Food & Drink

The best roast dinner in London

These seven restaurants occupy the premier league of Sunday roasts. Bon appétit!

If you've forgotten to prepare your chicken rub or just don't fancy unearthing the baking tray, these restaurants offer the very best roast dinner in London. Each as unique - and delicious - as the next.

The Marksman

The setup: There are many things in this world that don’t need to be tarted up: fry ups, for instance, fish and chips maybe, and probably your Sunday roast. Yet The Marksman doesn’t make the roast fancy by any means: it just makes the best version of what you sought out in the first place. Downstairs you can eat your dinner in a beautiful, wood-panelled pub. Upstairs there’s a lighter, funkier dining space with a terrace.

Eat this: Although the menu is subject to change, the lamb roast fell to pieces quicker than Fyre Festival, in a pool of verdant gravy with a celeriac purée that turned the humble root into something sexier than you’ve ever tasted before. The roasties too are perfect: the carapace shattering to reveal a fluffy inside, like a savoury flying disc. The buttered greens also manage to be both soothing and yet virtuous at the same time. If you have room for pudding (and you really must make sure you do) the brown butter and honey tart, the definition of what Nigella described as "inner thigh wibble", provides all the sticky Nostos of a treacle tart but with baby food smoothness.

Drink this: The pub’s cordials and shrubs are made in house, its spirits infused in their own four walls and their wine list is full of small family producers in England and Europe. Any pub that offers a Black Velvet on their contact list should, frankly, be beatified. However if, like us, your prefer your roasts as a solution to an intense hangover, The Marksman has you covered – it'll give you multiple bottles of Diet Coke to keep your pint glass topped up while you stare blankly into a tray of roast potatoes.

254 Hackney Road, London E2. marksmanpublichouse.com

The Gatehouse

The setup: There’s no better place to escape the craziness of the capital than its northern residential areas. Our favourite spot to satisfy your Sunday roast desires? The quaint village of Highgate, in the middle of which lies a local gastropub gem called The Gatehouse. Safe to say, it brings the highest form of food with it, with head chef Chris Payne delivering the most exquisite selection of seasonal British dishes. Standing at the top of his culinary realm? His Sunday roasts.

Eat this: The aged rump of beef (£18.50). It’s the first option on the menu for a reason: your eyes need look no further. Never has the central feature of a roast dinner been cooked to such perfection: rich in flavour, perfectly tender and a generous portion – it’s the ultimate weekend treat. Served with crisp roast potatoes and root vegetables, greens and a crowing Yorkshire pudding tier, the finishing complement is a side of horseradish (not too overpowering, FYI), oh, and a topping of thick gravy. Your Sunday has never been served so well.

Drink this: Opt for a bottle of Montesc Rioja (£27). Autumn’s on its way, after all. Our only other tip for your North London outing this weekend is that it might be a good idea to book a table for the later hours of the afternoon, because from 6:30pm live jazz commences. Cosy up in this bucolic setting and say hello to Christmas, because with all these dining details, it just came early.

1 North Road, London N6. 020 8340 8054. thegatehousen6.com

Oblix

The setup: When the lofty ambitions of restaurateur/chef Rainer Becker – he of Zuma, Roka and a former GQ Food & Drink Awards judge – led him to open on the Shard’s 32nd floor in 2013, it wasn’t to add another Japanese restaurant to his roster. Instead, for Oblix, comfort food was top of the order, with a meat-heavy menu spanning rotisserie, grill and josper dishes. Now, Becker has broadened his horizons with that most British of comfort food: the classic Sunday roast. No pretension, no kitchen trickery and, incidentally, no vegetarian option. This is simply an extremely well executed country-pub meal – only served higher up than anywhere other than an A380. Oblix might not let you ask for a window seat, but if you want to try your luck, the even-numbered tables between two and 12 offer remarkable views of London's snaggletooth skyline through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Eat this: The current menu includes rotisserie duck, Cornish lamb, free-range chicken and suckling pig (all £32), plus bone-in rib of beef (£39). As a side, the horseradish mash is so good it might even distract you from the view.

