Back in January we invited local pubs, restaurants and cafes to take part in our annual competition to find the best Sunday roast in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.
It was clear that the ‘Best Sunday Roast’ is a hotly contested claim among local pubs as this was where all entries came from. A minimum of two judges ate at each venue and we marked each category out of five across a number of key criteria.
So after an incredible amount of roast meat, potatoes, gravy and Yorkshire puddings, here are the winners:
First Place: The Foresters, Hampton Wick
Right on the border of the Richmond Borough, the Sunday roast at The Foresters was described by one of our judges as ‘the best roast beef I have ever eaten’. It was outstanding and easy to tell they take time to source the best quality meat.
The Yorkshire pudding was enormous, crispy on top but did not crumble away. The potatoes, which we found were a challenge for some venues, were perfectly cooked both inside and out.
The vegetable offering included candied red cabbage, fine green beans and Chantenay carrots. It was covered in a light but very tasty red wine and port jus and they served a dollop of nose-runningly good homemade horseradish on the side.
The roast beef was £14.20 and they had three other roasts on the menu being a leg of Sussex lamb, butter roasted Norfolk chicken breast and Gloucester Old Spot pork belly.
We also loved the dessert menu at The Foresters, especially the cheese menu with six English cheeses on offer, provenance at its best. It really is a great pub to waste away a few hours on a Sunday.
Second Place: The Prince’s Head, Richmond
Situated on the green, The Prince’s Head delivered the best roast lamb in the competition. It was a shoulder shank of Dorset lamb braised in red wine and it simply blew us away. The meat fell off the bone, was full of flavour and seemed to last forever.
The lamb and Yorkshire pudding sat on top of the vegetables which included carrot and swede mash, buttered greens and crispy roast potatoes. The gravy was thick and tasty.
The roast lamb was £14.95 and there were four other roasts to choose from. A sirloin of Charolaise beef, Wiltshire pork, half a roast chicken and a chestnut, hazelnut and walnut nut roast.
On both visits to The Prince’s Head it was buzzing. It’s clearly popular among Richmond locals and the town centre location makes it easy for visitors taking a day trip to the Borough.
Third Place: The Greyhound, Kew
We loved the Sunday Roast sharing board at The Greyhound. We ordered the Scottish fillet of beef which was £52.50 but enough food for three to four people. When it arrived at the table we simply didn’t know where to begin. The presentation was excellent.
With the two massive pieces of fillet came a whole host of delicious accompaniments. Yorkshire puddings, savoy cabbage and peas, mashed swede, red wine shallots, tender stem broccoli, green beans, carrots, baby corn, a bowl of roast potatoes and a Scotch egg which was a nice touch.
The highlight of all the extras however was easily the crumbed and deep fried parsnips, crunchy on the outside but smooth and sweet on the inside. The gravy was served in a large jug and was a deep colour with incredible flavour.
It was a lot of fun carving the meat and passing all of the little steel pots around. We definitely needed a walk around Kew Green afterwards to burn off the feast.
In addition to the top three we also have two special mentions:
The best value for money: The Hampton Pub, Hampton
All roasts were only £8.95 and the children’s size was just £4.95. The roast chicken was the highlight but all of them came with a magnificent gravy which we were told takes three days to make. The condiments were also exceptional, especially the feisty fresh mint sauce which we could not get enough of.
There’s a new team at The Hampton Pub and it’s one to look out for as they bring a more upscale dining menu to their punters while keeping it affordable with much loved pub classics available throughout the day.
Most interesting Sunday lunch menu: The Brown Dog, Barnes
The Brown Dog is a gorgeous neighbourhood pub tucked away in residential Barnes. While we were there to judge the Sunday roast, we also really liked the sound of their starters including the half dozen of West Mersea rock oysters with shallot vinegar and the rabbit and porcini ravioli.
It was also the only pub in the competition to serve a whole roast poussin (£15.50) and their homemade bread sauce was one of the best. We enjoyed a great Portuguese drop off the wine list and the pomegranate cheesecake with blood orange salad for dessert was to die for.
The team at Totally Richmond would like congratulate the winners and thank all of the pubs who entered the Best Sunday Roast Competition 2015. We had a fantastic time visiting each of your venues and are grateful for your kind hospitality.
We look forward to judging next year’s competition and discovering even more great Sunday roasts in our Borough.