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, Tania Ballantine, Anne Faber, Roopa Gulati, Veronica Simpson, Euan Ferguson, Ruth Jarvis, Charmaine Mok, Jenni Muir, Sally Peck
The best Sunday lunches in central London
The Delaunay is the 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 £23.50), 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 11.30am-11pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £70.
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.
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.
Sunday lunch served 11am-4pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £60.
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 – Welsh rarebit, beef burger, fish and chips – but with vegetarian options such as heirloom tomato salad. 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 from noon. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £45.
The best Sunday lunches in north London
Gastropub clichés of painted wood panelling, floral wallpaper and deep leather lounge chairs look as fresh as pea shoots within the graceful proportions of this Edwardian inn. For good weather the huge outdoor garden has many large tables. On Sundays, couples serenely enjoying newspapers and coffee in the airy ground floor bar soon give way to jolly family groups. Sunday lunch menu is wallet-friendly, yet esteemed suppliers such as Elwy Valley lamb feature, and the tatties are roasted in duck fat. We liked the seasonal veg side bowl (included in the price) with its curly kale and root vegetable mash, though desserts of bread-and-butter pudding and chocolate brownie were only so-so. There’s a choice of six real ales.
Sunday lunch served noon-9pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £45.
The good news is the Horseshoe – home of the small Camden Town Brewery – keeps its front bar tables reservation-free on Sundays. The bad news is you really have to be here at noon to nab a table if you haven’t had the foresight to book the rear dining area. In view of customers, a bustling brigade turns out roasts including twice-cooked pork belly with apple sauce and leg of lamb with mint sauce, while from the designer bar comes bloody marys, sophisticated wines, and draught stout Camden Ink. The farm-to-fork claims aren’t just blah-blah, with many ingredients such as the rare breed Red Poll beef deriving from small farms in Suffolk. Start with a large bowl of tomatoey River Exe mussels, finish with British cheeses or Braeburn apple crumble.
Sunday lunch served noon-9pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £55.
This upmarket Crouch End restaurant flies the Union Jack for homegrown heritage produce and rare-breed meats. Plating-up homely tradition, the splendid Sunday lunch offers succulent Gloucester Old Spot pork, Belted Galloway beef and braised Blackface lamb – all cooked just-so. Besides meaty goodness, it’s the supporting cast of mile-high Yorkshire puds, crisp roast spuds and russet-hued gravy that swing it for us. Veggie sides might include salt-baked crushed celeriac. Families head here for the great cooking, spot-on service, relaxed vibe and supply of high chairs.
Sunday lunch served noon-5pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.
Originally a hotel, which partly explains its generous proportions, this ornate Victorian pub is an appealing mix of old-world charm and Crouch End cool. Service is bright and friendly. On Sundays the dining room’s open-plan kitchen offers a choice of four roasts plus traditional pub fare such as burgers, bangers and beer-battered haddock. Vegetarians could opt for the ‘roast’ loaf of chickpeas, carrots and dill served with potatoes, vegetarian gravy and Yorkshires, or, perhaps, a tart of broccoli, cauliflower and Montgomery cheddar served with salad. The wine list, real ales, bottled beers, cocktails and hot toddies are also points of pride. Worth noting: there’s a bijou heated garden at back.
Sunday lunch served noon-9pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.
The lists of names and time slots on the red tags hanging from empty spirit bottles at each table underline the popularity of this place. You can chance a walk-in if it’s bad weather, on the dot of noon, or on a dry day if you’re happy to eat in the front garden – but mostly you’ll need to book at least six days in advance for Sunday lunch here. It’s worth it, however, for the charming village vibe, fine choice of real ales and wines, and roasts based on well-sourced ingredients. Mealy, over-crusted potatoes and lukewarm sticky toffee pud were surprising slips from the usually reliable kitchen on our latest visit. Vegetarians are looked upon kindly and there’s plenty of choice for anyone else who doesn’t fancy a roast – including first-rate fish and chips to take away if you’re unable to snag a seat.
Lunch served noon-9pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.
Staff are very welcoming at this revamped Edwardian pub, which has plenty of room whether you want to sit in the capacious restaurant, cheerful bar or outside on the stylish alfresco terrace. The Vine even has a couple of private dining rooms for large family groups or, on our visit, a well-herded party of six-year-old pirates. The menu’s similarly friendly, offering an all-day specials list of cicchetti as well as more generous pasta plates and the likes of seared sea trout with mashed purple potatoes. Among the traditional Sunday lunch options, superb roasts of Dexter beef and Kilravock pork leg were deliciously succulent, but the Vine still needs to sharpen the execution of its overpriced puds. We can’t fault the bar – the interesting range of frequently changing ales is well-kept and the wines are good value.
Sunday lunch served noon-9pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.
