As an American, I had never heard of Sunday Roasts until moving to the UK over a year ago. In my first weeks here, my group of English friends asked if I wanted to “grab a roast” and I had no idea what that meant.
However, after my first roast experience, it was love at first bite—and now I can’t get enough. As an amateur Sunday Roast connoisseur, I have curated the three best places to grab a roast in the Kingston University area.
(For those of you who don’t know: a Sunday Roast is called such, as it is traditionally eaten on Sundays. It is a quintessential British meal that consists of a roasted meat, roast potato, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables, and gravy.) Now, let’s dig in!
1. The Black Lion: Surbiton
This was the very first place my group and I had gotten a roast, and we definitely chose well. The Black Lion is a quintessential UK pub, from its pint-drinking locals (who have been coming here for so long that they’re almost permanent fixtures of the pub) to the rugby that plays in the background.
Their food options can be found on a piece of paper attached to a wooden clipboard, placed on each table. The menu isn’t fancy—but does the menu presentation matter when the food is so damn good?
The Black Lion’s choices for a roast include the standard beef, pork, lamb, or chicken, and their sides include everything you’d expect with a classic roast: parsnips, carrots, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, and my all time favourite: Yorkshire pudding. (For those of you who don’t know: Yorkshire pudding is a baked batter made of eggs, flour, and milk or water, which tastes like heaven when drenched in gravy).
The roasts also come with a free side of broccoli and cauliflower cheese casserole, which I could quite literally eat all day long. In terms of prices, you can get yourself a roast from here for about £11-£13—which is slightly on the higher side, but this roast is definitely worth the money.
Our rating: 5/5 Yorkshire Puddings
2. Druids Head: Kingston
I’ll start off by saying that this particular pub allows dogs, so you can find me here on most days.
Druids Head—or Druids, as my friends colloquially call it—is a chain within the UK, and it feels like it. Some of the personal, cozy touches that The Black Lion has just don’t exist at Druids.
It doesn’t have the same kinds of locals and things are a bit more refined here. The menu has been completely revamped in the last few months, with newer food options being reminiscent of a Frankie & Benny’s in its culinary variety.
That being said, Druids knows how to do classic British food well. How do I know this? Well, the first time we ate here, my English boyfriend unironically exclaimed, “Well, this is some bloody good gravy!” while taking his first bite of the roast. And he was right—it was bloody good.
In terms of roast options, you can also find the standard choices, including beef, chicken, pork, or lamb. Notably, Druids also has a vegetarian roast that consists of seasonal veg, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, mash & gravy. Their roasts are each £10.99, which is an absolute bargain for the amount of food you get.
Our rating: 4/5 Yorkshire Puddings
3. The Railway Bell: Hampton
Known locally as “The Dip”, this pub has the most incredibly inviting outside appearance—it quite literally looks like a cottage, with its vine-clad walls and thatched roofs.
My friends and I came here for the first time last December on a particularly snowy (and hungover) morning, and I really can’t express just how healing gravy is for the hungover soul. Things weren’t particularly refined here—the doorways needed a bit of TLC, the floors were slanted, and it was a bit cramped and small. But, those qualities made The Dip quite cozy and memorable.
For £11.95, you have the choice of beef, half-chicken, or pork, along with the traditional sides that accompany a roast. If you’re in need of a home-cooked style meal, The Dip is the place for you—the food looked and tasted like my mom had just made it.
Although it’s a little longer of a trek from Kingston, a bus ride can get you here in about 20 minutes, and it’s worth it to find a freshly cooked roast with your name on it.
3.5/5 Yorkshire Puddings
What’s your favourite part of a Sunday roast? Let us know in the comments, and keep an eye on our website for a vegan-friendly roast guide coming soon!