Definitely one of winter’s joys, a smashing roast is a comfort and a great way to finish off the week. If you’re thinking about treating yourself to one of theses gravy smothered meals, here’s where to go in south east London.
Photo: Coal Rooms
1 Coal Rooms, Peckham
As a social enterprise, Coal Rooms reinvests over half of its profits in training and employment opportunities for the homeless. As a restaurant, it serves up modern European dishes, cooked over it’s bespoke coal-fired grill. Open for all-day dining, its Sunday roasts includes, miso butter half chicken, dry-aged beef Wellington, rosemary and garlic lamb and a seasonal vegetable gratin of courgette, aubergine, Cornish mid and celeriac. Pair it with a bloody Mary or kir royale and finish off with a greengage and almond frangipane.
11a Station Way Peckham, SE15 4RX coalroomspeckham.com
2 Joanna’s, Crystal Palace
This family-run restaurant has been a fixture of Crystal Palace life since opening in 1978. Originally an American diner, it is now a modern brasserie whose goal is to serve customers simple but delicious food in elegant yet unstuffy surroundings. On Sundays, the regular a la carte menu is boosted by an additional traditional roast offering: sirloin beef, free-range chicken and a chestnut mushroom, artichoke and spinach pithivier (a kind of French wellington/pie hybrid). There’s also salmon and a squash makhani on the menu, and delicious starters and desserts – rabbit terrine with porcini mushroom ketchup and baked fig cake with whipped coconut and date molasses for example.
56 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace SE19 1RX; 020 8670 4052; joannas.uk.com
3 The Palmerston, East Dulwich
The Palmerston in East Dulwich, overhauled its kitchen to keep its bold, modern European dishes at their best. And the convivial gastro-pub serves up a fabulous Sunday roast. The Sunday menu has a host of small and large plates if you want a non-roast Sunday lunch, including spicy steak tartar, deep fried brie, and Fowley mussels, but there’s also a beef, lamb, salmon, chicken, pork (with crackling) and a vegan roast option to choose from too. Naturally, these come with all the trimmings including hefty Yorkshire puddings, spring greens and maple glazed carrots and parsnips.
91 Lordship Lane East Dulwich SE22 8EP; thepalmerston.co.uk
4 The Crooked Well, Camberwell
The Michelin Guide-recommended Crooked Well never fails to provide. The neighbourhood pub is housed in a single high-ceilinged room replete with chandeliers and velvet banquettes and regulars include local celebs Florence Welsh and Erin O’Connor. Offering an elevated, modern take on traditional roasts, you’ve got a host of options including fish, vegan and a whole roast chicken with sage and onion stuffing. There’s a smattering of small plates – such as crisp polenta with ratatouille, chicken liver parfait, and salt and pepper squid – to get you started, and stuffing, pigs in blankets cauliflower cheese in the sides.
16 Grove Lane, Camberwell SE5 8SY; 020 7252 7798; thecrookedwell.com
5 The Guildford Arms, Greenwich
The Guildford Arms’ chef-patron Guy Awford is all about the seasonality and quality of the food he serves, which is sourced fresh from local suppliers. Everything the kitchen serves is made on the premises, and since the style of cooking is imaginative modern British, it’s a great spot to head for a roast. Choose from dishes such as garlic and rosemary marinated lamb, garlic and lemon chicken with sage and onion stuffing, or a nut roast made from parsnip, mushrooms and cashews. Roasts come with all the trimmings, but there;s a sizable mezze, grilled and side menu too.
55 Guildford Grove, Greenwich SE10 8JY; 020 8691 6293; theguildfordarms.co.uk
6 The Camberwell Arms, Camberwell
The Camberwell Arms is a great dining-style pub with some very fancy Sunday lunch offerings. Start with the likes of deep fried oyster mushrooms or pickled mussels, and then split an elevated roast offering including spit-roasted chicken with cicoria, olives, aioli and roast potatoes; a slow cooked beef osso bucco with chard, capers and green sauce; and aged Hereford rump with anchovy butter, roast potatoes and radicchio. While all dishes come with roast potatoes, you can get lemon and sage tatties as a side, along with purple sprouting broccoli leaves and oak leaf lettuce and ricotta salad.