The best Sunday lunches in south London
Tucked away in a quiet residential street north of Clapham Common, this cosy, neighbourhood gastropub lures in the locals for a decent Sunday lunch that isn’t fancy, isn’t overpriced, and doesn’t require dressing up. The emphasis is on Sunday roasts: meaty delights such as Suffolk chicken, rib of Ayrshire beef or Blythburgh pork shoulder come served with the standard sides of roast potatoes, cabbage and root veg. Those with less carnal cravings needn’t despair – fish and vegetarian options include hake and chips or pumpkin lasagna. The dessert menu offers robust temptations such as chocolate pot with peanut biscuits, or bread and butter pudding.
Sunday lunch served noon-4pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £40.
The Camberwell Arms serves up a heightened reality of a Sunday roast, such as starters of venison kofte, served with beetroot slaw, or barbecued mussels fragrant with garlic, chilli and lime. For mains, there’s roast cod or rabbit, barbecued squid and curried crab. We sampled more traditional fare: whole spit-roast chicken (for two) served on an huge white platter, piled with roast potatoes and vinaigrette-drenched lettuce leaves (delicious), or beef, stacked in thick, pink slices and served with spinach barbecued squid and curried crab. A pared-back, 1940s brasserie aesthetic – aubergine walls, salvaged furniture and stripped floorboards – suits the no-nonsense service.
Sunday lunch served noon-3.45pm. Sunday lunch for two including drinks and service: around £75.
Sitting incongruously on a particularly bleak stretch of South Lambeth Road, Canton Arms is an excellent place to while away a Sunday afternoon. The kitchen serves up rustic, meaty dishes which are the essence of contemporary British food, though occasionally with an Italian or French flourish. Fish or meat terrines or warm seasonal salads are the perfect way to whet the palate. Go with a big appetite and share a slow-cooked joint, or opt for a lighter risotto or fish (the menu changes daily) and finish with a decadent chocolate pot with cream, or a satisfyingly tart crumble. The pub serves a less-usual selection of real ales such as Skinner’s Betty Stogs or Timothy Taylor Golden Best, plus two daily-changing guest ales. Child, baby, and dog-friendly, Canton Arms is popular on weekends and is not the place for a speedy meal. Bookings not taken.
Sunday lunch served noon-4pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and tip: around £60.
As popular with well-heeled locals as a flash sale on Range Rovers, the Dog & Fox’s Sunday lunch is everything you’d want from a home-cooked meal, but without the faff. Juicy, pink-middled beef (£14.95) or succulent marinated half-chicken (£13.95) comes with all the trimmings: crispy roasties, thyme-specked root veg, lashings of gravy, and a proper Yorkshire pud as big as a melon. Service is terrific, and being a short stroll from the green spaces of Wimbledon Common (past the stables, with their tell-tale horse manure ‘tang’), you can get a taste of country life, but without having to leave a London postcode.
Sunday lunch served noon-4.30pm (last orders). Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £55.
The Rookery is a snug bar-restaurant facing Clapham Common that opened in 2011. The location is perfect for Sunday strollers, many of whom drop in while passing, though it’s best to book. Young families and convivial small groups of thirty-somethings make up much of the Sunday clientele, some at high bar stools, some beside the cosy real-effect gas fire, some in more alcove-like seating towards the kitchen, and a few stragglers seated on the smaller first floor. The menu is British-focused but modern, with dishes such as English rabbit lasagne to share – these bunnies were hopping off the menu. More conventional choices include slow-cooked Hampshire pork belly. The drinks list is also excellent – the fabulous beers on draught include a Meantime IPA.
Sunday lunch served noon-4.30pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £45.
Trinity may be one of Clapham’s smartest neighbourhood restaurants specialising in Modern French cuisine, but did you know they also do a smashing Sunday lunch? A classy three courses for £32 centres around beautiful but gutsy mains: the highlight being, naturally, the 40 day aged Dexter beef with proper Yorkshire puddings, roast veg and fresh English horseradish (grated with a flourish tableside). Other options for mains might include roast Middle White pork belly, or balsamic braised lamb shanks, bookended by potted sea bass or pigeon kiev for starters, and sticky date and toffee pudding for dessert. Service is top notch, and unexpectedly unfussy for all the pressed linen and sparkling glassware about. Pricey, but very special – recommended for when a grimy gastropub offering just won’t do. Trinity’s chef-owner, Adam Byatt, also owns a simpler bistro nearby at 40 Abbeville Road called Bistro Union which is also open for Sunday lunch.
Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £85.
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.
