Succulent roast beef, a kick of horseradish sauce, a big crispy Yorkshire pudding and an array of vegetables and roast potatoes, all soaked in thick, rich gravy. That’s my ideal Sunday roast.
I don’t often indulge in eating out for a roast dinner in London. But when you do decide to head out and leave the hard work to a chef, it can be a wonderful way to spend your Sunday afternoon.
The chances of finding a pub that does a decent roast dinner can of course be hit and miss. And the chances of finding roasties that succeed in having the perfect fluffy middle and crisp exterior, just like your mum’s – well, that’s virtually impossible.
That said, we found a pretty good contender in the form of the Sun of Camberwell – a gaudy yellow building on Coldharbour Lane which unveils a surprisingly cosy and comforting pub come dining room once you step inside.
Your eyes are drawn to the ceiling where light pours in through a skylight roof and a very glitzy antique chandelier sparkles, adding a touch of art deco glamour.
In fact, glamour and shabby vintage sit side by side very well here. The unpolished and slightly unfinished look about the place seem to work really well with the vintage mirrors, fireplaces and slightly wonky lampshades. It all adds to the lovely chic, old world feel. Just what you want from a cosy, non-pretentious pub.
And indeed, what struck us too was the lovely warm welcome you get here and the open-to-all kind of feel. We were surrounded by young families being climbed on by babies, couples and groups of friends and those who looked like regulars, sipping on pints at the bar.
We went for the sirloin beef which appeared in huge proportions. The downside was it was marbled with a bit too much fat for my liking. But the upside was it was beautifully succulent and ever so slightly rare which pleased me no end. The Yorkshires were big and crisp filled with thick gravy (so you get a nice soggy bottom). And the vegetables were an absolute delight. No soggy veggies here, oh no. At the Sun of Camberwell you’ll get baby carrots and parsnip, unpeeled to give a rustic quality and with a lovely sweet flavour. Sun of Camberwell I applaud you.
There was a generous portion of greens and the roasts were a tad on the over-done side, but nonetheless, I think my mum would have approved.
If you go, try the Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (Vistamar Brisa). It was smooth, fruity and had great smoky lingering flavours. A very lovely partner for a big hearty roast.
Desserts here (if you’re stomach can stretch that far) range from classics like sticky toffee pudding and cheese boards to poached figs and flavoured ice-creams.
The dark chocolate fondant wasn’t as much of a gooey chocolatey explosion as we might have expected. But the plum crumble was a bit hit. A deep dish of juicy and tart fruit topped with various sizes of sweet crumbly pieces was everything a crumble should be – sweet, crunchy and delicious. There was plenty of creamy custard to go with it too. Very important for the custard-fiend that I am.
Sated and ready to ‘zuzz’ into an afternoon nap (I would have had I been at home), we delved into the pub’s impressive collection of board games they keep in their side ‘parlour’ room.
Motown and soul classics were playing on Vinyl, it was dark outside and we were all cosy with a glass of red and a game of Buckaroo (we couldn’t resist). If you’re looking for that cosy, laid back and comforting kind of Sunday, they’ve got it just right here.
Oh, I do love Sundays…
If you like the look of the Sun of Camberwell, here are some of other pubs in the Antic chain of pubs across London…
This is what you’d call a ‘proper’ local pub. Good British produce, British ales and lots of dark wood interiors. Old spot pork belly and bramley apple sauce? Yum.
An East End favourite and with a gorgeous vintage feel, this venue dates back to the 18th Century. Expect award-winning grub open fires and a warm cosy feel.
A modern pub with a chintzy feel, this is a great all-rounded. I love the sound of the tonka bean crème brulee they have on their Christmas menu. Check out the fantastic urban graffiti in the beer garden too.
A very classy family-friendly local with a boho feel, and relaxed vibe. America-style dinner food in the week with cracking Sunday roasts. Watch out for their ‘Dirty Dining’ events (no cutlery themed supper clubs). Also has one of the best beer garden’s in London (although might want to leave the beer garden bit ’til summer, ey?)
Oh So London was a guest of The Sun of Camberwell but all views are my own. What do you think of the roasts here? Where do you recommend for a good roast dinner in London? Leave a comment and let me know.