Please note that due to Copyright Trolls, all images have been removed until I can manually review them, one by one, and ensure credit is appropriately displayed. So if the story suddenly makes no sense, then...well...soz.
This is a long process, so please bear with me...it will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.
Oh not another list of the 10 best roast dinners in London, I hear you say.
What’s wrong with Elle Magazine’s list of best roast dinners in London? Why the hell does some tinpot nobhead ex-Tory blogger need to have his own list of the 10 best roast dinners in London too?
Firstly, some of the roast dinners that these other lists feature aren’t actually that good – or they are over-rated; The Mayflower, The Orange, Jones & Sons…the list could go on.
Secondly, some of the places they feature don’t actually serve roast dinners.
THIS IS NOT A ROAST DINNER, dear County And Town House Magazine.
And then to feature a restaurant that does do roast dinners…but use a photograph of a pie? Elle Magazine again.
Plus half of the images are quoted from the venue’s Instagram feeds. And you know why that is?
Because the writer of Elle Magazine’s 19 best roast dinners in London, hasn’t eaten all 19. She/he probably hasn’t eaten any of them. Maybe 1 or 2 at best.
Let alone eaten enough to whittle down into a list of 19.
Guess what though?
I’m Simply The Best
Yes, your hero, Lord Gravy, has had a lot of roast dinners. 213 at the time of writing.
So, yes, believe it or not – I’ve actually eaten every roast dinner in this list. And 203 that are not in this list.
Granted, this does mean that maybe I’m missing out on some that would make it to this list – I’ll deal with that at the end.
So here goes – the 10 best roast dinners in London – by someone who has actually eaten them all:
The Albany nearly only sneaked in here because somewhere in my top 10 is featured twice…and I didn’t want to write about it twice. Fair? Don’t care. My blog. Go complain to the government’s ethics advisor if you don’t like it.
However, that has become a Young’s pub, serving out the same old dross and watery gravy that 90% of Young’s pubs are under orders to do.
The Albany is probably the closest place on this list to come to the traditional northern mum’s roast dinner – not that my mother is this good at a roast dinner, but others apparently are. Or maybe most people are better at lying to their mother than I am. No, mum, I just watched people smoke cannabis at university.
The highlight was the proper gravy, proper thick northern gravy – it was a true sexy delight. The lamb was nice, the creamy mash was a delight (yes mash on a roast), freshly-cooked roast potatoes and Yorkie – both to a very good standard. Yeah, this definitely isn’t a Young’s.
12:51 nearly only sneaked in here because somewhere in my top 10 is featured twice…and I didn’t want to write about it twice. Fair? Don’t care. My blog. Go complain to the government’s ethics advisor if you don’t like it. But then somewhere else on the list had stopped doing roasts anyway. Gosh I’ve made a right mess of this post already, haven’t I?
You might have heard of the chef behind 12:51, James Cochran, he’s worked at some pretty ace restaurants and possibly been on the tele (if the TV license inspectors are reading, I don’t have a TV) – this is his “signature restaurant”.
It is pretty damn tiny. Cute but tiny and some of the tables are a real elbow-crunching squeeze. Yeah, I’m obese, but not that obese. I actually don’t have a TV by the way. Mind-control shit. Imagine if there was a TV programme about roast dinners – it wouldn’t be anything like this, would it? Roast Dinners Under The Hammer. Or something like that.
Anyway, 12:51 – awkward seating and a near-impossibility to get any extra gravy. But there was plenty of compensation – the truffle cauliflower cheese was particularly excellent, some damn good cheese used. The cabbage was excellent – yes, excellent cabbage – soft yet charred and somewhat smoky.
Most importantly, the sirloin of beef also impressed – some very tasty fat on it, nicely rare, well salted.
Westminster isn’t exactly known for its culinary delights. Well, any form of delights…unless you particularly enjoy higher taxes and more lies.