At one end of Petticoat Lane Market lies the Culpeper: a hot ‘new’ gastropub that wouldn’t look out of place in Shoreditch. Come Sundays, ex-Terroirs head chef Sandy Jarvis focuses on a single roast, a single (meat) alternative, and a veggie option. The roast typically rotates top-notch chicken, pork and lamb (the latter two coming from Ginger Pig in Yorkshire), and comes with roast potatoes and made-to-order, err Yorkshires, and with lovely greens – rainbow chard, courgettes, french beans, some of these grown on the pub’s roof garden. The alternatives, such as salt beef pot au feu, aren’t shabby either.
Sunday lunch served noon-7.30pm (last orders). Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.
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, seared Icelandic cod with puy lentils, or the tranche of calf’s liver. Three courses cost a set price of £29, 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 £19.95 from noon-3pm. In warmer weather, the Café’s large outdoor terrace is a draw.
Sunday lunch served noon-3pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £75.
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-10pm Sun. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £40.
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 and then again from 6pm to 10pm. 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 and 6-10pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service (two courses): around £55.
Sunday lunch is served until 9pm 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 rib eye, a poussin and what could be the smoothest beef sirloin in town. 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-9pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £65.
The best Sunday lunches in west London
Don’t expect to find the traditional Sunday lunch at Dock Kitchen, as chef Stevie Parle likes to use international influences in his eclectic dishes. You’ll find North African touches such as chermoula cod (the fish marinated in a Moroccan herb mix) or Mediterranean flavours in the charcoal pork chops with chickpeas in a Spanish-style romesco sauce. Don’t be shy to ask for explanations regarding the menu’s less-familiar culinary terms, as there are plenty of them. The weekly-changing menu usually offers one roast meat dish to share, as well as one vegetarian option, such as artichokes alla romana with grilled polenta.
Sunday lunch served noon-3.30pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £50.
The set Sunday lunch menu at this elegant Queensway brasserie gives you a choice of seasonal British-style roasts – lamb, maybe, or roast loin of pork with apple sauce – or classic French dishes such as bouillabaisse or French partridge. The family-friendly ambience is promoted by the special kids’ menu: they can dig into a roast of their own, or munch on perennial favourites such as spaghetti with tomato sauce. Le Café Anglais is not the place for the sort of pile-it-high meal you might expect in a neighbourhood pub. Fortunately, hearty desserts such as apple crumble and brownies will make sure no one leaves the table hungry. Chef Rowley Leigh also supervises the superior snack menu of the adjacent Odeon cinema’s new boutique theatre, called The Lounge, where you can watch movies and eat full meals with table service at the same time.
Sunday lunch served noon-3.30pm. Set Sunday lunch menu: 2 courses £25, 3 courses £30. Kids’ menu: 2 courses £12.50. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £65.
If being cooped up in a dark room isn’t how you want to spend Sunday lunchtime, Eelbrook may be the answer. The white dining room is light-filled, with floor-length glass doors leading onto an alfresco terrace overlooking Eel Brook Common. Boring roasts are also off the menu. Instead, there’s a sunny Mediterranean menu that includes wood pigeon with blackberry and ricotta, or grilled baby artichokes for starters; followed by whole roasted poussin in an allspice rub with a fattoush salad, or ricotta gnudi with peas and broad beans. We were impressed with the standard of cooking, the friendliness of the staff, and this restaurant’s good looks.
Sunday meals served 10am-10pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £65.
This terrific gastropub is the worst-kept secret in Fulham. It serves dishes that are far beyond the standard of any other pub in west London, and even trounces many far more expensive restaurants. As a result, you need to book well in advance – at least one week for Sunday lunch. But it’s worth it: if you manage to bag a spot, you're in for a treat that reminds you just how good simple, classic British cooking can be. The Harwood Arms dishes up proper Sunday roasts – think featherblade of beef with smoked bone marrow and all the trimmings, or less obvious options such as wild Cornish sea bream with artichokes, parsley and lemon. Leave some room for dessert though, as it will be hard to say no to buttermilk pudding with English strawberries and toasted almonds.
Sunday lunch served 12.30-4pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £60.
Try not to be put off by the bare interior of Hereford Road (there's not a single picture on the walls) - Tom Pemberton's British cooking provides all the visual nourishment you'll need. Pemberton worked for the ground-breaking St John Bread & Wine, and the influence of Fergus Henderson is apparent.
Sunday lunch served noon-4pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £55.
Royal China is still the place in London to get high-quality, authentic dim sum at a reasonable price. The original branch in Queensway does a roaring trade on a Sunday: the doors open at 11am and there is a queue pretty much from then until 3pm to nab a spot in the bustling dining room. Bookings are not taken. Still, a bit of bustle is what you want in an authentic dim sum restaurant, and Royal China is worth the wait: the food is of reliably high quality, the service efficient, and the newly-renovated dining room quite posh for the price.The classic and well-priced dim sum menu has not changed.
Sunday lunch served 11am-3pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £40.