35 pubs named ‘best places for a roast’

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Favourite meal: best Sunday roast dinner revealed (image credit: www.thinkstock.co.uk/Overkoffeined)
Favourite meal: best Sunday roast dinner revealed (image credit: www.thinkstock.co.uk/Overkoffeined)
Iconic foodie and MasterChef star Tom Parker Bowles revealed his top 50 places for a Sunday roast, including 35 pubs.

Many Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs were featured throughout the list, which covered England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and was published in The Mail on Sunday​.

The pubs mentioned were:

The Drapers Arms, Islington, north London

Number six on the Top 50 list, The Mail on Sunday ​claimed Sunday lunch had become legendary at this Islington pub.

The Anglesea Arms, Hammersmith, west London

Parker Bowles named this pub as “one of my favourites in town, with good beer, a decent wine list and ever reliable food”.

The Compasses Inn, Crundale, Kent

Last year, the Compasses won Best Food pub at the Great British Pub Awards and is number 44​ on the Top 50 list.

The Ram Inn, West Firle, Lewes, East Sussex

This pub get the majority of its ingredients locally and is set in the quaint village of West Firle in the South Downs.

The Jolly Cricketers, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

This freehouse Victorian pub provides inventive, yet accessible, modern British food, driven by many local suppliers and the changing seasons.

Three Daws, Gravesend, Kent

Parker Bowles said this riverside pub had fantastic food including locally sourced meat alongside vegetarian dishes.

The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market, Norfolk

The pub's​ husband-and-wife team Stuart and Simone Tattersall have retained a Michelin Bib Gourmand for the past six years and The Mail ​hailed the pub’s cooking as ‘always excellent’.

The Fordwich Arms, Sturry, Canterbury, Kent

Chef-patron of this Kent pub, Daniel Smith took on the Fordwich Arms​ last year (December 2017) with then fiancée Tash Norton and business partner Guy Palmer-Brown.

The Five Bells, Clyst Hydon, Devon

Serving real ales and cider, Parker Bowles said the pub had all the classic dishes on the menu done well but Sunday lunch was “particularly impressive”.

The Gurnard’s Head, St Ives, Cornwall

This south-west pub is adored by chefs and punters, according to Parker Bowles and he said the Sunday lunch menu has all the classics.

The Three Tuns, Marlborough, Wiltshire

A village pub with roaring fires and a great garden, the Three Tuns’ roast dinners are almost as good as you get at home, Parker Bowles claimed.

Beckford Arms, Tisbury, Wiltshire

This pub’s winning combination of wonderful bar snacks and a great Sunday lunch impressed the food critic.

The Compasses Inn, Tisbury, Wiltshire

Another mention for Tisbury and the Compasses boasts an extensive wine list, well-kept local ales and decent, classic roasts.

The Anchor Inn, Shapwick, Dorset

Parker Bowles said diners can find all the pub stalwart dishes here – fish and chips; ham, egg and chips; “proper” sandwiches and local beers on tap.

Hare & Hounds, Aberthin, Cowbridge, Glamorgan, Wales

Bib Gourmand holder the Hare & Hounds has a menu that changes twice a day with the seasons. Sunday lunch includes roast Welsh Angus beef and confit pork belly.

Plough and Harrow, Murton, Wales

This pub’s roasts are award winning and not only have an offer for adult guests but also have a menu dedicated to children’s Sunday lunch.

Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd, Wales

The Bunch took the title of the country’s best roast dinner in 2016​ after fighting off competition from about 2,000 other entries.

It is also a finalist for Best Beer Pub in this year’s John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards.

The Three Fishes, Whalley, Lancashire

Sunday’s mean a 21-day-aged roast rump of beer with all the trimmings at Lancashire’s Three Fishes pub.

Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire

Number 8 on this year’s Top 50 Gastropubs​ list, the Parkers Arms was deemed “a proper old-fashioned place that just happens to serve particularly good food with no faff” by Parker Bowles.

The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales

Stephen Terry’s Welsh pub, which is number 9 on the Top 50 list,​ is a favourite dining spot for the country’s foodie elite. The pub’s Sunday set lunch features slow-roasted local pedigree pork shoulder and sirloin of beef.