Hell, they don’t even know much about beer around here – when I went, The Blue Boar had a “beer of the month” on the menu. Ooooh how exciting, I hear you think that I thought. London Pride. That was their “beer of the month”. At the time of writing this, it is Meantime IPA. I mean…a step up…but hardly “beer of the month” levels unless you are Tory Red Wall MP, I guess.
Though Meantime IPA is probably pretty exotic if you have the wit and elegance of Lee Anderson, for example.
The Blue Boar does have another semi-famous chef, Sally Abé involved, though to what extent I’m unsure – she’s possibly just written the menu, I have no idea.
The real highlight was the pork loin chop, which really was of superb quality. Nothing else impressed so much but everything else, bar the anaemic parsnip, was good – a good meat stock gravy, crispy Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes that were actually crispy on the outside. It was the all-rounded good quality that pushes it into the top 10 – as most places fuck at least one component up.
I can see the editor of Elle Magazine right now – “you fucking hypocrite – this isn’t a roast dinner”.
But check out those roast potatoes, dudes. Actually crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. And more than 3. Yes, somewhere in London served more than 3 roast potatoes. CALL THE POLICE. OK, they are fairly small, but there was around 10 of them.
Not only did we get crispy roast potatoes, but the plumpest chicken, a soft and lightly spicy Yorkshire pudding – and that butter chicken sauce was just sensational. I know, it isn’t gravy. But do you know how many times I’ve had shit gravy?
I know some of you still won’t think it is a roast dinner. Whatever. Who is the expert on roast dinners? Lord Gravy or Elle Magazine? Stick to fashion, Elle, and I’ll stick to roast dinners. By the way, this is on fleek, as they say:
Oh and also by the way, The Gladstone Arms also do amazing pies during the week, and the food is ridiculously affordable for central-ish London – £13.90 for the roast dinner. Just go, will you.
6?. Smith’s Of Smithfield, Farringdon
I kind of had Smith’s Of Smithfield down as one of those places that doesn’t need to try – a pretty and upmarket-looking place, somewhere that tries more on how glamorous it looks (insert word vomit), than on how good the food was.
Hang on…they’ve stopped doing roasts. And have apparently turned into one of those places that tries harder about how it looks.
Out of all the places that are on this list, The Dove is the longest since I’ve reviewed it – way back in 2017. Gosh, Theresa May was PM then. Ahhh the good old days when the Tories used to care about not using the Magic Money Tree instead of being the Magic Money Tree.
As this was 5 years ago, there is a risk that their standards may have slipped, and reading the reviews on Google, it does suggest service and cleanliness is perhaps an issue – but they still have a very high rating, especially considering that they are sat right on the river in a gorgeous location – these kind of venues don’t normally need to try as people always want to dine next to the river.
As for the roast dinner, well the lamb was sensational – flecked with fennel. Perfect Yorkie, mostly excellent vegetables – the roast potatoes did let it down, but that is just de rigour in London I’m afraid – well, except for most of the top 10.
Wood Street Bar & Restaurant – your challenge will be to find the restaurant within the Barbican, even with the “help” of Google Maps. Good luck!
Wood Street Bar & Restaurant is one of the few places that actually dared to contact me, asking if I wanted to review their roast dinner. You’ve got to have confidence (or desperation) if you want me to review your roast dinner.
I shall state two things – one I did feel a slight need to be nice, as I’d spoken to the chef prior to reviewing – we nearly even met up for drinks, and have eaten together since, plus he sent me a free roast during lockdown. Second, I believe that they have stopped doing roast dinners for the summer – so please check with them before booking!
Alas, I read back the review and actually wonder if I have been too tight with my score here. Almost everything was perfect and the amount of flavour was just sensational. Maybe I over-compensated due to our prior friendliness?
Gravy was proper sexy northern gravy (“proper sexy northern gravy” sounds like a club night, right?), mustard/pepper beef was really good, two of the roast potatoes were proper crispy and somehow tasted amazing, the carrot was roasted perfectly in orange and ginger…only the Yorkie disappointed. It really should have scored a 9 out of 10.
I have also eaten here on a Friday, took my parents, and again the food was totally excellent.