Drink this: Start with a Bloody Mary (£12). Then, every dish is accompanied with a suggested wine pairing (£15), with the 2009 Château Chasse-Spleen that accompanied our lamb a particularly good match. The bourbon-based Oblix signature cocktail King Of New York will do for dessert if you overindulged with the sides.

Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 via oblixrestaurant.com

The Hawksmoor

The setup: The Hawksmoor is all about steak, so it's little surprise that come Sunday, they serve up some of the best roast beef in London. The Knightsbridge restaurant is big and buzzy, with an open kitchen, brown leather furniture and a friendly atmosphere that makes it feel a little bit like a pub, only a million times nicer than your average boozer.

Eat this: They do one thing and they do it properly - forget chicken or pork - if you want a roast, then the soft, perfectly pink and wonderfully flavourful beef it must be (£20). Served with fluffy goose fat potatoes, a ginormous Yorkshire, a decent selection of traditional vegetablee, a whole roasted bulb of garlic and lashings of bone marrow gravy, it's a perfectly balanced plate of Sunday joy.

Drink this: When it comes to drinks, while with the beef itself it would be a near crime not to slurp on a decent glass of red, when you arrive, we recommend trying on if the Hawksmoor's excellent cocktails. The gunpowder fizz (£11) - made from Chivas, pedres ximmens, green tea, lime egg white - will brighten even the blurriest of Sunday eyes.

3 Yeoman's Row, Chelsea, London SW3 2AL via thehawksmoor.com

Harwood Arms

The setup: London's only Michelin-starred pub is co-owned by the Ledbury's Brett Graham and game specialist Mike Robinson. Offering generous portions, decadent interiors and quality ingredients, this definitely isn't just your average pub lunch.

Eat this: Start with Berkshire game faggots, then indulge in 55 day-aged rib-eye of Hereford beef with all the trimmings, including cauliflower cheese croquettes and horseradish cream (two courses for £35.50).

Drink that: They have a fantastic wine list, but why not mix things up a little with a pint (or two) of Japan's best beer, Kirin Ichiban, on tap (£4.90).

Walham Grove, London SW6 via Harwood Arms

Blacklock

The setup: This subterranean bare-brick meat shack in Soho was founded by a few old hands from Hawksmoor, and in the week is a chop-centric carnivore's dream. Sunday, however, is all about lunch in all its robust and beautiful glory...

Eat this: Go "All In" - a mix of Longhorn beef, Herdwick lamb and Middlewhite pork with all the Yorkshire pudding, duck fat-roasted spuds, carrots, broccoli and bone marrow gravy you can eat (£20 per person).

Drink that: Keep the Sunday lunch theme going with a Bloody Mary made from Horseradish vodka and beefy tomato juice (£5).

24 Great Windmill Street, London W1 via The Black Lock

Jones and Sons

The setup: On the site of the former Arcola Theatre, the Dalston-based Jones & Sons is a warehouse-style restaurant specialising in "bottomless brunches", and bountiful Sunday roasts until 7pm.

Eat this: Any of the roasts are great - rib-eye beef (£17), leg of lamb (£16), pork belly (£14) or a whole chicken (£25), each heaving with all the trimmings. We'd also recommend the starters, such as the wood pigeon (£8.50) and the crispy squid (£8.50).

Drink that: The Bloody Mary - with cucumber, salt and chilli flakes - is sublime (£7). For the roast, the rich Lagarde Malbec (£32) is hard to beat.

23-27 Arcola Street, London E8 via Jones and Sons

Read more:

Where to find the best burgers in London

London’s best Chinese restaurants

The best Mexican restaurants for tacos and tequila in London

GQ Recommends

Fashion

You can now wear the Adidas Stan Smith all winter long

Out to lunch

David Nott: 'I still blame the government for not acting quickly enough concerning Syria'

Hotels

The best hotels in the UK to stay in this year

Edition