Five of the best roasts in London

Can’t be bothered to cook at home this Easter Sunday? Why not try one of these London pubs and restaurants?

Hawksmoor Spitalfields roast

Hawksmoor roast

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Hawskmoor Spitalfields and Hawksmoor Bar Spitalfields, E1

You shouldn’t ever need an excuse to eat quality red meat or drink cocktails, but just in case you do, you’ve got one right here. Hawskmoor serves possibly the best steak in town and, since opening Hawksmoor Bar Spitalfields last month, some of the best cocktails too. There are now three Hawksmoors in London (the flagship Spitalfields restaurant, Seven Dials and Guildhall), and they all do excellent (beef) roasts.

It may be tempting to pop into the most recently opened Hawskmoor in Guildhall, and swing by St Paul’s while you’re there, but you’d be missing the opportunity to treat yourself to a cocktail or two at the new Hawskmoor bar. Easter is, after all, about celebrating new beginnings.

(Warning: The Puritan cocktail - gin, chartreuse, vermouth & orange bitters - is about as pure as an 18 year-old on holiday in Marbella.)

The Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington, N16

This neighbourhood favourite used to be an absolute dive. So bad in fact it promted beer columnist Pete Brown to write about it for us back in August 2011. Fortunately, Brown was waxing lyrical about the pub’s renaissance - its rebirth as the  pub of choice for discerning beer lovers and foodies in the area.

Being in Stoke Newington, The Jolly butchers embodies rebirth in two such ways: as a thriving, trendy pub with ever changing seasonal beers on tap and with a fantastic, old-fashioned British menu, and as somewhere that – particularly on a Sunday – baby booming Stokies like to take the kids.

So if it’s a child-friendly but-still-cool pub that serves quality roasts you’re after, this is the place for you. 

(Warning: the cheese board is massive, share it with somebody or risk an embarrassing stomach ache.)

The Providores, Marylebone, W1

You might not fancy a roast. Or, you might fancy a brunch AND a roast. If either is the case then Bill Nighy’s favourite, The Providores on Marylebone High Street, is the place for you. Yep, despite being the kind of place frequented by Jude Law and the Coldplay gang, this antipodean laid back eatery is affordable, swish and just, well, great really.

The owners of this joint are so cool we’ve interviewed them.

The brunch can be anything from a traditional fry up to something more adventurous like Turkish eggs (poached eggs in yoghurt dressed with chilli oil – weird but very wonderful, trust us). You can’t reserve, so head there early.

(Warning: Celeb spotting, while fun, is best done discreetly – and staring at Chris Martin lookalikes is just not cool.)

The Garden Gate, Hampstead N1

This pub on Hampstead Heath’s doorstep is an absolute treasure. With one of the best beer gardens around and traditional 19th century interiors, come rain or shine, it makes for an ideal spot to while away an afternoon. Such whiling away is readily spurred on by the range of board games on offer too (good for kids and grown-ups alike). And the place is usually littered with the Sunday newspapers.

As well as beef, pork, chicken and nut roasts, the kitchen will be offering around six to eight dishes off the main menu. One word of caution: this place ain’t no secret and gets booked up fast. That said, they do leave some tables free for non-bookings so if you don’t mind waiting you should get a table either way. And it’s well worth a wait.

(Warning: You will not manage a walk on the Heath after one of these roasts, no matter how good your intentions.)

The New Cross House, SE14

Opened in May 2011, The New Cross House is one of the sure signs that New Cross has resurrected to become officially trendy. Once a grimy lowest-common-denominator pub, the new owners have transformed it into a thriving neighbourhood favourite replete with a great value menu, a sizeable outdoor heated patio resplendent with a giant treehouse, and some pretty good pizzas too.

On the menu for Easter Sunday will be chicken, beef, pork roasts, plus a mushroom and sage meatloaf with all the trimmings for the veggies. There will also be options available from the main menu.

From 6pm it’s goodbye roasts and hello pizzas, served from the traditional wood fire oven. Pizzas are labelled alphabetically, from A to 1, and are available by the slice for £3. Pizza A comes with rosemary potatoes, red onion, roast garlic, leeks, stilton & truffle oil and costs just £8.50. Which to be quite honest makes me think, why bother with a roast at all?

(Warning: You might find yourself considering moving to New Cross.)


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