I’m probably most nervous about featuring The Gipsy Queen’s roast dinner – as their standard slipped significantly, or seemed to have when I read some online reviews a year or so ago. However, they have apparently re-employed the same chef that pushed out these banging roast dinners…so nervously…here’s the 4th best roast dinner in London…
Yeah rocket. Oh and yeah, shit photograph. You’ll just have to cope with my insignificant writing talents. BOOBIES.
So what made it so special? Well, The Gipsy Queen is a very unassuming pub, you wouldn’t stumble across it and assume that it would do a great roast dinner. The rib-eye beef was close to divine, there was loads of thick, dreamy, wet dreamy, sexual gravy and the Yorkshire pudding was fresh, eggy and edible.
When you combine near-perfection in beef, Yorkshire pudding and gravy – then you know you have a winner.
Onto The Fox & Pheasant in Chelsea, 3rd in my league table which co-incidentally is about as high as Chelsea football club can go in a league. Whoa, check me out and my football joke.
Nothing on the roast dinner at The Fox & Pheasant was worse than good. The smoked parsnip puree was gorgeous (and I normally moan about my food being babyfied), the Yorkshire pudding was excellent, the pork belly was very good and the gravy was proper. Yeah, proper gravy in Chelsea.
I’d been to Blacklock in Soho the week before (which is the missing duplicate I mentioned earlier, on the off-chance you hadn’t guessed), and this was actually better than Blacklock…that visit anyway.
And yeah, my football team is in the league below. But at least we have our own branded aeroplane.
The George on The Strand was my number 1 roast dinner for a long time, until I finally made it to…my current number 1. You know what my number 1 is already, don’t you?
It’s a gorgeous looking building on the outside, split into pub downstairs and restaurant upstairs – though on my visit the food was being served downstairs. This might be different now.
Again, the passage of time makes me a tad nervous about this being number 2, so maybe, just maybe it isn’t quite the wow it was for me – but their two Google reviews since we eradicated covid (they were closed for longer than most places I think) are both effusive in praise. As I was back in 2018. Was 2018 a more joyful time?
There was a particular wow moment – mashed parsnip with mustard seeds which was really wonderful – extra effort that you don’t normally find on a roast dinner. Roast potatoes were actually crispy, the chicken was the plumpest and juiciest I’d had in a long time, it came with stuffing – oh stuffing. And the gravy was rich and thick – but not too rich.
It was so good that I forgave the stray pea.
I’m not so comfortable writing such effusive praise so…fuck Brexit. Ahhh I feel better now.
Oh Blacklock. Oh sexy Blacklock. Not a surprise this being number 1, is it?
I’d heard good things about Blacklock, but then again, I’d heard good things about Ayia Napa before I went for my cousin’s wedding back in 2000-and-something.
Thankfully everything at my first ever visit to Blacklock (and I’ve been back several times since…for steaks, chops and, erm, sprout sandwiches) was just magnificent. The gravy was just gravysexual, the roasties were great – crispy and fluffy where they needed to be, the yorkie was soft…though not perfect.
Even the carrots were gorgeous.
And throughout, the service was superb – affable and actually damn funny at times, and whatever you do, no matter how full you are, make sure you have the white chocolate cheesecake – which is worth the visit on it’s own. And…yeah another and…the smell of the place is just soooooo good.
Maybe Next Year?
I’m aware that I have only had 213 roast dinners in London – so I cannot claim to have exhausted all the options, and there will be places out there that could fit into the top 10 best roast dinners in London.
Marksman, Harwood Arms, The Ned, Simpsons, The Ladbroke Arms, Cadogan Arms and The Fallow are the places on my to-do list that I suspect have most potential to make it to The 10 Best Roast Dinners In London 2023.
If you’ve made it this far without falling asleep, well done. You should congratulate yourself by sharing it on your favourite social media platform.
And if you have a favourite, or even a whole top 10 of your own (especially if you work for Elle Magazine) then do add to the comments.
10 Best Roast Dinners In London 2022
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: The Old Bull & Bush, Hampstead