Eagle & Child, Ramsbottom, Lancashire

Last year’s overall winner of the John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards, the Eagle & Child offers roast Bowland sirloin, and roast loin of Gloucester Old Spot pork.

The Crathorne Arms, Crathorne, North Yorkshire

The Sunday lunch at Barbara and Eugene McCoy’s Yorkshire pub includes locally sourced ingredients with the menu changing on a weekly basis.

The Staith House, North Shields

The Staith House, run by MasterChef: The Professionals​ finalist John Calton, is a quayside pub in North Shields focusing on a daily changing seasonal menu.

Parker Bowles said the Staith House, this year’s #24 on the Top 50 Gastropub list was “a pub that takes its Sunday lunch very seriously”.

The Feathers Inn, Hedley on the Hill, Stocksfield, Northumberland

Animal welfare and traceability is of huge importance to the Feathers and its menu, including the roast offer, celebrates north-east produce.

The Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire

Andrew Pern has held a Michelin star for the past four years and roasts at his Harome venue (this year’s number three​ on the Top 50 list) include in season game, beef and pork.

The Broad Chare, Newcastle, Tyne & Wear

Sitting on the city’s quayside, the Broad Chare has become a favourite of locals and destination diners.

Number 18 on the 2018 Top 50 Gastropubs list,​ this pub serves roast rib of beef and Yorkshire pudding for £10.50 on a Sunday.

The Bay Horse, Hurworth, County Durham

The cooking at this 15th century inn reflects the seasons, according to Parker Bowles. He said diners will find good beer, roasts from “well-brought up beasts” and decent veggie options.

The Dun Cow Inn, Sedgefield, County Durham

The extensive menu at the Dun Cow offers a vast and varied choice of freshly prepared dishes, using only the best ingredients.

Sunday lunch at the pub gives guests a plethora of options such as topside of beef, loin of pork, leg of lamb, alongside dishes for vegetarians too.

The Rat Inn, Anick, Hexham, Northumberland

Karen Errington and Phil Mason’s country pub the Rat Inn in Anick ​is a local hub as well as a destination dining venue, offering a seasonal, daily changing menu, which is displayed on the pub’s blackboard every morning.

The pub also sits at number 14 on the Top 50 Gastropubs list and Parker Bowles said its Sunday roast is rightly famed.

The Scran and Scallie, Edinburgh, Scotland

The award-winning gastropub the Scran & Scallie in Edinburgh, holder of a Michelin Bib Gourmand and in 15th place on the Top 50 Gastropubs list​, is the creation of two of Scotland’s chefs, Michelin-starred Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack.

The food critic said diners should “expect roast Scottish beef (served blushing pink), lamb and pork with all the trimmings”.

Balloo House, Killinchy, Northern Ireland

This historic country pub and restaurant serves what Parker Bowles called “a true feast, with a leg of lamb, sirloin of Irish beef, or roast chicken, as well as risotto, fresh fish and some serious British puddings”.

The Parson’s Nose, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland

Sunday lunch at the Parson’s Nose features salt-aged roast sirloin of beef, as well as crisp belly of pork, salt-baked celeriac risotto and pan-seared fillet of cod.

The Bridge Inn, Ratho, Midlothian, Scotland

Parker Bowles called the Bridge “both local pub and place of greedy pilgrimage”. He added diners should expect all the Sunday roast classics, at a decent price.

The Sorn Inn, Sorn, East Ayrshire, Scotland

This Scottish pub holds a Bib Gourmand for its restaurant but Parker Bowles said it was the pub that was famed for its excellent steaks, fish and chips, steak pie, and sausage and mash.

The Cock & Bull, Balmedie, Aberdeen, Scotland

Roast Perthshire chicken and rump of Foveran beef with all the extras can be found on a Sunday at the Cock & Bull.

Well-known names

Some well-known names also revealed their favourites spots for Sunday lunch. Broadcaster Peter Snow said the Bush Inn, Ovington in Hampshire, had the kind of pub food he loves.

Hairy Biker Dave Myers’ favourite place for a Sunday roast is this year’s top place on the Top 50 list​ – the Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent.

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe told The Mail on Sunday ​her first choice was the Rock Inn, Haytor Vale in Dartmoor.

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