65 Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell SE5 8TR; 020 7358 4364; thecamberwellarms.co.uk
7 Hare & Billet, Blackheath
The recently refurbished Hare & Billet, seems like Blackheath’s most grown up pub. It’s quiet and sophisticated, with a separate dining area and a great range of beers – many from small local breweries. The fresh, seasonal, rustic-style British cuisine features lots of lovely pies and slow cooking delights, and their roasts are good and traditional. Start the meal off with a wheel of gooey baked camembert or charcuterie board to share, and then get stuck into your choice of chicken, pork or beef roast that comes with trimmings including maple-roasted carrots and sauteed pecan Brussel sprout. There’s a vegan and kids options too.
1A Hare & Billet Road, Blackheath SE3 0QJ; 020 8852 2352; hareandbillet.com
8 The Sylvan Post, Forest Hill
This relaxed boozer is housed in a former post office and retains many original features, from the letter boxes out front to its bar fashioned from a 1960s Royal Mail desk. Known above all for its excellent craft beers, its Sunday lunch has also become a cherished feature of Forest Hill life. Choose fro m beef, chicken and pork belly, and a squash and spinach Wellington for the vegetarian option. Kid-sized portions are available as well. If you don’t fancy a craft brew or glass of wine, try one of the three Sunday cocktails on the go – a bloody Mary, mimosa or kir royale.
24-28 Dartmouth Park Road, Forest Hill SE23 3XU; 020 8291 5712; sylvanpost.com
9 The Orchard, Brockley
The Orchard’s loyal, predominantly local clientele love its Sunday roasts (the wickedly spicy bloody Marys are another key attraction). Ingredients are seasonal and sourced as locally and as independent as possible.The Sunday menu, which changes regularly, currently features braised Hereford beef brisket with horseradish cream, slow roast Tamworth pork belly with apple sauce and leek, potato and Taw Valley cheddar Homity pie. With affogato, creme brulee and sticky ginger pudding on the menu too, you’ll want to save room for dessert.
5 Harefield Road, Brockley SE4 1LW; 020 8692 4756; thebrockleyorchard.com
10 The Princess of Wales, Blackheath
Always bustling, the Princess of Wales has an area for every occasion – tables under the TV for Sunday sports viewing, booths for crowding into with friends, high stools, low sofas, high-backed chairs and even conservatory-style dining. Tuck into a 21 day-aged beef sirloin, chicken or pork belly roast to share, or get your own individual meal. All roasts come with all the trimmings – thyme-roasted potatoes, savoy cabbage, leeks, peas and root vegetables, and you can also get some pigs in blankets and cauliflower cheese if you have some room to spare. Although there’s no vegetarian option, non-meat eaters can choose dishes from the main menu.
1a Montpelier Row, Blackheath SE3 0RL; 020 8852 5784; princessofwalespub.co.uk
11 The Woolwich Equitable, Woolwich
*At the time of writing the kitchen was closed due to staffing shortages. Visit the website for updates.* This magnificent building dates back to 1935 and was originally the headquarters of the Woolwich Equitable Building Society. In 2016, it was beautifully refurbished to show off the double-height ceilings, grand marble columns and spectacular Art Deco glass ceiling. The Sunday roast menu features a selection of carefully sourced meats like the Norfolk Black Angus top-side of beef and the Devon Black Face lamb leg, all served on pretty, chintzy plates handsomely stacked with roast potatoes, Chantenay carrots, honey roasted parsnips, buttered Savoy cabbage, Yorkshire puddings and red wine gravy.
General Gordon Square, Woolwich SE18 6AB; 020 8317 7190; woolwichequitable.com
12 The Prince Regent, Herne Hill
An excellent stop off after a stroll in Brockwell Park, The Prince Regent serves up a good roast chicken with that saviour of all Sundays – cauliflower cheese. In fact, all roast options – excluding the vegan roast – come with the ultimate comfort dish. Roasts are hearty and inexpensive, and there’s a decent range of puddings to choose from should you want to finish on a sweet note. Alternatively, opt for the cheese board instead. The pub’s Sunday menu also offers small and large plates in case anyone in your party isn’t in the roast mood.
69 Dulwich Road, Herne Hill SE24 0NJ; 020 7274 1567; theprinceregent.co.uk