The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead

Remember a few week’s ago when I said I recognised that I was doing too many roasts in central London and would endeavour to get out into the sticks more? Nunhead. And no, that isn’t my new name for myself after nearly two hours on a tube, it is the area of south-east London where The Old Nun’s Head is situated.

Yep, I’m kind of regretting my course-correcting endeavour. 4 Sundays in a row, I’ve been in distant eastern parts of London – Ladywell, Clapton, Poplar and now Nunhead.

This week, I’m actually going to talk about food. Aha, I have a food blog and I’m actually going to talk about food. Boris Johnson is a liar. Soz, I’ll try. I ate vegan bacon on Thursday. Gosh this is so hard. Food…talk about food, Lord Gravy. Erm…I had a cricket?

£8.00 for that octopus salad by the way. LOL.

Anyway, I went to a proper food festival for the first time ever on Thursday evening – Taste London, and now I want to go to all of them.

I did actually eat some good food there – it wasn’t me just going OMG MUST DO SOMETHING NEW LIKE GO TO NUNHEAD, eating vegan bacon (shit), crickets (tasteless) and jamon croquettas (maybe I need a croquetta blog….soooo dreamy). OK the only thing I really liked were the croquettas, but quite possibly because I decided that I needed all the free samples, and all the free booze samples, including free wine tasting and one very free hangover the next day, and hence didn’t buy much food.

Taste London
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

Hit me up with your favourite food festivals please – I need to go to all of them, in the kind of festival spirit that I wasn’t able to afford when I was a party animal instead of a gravy animal.


I was due to go to The Old Nun’s Head in March 2020 – that Sunday before the lying cheating, scumbag announced the lockdown that everyone was campaigning for. We cancelled, mostly because of the dangers of societal judgement.

What? A 29 year-old women granted a peerage by Boris Johnson for covering a role during maternity? Fucking lying, cheating, scumbag denigrating us Lords.

Once I’d finally made it to The Old Nun’s Head this Sunday, and I’m mostly referring to the really long journey from Harrow, hungover, tired and sweaty, I arrived to the usual London disdain of customers – one person serving me refused to say one word to me both times I ordered from her, which was impressively miserable.

Beer choice wasn’t bad – I had a couple of Hazy IPAs from Laine Brewery which are fairly decent for an increasingly prominent brewery…and who seem to own The Old Nun’s Head.

Outside The Old Nun’s Head looked quite clean and modern, inside had proper old school wood panelling, replete with a dose of #FreeBritney (pretty sure she is out of jail?).

The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead, Free Britney
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

If you are of a bigoted nature, especially towards the T in LGBT, then I’d suggest maybe The Old Nun’s Head isn’t for you – they actively support local queer charities, help raise money for gender-affirming surgery, and seem to love a drag show or two.

And one of the guys behind the bar had eye make-up on. Gosh. Won’t someone think of the children? What would Gary Numan say?


The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead, Roast Dinner Menu
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

One advantage of getting away from central London is that I’ve forgotten about £25 roast dinners. Pork belly or chicken were priced at £17.00, topside of beef and lamb shoulder at £18.00.

It was pretty easy to decide – I hadn’t had lamb on a roast dinner all year (mostly because I’ve rarely seen it on menus), I had chicken last week, I don’t like topside as a cut and the pork belly I saw on the next table looked undercooked and rubbery.

An unusually easy choice – you should have seen the dilemna I had at Taste London on Thursday evening…100 different dishes or something stupid. Also kudos to The Old Nun’s Head for doing a kid’s roast at £10.

There was a moment of perturbance as my accomplices, who ordered their roasts after I did, received theirs before I did. I continued to sit there. I waited. And I waited until they’d eaten most of theirs before mine arrived.

The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead, Lamb Shoulder Roast Dinner
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

Hmmm, maybe before I start talking about the vegetables, I should show you a photograph of them.

Hang on…

The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead, Lamb Shoulder Roast Dinner With No Vegetables Showing
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

Hmmm. That didn’t help.

I’ll try again…

The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead, Lamb Shoulder Roast Dinner With Vegetables Showing
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

Ahhh, all the vegetables.

Lying, Cheating, Scumbag Dickhead

So the one piece of cabbage (OK there was a little more) and a few green beans were quite tough and crunchy.

The half a carrot was sweetly roasted, soft – the maple flavour was endearing.

There was also one piece of cauliflower cheese – it was a little course in texture but there was a hint of cheese.

And finally for the vegetables there was allegedly some parsnip puree, but I just thought it was the cauliflower cheese tasting a bit funky – though in retrospect now I’ve re-read the menu, the tiny bit of gooey white stuff probably was parsnip puree.

Recently we played online Pictionary at work, and I had to draw a nun. Alas, it looked more like a penis. And the more people laughed, the more I desperately tried to make it work-safe, and, of course, the more it looked like a penis.

The Old Nun's Head, Nunhead, Boiled Potatoes I Guess
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023


Things do improve after the roast potatoes, I promise you, but two of them might as well have been boiled potatoes – the other was a roast potato but I don’t know which week it had been cooked – it felt old and reheated.

The Yorkshire pudding was a bit burnt around the edges, but otherwise was pretty soft and malleable, if a little lacking in any eggy flavour – but in terms of texture, I really enjoyed.

We all enjoyed our meats without them excelling too much – my accomplices had the chicken and beef, respectively, and were complimentary in their thoughts.

My lamb shoulder was respectable, a decent enough cut, some globules of fat that weren’t rendered as much as ideal, but still edible. Very slightly on the rare side, it had a bit of an earthy taste and was generally enjoyable lamb – without doing anything spectacular.

Finally, the gravy was rather excellent. Proper thick meat-stock gravy, and enough of it on the plate to not need extra gravy – not that I’d expect it to arrive before the end of the meal if I had needed to ask for some. It is score-bumping gravy. It is quite possibly award-winning gravy.

Poster of women in USA who buys leftover gravy.
Found on Twitter

FYI I’ve neither had a sex change or moved to USA – that is actually someone else.

The Old Nun’s Head in Nunhead

Well, that’s another mission accomplished, and one with excellent gravy.

I get the charm of the pub, though the alleged charm and welcome of the staff according to Google reviews wasn’t offered to me – maybe I needed a moustache.

And the roast dinner charmed me in some ways – the gravy was properly excellent meat-stock gravy, the yorkie and lamb were both enjoyable too.

But where was the rest of the vegetables? And how did you manage to make roast potatoes seem like boiled potatoes? The Old Nun’s Head isn’t quite singing about itself as a foodie destination – the late arrival of food, the lack of welcome – my accomplices asked about dessert and were pointed to some rather old looking brownies on the counter. But maybe that’s fine also…you do you, babes.

We were all happy enough with our food, and all scored in a similar range – the chicken-eating accomplice with a 7.00 out of 10, the beef-eating accomplice with a 7.25.

My score is a very respectable 7.21 out of 10. I was happy enough with their roast, and given the dearth of good roast dinners in this area of London, it is worth checking out – at least for their gravy.

Next weekend I’m not sure I’ll be back in time for a roast dinner, as I’m going away for a few days to get sniff some dung and go to pubs without vegetables. Ahhh the countryside.

I don’t even have a plan for the Sunday after, or the Sunday after that. Shocking.

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The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead

Station: Nunhead

Tube Lines: National Rail, Thameslink

Fare Zone: Zone 2

Price: £18.00

Rating: 7.21

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Well the gravy is potentially award-winning, decent yorkie too apart from the burnt edges.

Loathed: Where are the vegetables? Roast potatoes more like boiled potatoes and service sadly unwelcoming.

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