By Laura Collins.
The answers to Sunday lunch gluttony: London restaurants that feed the weekend greed.
Sundays are synonymous with lots of things - hangovers, the Sunday night fear, homework - but a huge lunch has got to be the one factor that is uniform in everybody’s Sunday. The famed afternoon feast is a weekly highlight in diaries across the world. For as long as I can remember Sundays have always been about food, whether I was tucking into my mum’s Sunday roast, indulging in my grandmother’s weekly buffet, or gorging on the remnants of anything edible in my student fridge. Even now, as I border on hitting 30, Sundays are still known for grazing. They are for eating, socialising and, more often than not, nursing a sore head. Finding the best pubs and restaurants in London to placate these gluttonous Sunday urges is, in itself, a pleasure best enjoyed on the weekend.
My most recent Sunday find is Mayfair’s award winning restaurant, Tamarind, an elegant establishment that makes for an excellent Sunday afternoon hideaway. With so much exquisite food on offer, the place really meets my Sunday greed criteria, plus the pretty, calming interior soothes my aching head.
On a Sunday, it seems Tamarind is a restaurant where gluttonous behaviour is almost obligatory. The restaurant offers a four-course set Sunday menu which, for £32 per person, makes Michelin starred dining much more affordable. There is also the huge a la carte menu that offers pages of choice.
The selection of kababs are particularly good, especially the Kalonji Jihnga (or jumbo tiger prawn). Jumbo is probably an understatement; enormous would be more apt. All food served is light and tasty and the staff are friendly and attentive, just what I need when I’m feeling delicate. The only downside is the basement location, which doesn’t allow for al fresco or naturally lit dining, but I will happily forgo this for a few hours of delicious food. Book yourself a Sunday lunch at Tamarind using the reservation calendar below:
If high end Indian cuisine in Mayfair isn’t your ideal Sunday scene, there are plenty of other choices in London. This city is crammed with venues boasting a fantastic Sunday lunch offering.
The Selkirk pub in Tooting (above) is a particularly great place for something a little less grand and a bit more British, especially if the sun is shining. The pub’s garden houses a number of picnic benches as well as a grassy area with a few deck chairs. Hidden in a residential street off the main shopping area of Tooting Broadway, The Selkirk pub is a quiet and relaxed gastro pub not yet discovered by the masses. It is frequented by a mixed crowd and is often a favourite with young families. The Sunday menu offers a choice of top quality pub food, which is sure to satisfy every taste.
For something more colourful try Seven at Brixton (above), a small but vibrant tapas and pintxos bar located on Market Row, Brixton Village’s lesser celebrated companion. The venue’s quirky charm starts with the deck chairs and picket fence that adorn the front of the bar and continues upstairs where Seven has rooms that are used as free exhibition space for local artists. Seven is a particular favourite because the range of reasonably priced Pintxos and tapas on offer means I can take my pick of different foods, ideal for those indecisive afternoons. There is also a great selection of cocktails and board games, including the much favoured Guess Who.
Having plenty of food to choose from is a high priority on a Sunday, and another pleasing restaurant is Ping Pong, a dim sum restaurant that offers oodles of choice. Ping Pong hosts my perfect vision of a hungover afternoon, something they term ‘Lazy Sumday’. For £20.95 per person, diners can eat all the dim sum they can manage. There is also the option of having a free cocktail with the Lazy Sumday menu if ordered between 12 and 1pm. Ping Pong has nine venues across the city, with favourite outlets found in Soho, Market Place and Westbourne Grove.
A round up of perfect Sunday lunch venues wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one that serves a damn fine roast, because some weekends you just have to indulge the traditional way. And when roasts are on a two for one offer who can resist?
The Winchester pub in Islington (above) is bustling and cosy and the ideal pub in which to while away a few hours, especially if you’re feeling the brunt of a busy, lively weekend. With a choice of four roast dinners – beef, lamb, chicken and five bean – there are options for all tastes. The two for one offer is available from 1pm – 9.30pm so there is plenty of time to take advantage. And if you’re in there for the duration, then The Winchester can also offer entertainment in the form of board games; a wonderful accompaniment to a few bloody Marys on a lazy Sunday.
So there’s a brief overview of some favourite Sunday hot spots. All these venues serve up top notch tucker fit to soak up the heaviest of weekends and are bound to be a hit with anybody who has eating and socialising at the top of their Sunday agenda.
Images courtesy of Flickr users Ewan-M, J Mark Dodds a shadow of my future self, Yelp.com, HotelPRGuy and Ben Sutherland