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While visitors to the UK often feel that tradition has been lost in modern day London, one thing that us Londoners do hold in very high esteem is our Sunday Roast. The fantastic mixture of succulent meat (generally a choice of beef, chicken, lamb or pork), served with indulgently crispy roasted potatoes, colorful “veg” and tasty gravy is serious business. It’s not the cheapest meal on offer in London, but a good one will fill you up well into the evening so you can think of it as an investment – as well as a real insight into good old British culture.
Do be warned that those big chain pubs promising to serve a Sunday Roast for under £10 are not the real deal. A sloppy roast with chewy meat is not how this important meal should arrive on your plate. Take my advice and head to one of these trusty locales for a guaranteed tasty feast:
The Highbury Barn
26 Highbury Park
London, N5 2AB
Tube: Highbury & Islington
Located on this little stretch of foodie heaven just at the end of Highbury Fields, this historic, cozy pub draws on its gourmet surroundings, with all meat sourced from the award-winning Godfrey & Son’s butchers across the road and an impressive list of wine and ale. Choose from lemon and thyme roast chicken, pork with cider gravy, sirloin of beef with Yorkshire pudding or roast leg of lamb, all served with seasonal veg, roast potatoes and gravy.
Prices aren’t too bad either, ranging from £11.95 to £15.50 each. While you enjoy your lunch you can also be sure you’re tapping into a little piece of London history – the Highbury Barn started serving cakes and ale right back in 1740 and first became a tavern in 1770!
The Three Crowns
175 Stoke Newington Church Street
London, N16 0LH
Buses: 73 (from Victoria), 476 (from Euston)
“Stokey” Church Street is the ideal place to spend a Sunday afternoon. The village-like feel of this pretty street takes you miles away from the madness of London’s city center, and there are endless pubs, cafes, restaurants and tea shops to explore. The Three Crowns is located at the end of the street and is a comfy gastropub with a lively atmosphere at any time of day.
Roasts start at £10.95 for a vegetarian nut roast, while chicken breast with rosemary and apricot stuffing comes in at £11.95 and roast loin of pork with crackling or roast sirloin of beef and slow braised lamb shank will set you back between £13 and £15. All these delicious options are served with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, greens and gravy. Delicious!
The Charles Lamb
16 Elia Street
London, N1 8DE
There’s something about this quirky little pub that makes me feel like I’ve stepped back in time to an old fashioned London. Perched on a corner amidst quiet residential streets, just a few yards from the Regent’s Canal and a couple of blocks away from the bustle of Upper Street, it feels like the Charles Lamb has acted as a well respected local watering hole for a very long time. And rightly so – this pub was originally opened in 1839.
They don’t take bookings and there are only a few tables, so get here early on a Sunday for a fantastic lunch. The offering is smaller than in some pubs – they tend to stick to just pork and beef – but they do them to perfection. Prices are competitive, costing £13.50 or £14 each. Once they’ve cleared away your plates, you can even enjoy a game of Scrabble at your table.
91-93 Great Eastern Street
London, EC2A 3HZ
Tube: Old Street / Shoreditch High Street (overground)
If you’ve already tried and tested a traditional Sunday lunch, then why not sample something new and give Floripa’s Brazilian take on a British favorite a go? This trendy hotspot in East London serves up a seriously scrumptious roast every Sunday from just £14. Choose from char-grilled slow roasted Picanha (beef), roast chicken with coriander, chipotle, coconut and garlic butter, or vegetable and Brazil nut roast.
All these delectable dishes are served with Brazilian-style Yorkshire puddings (you need to try it to believe it), roast potatoes, seasonal veg, corn on the cob and sweet potato mash. What’s more, you can enjoy free live jazz from the house band from 5 p.m. every Sunday. It’s an excellent way to end the week if you ask me!