Long Lane, EC1A 9EJ
Bored of the usual Sunday roasts? Then break the tradition with a Chinese dim sum. This Sunday lunch tradition of Cantonese families is a way for Chinese chefs to show off their prowess, which they do by showcasing a variety of small, sharing plates of steamed, baked or fried nibbles. This stylish Soho restaurant is unusual in serving dim sum all day, not just at lunchtimes – and is justly renowned for both quality and creativity. The extensive menu features classic har gau (steamed chewy shrimp parcels), fluffy char siu buns (filled with roasted pork), and slithery cheung fun (cannelloni-like rice pasta tubes with various fillings), but also has more innovative dishes such as baked pastry puffs filled with venison or roasted duck, pumpkin and pine nut.
Sunday lunch served noon-10.30pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £65.
- 15 Broadwick St, W1F 0DL
Also good for Sunday lunch in central London
Dean Street Townhouse
Dean Street Townhouse has the feel of a private members’ club, but the menu of your favourite British auntie. Where else could you get mince and tatties in Soho?
- 69-71 Dean Street, W1D 4QJ
A pub that does proper Sunday roasts with good ales.
- 94A Crawford Street, W1H 2HQ
Part of the National Gallery, this Peyton & Byrne brasserie (part of a chain) is open all day, and tries to please all comers for a fair price.
- Sainsbury Wing, Trafalgar Square, (National Gallery), WC2N 5DN
In the posh part of Pimlico where it becomes Belgravia, this grand building looks like a gastropub, but deep down it’s a smart restaurant wearing mufti.
- 37 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE
- Rated as: 3/5
- Price band: 2/4
The crypt of St Paul’s has been put to good use with this charming all-day café which also serves good Sunday roasts.
- St Paul's Cathedral, (St Paul's Churchyard), EC4M 8AD
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