Hissing pans of fat, greasy trays to wash up, and a constant vigil over the oven: cooking a Sunday roast is hardly the most relaxing way to spend your weekend.
Happily you can save time (and washing up) as scores of pubs and restaurants across the country have started offering deliveries of ready-made roasts to your door.
We weigh up the Yorkshires and mull over the gravies to find the best Sunday lunches to order.
Rotunda, King’s Cross in London
The cuts of meat from this stylish eatery just by Regent’s Canal come from the restaurant’s own farm in Northumberland and are prepared by its in-house butcher. Sadly you can no longer dine in and see the meat ageing in the on-site handing room, but you can still enjoy it from home at weekends.
On Saturdays you can order in premium beef burgers with smoked cheese, short rib in stout gravy or oozy wild mushroom wellingtons, and on Sundays there’s a selection of three or four fabulous roasts.
Slow-cooked topside of beef, free-range chicken, braised pork belly or lamb: it’s an agonising choice. Lunches come with all the trimmings your heart could desire, plus a bottle of either red or wine white and some complimentary macarons to nibble on.
Each roast comes with two servings and prices range from £39 for the chicken to £42.50 for the beef and pork.
Delivery is available within London and costs £5. The deadline for ordering is 10am on the Friday before.
The Beehive, Maidenhead
No longer are the delights of this Berkshire gastropub reserved for only locals and passing visitors. During the second lockdown chef Dominic Chapman and his wife Helena have expanded their service to offer deliveries across a 20-mile radius or more.
They pride themselves on their signature dish – sirloin of Hereford beef with horseradish cream – but you can also opt for lamb and occasionally pork.
Meals come with Yorkshire puddings, gravy, either roast potatoes or gratin dauphinoise, cauliflower cheese and buttered greens. For vegetarians, they do a moorish rotolo of wild mushrooms with chestnuts, black cabbage and parmesan.
The roasts cost about £17 per person plus delivery charges. Order a bottle of the house wine for £15 to get a free apple crumble to polish off the meal.
The pub also runs an online grocery shop, so you can order in seasonal fruit and veg, free-range eggs or even some English lobster from the local fishmonger or venison from the butcher.
Delivery slots can be booked for between 10am and 4pm on Sundays but orders must be placed before 3pm.
No Fifty Cheyne, Chelsea in London
If you’re after something a bit more interesting (and refined) than your usual pub grub, this Chelsea kitchen is an excellent bet.
Unusually for a restaurant known for its Sunday lunches, No Fifty Cheyne has outstanding meat-free options including roasted cauliflower steak, vegan stuffing, vegan gravy and a starter of maple roasted pumpkin soup with truffle cream.
Alongside all the traditional sides you would expect, roasts also come with some exciting surprises, including Marmite and Guinness butter and Padrón peppers.
The meats are truly special. If you’re feeling decadent, try the grilled Chateaubriand – a cut of beef so tender it’s like velvet in your mouth.
There’s also an excellent wine selection, with bottles sold at “shop” rather than restaurant prices, or you can spice things up with one of No Fifty Cheyne’s bottled cocktails. Handmade with no artificial additives, sip away on a negroni or elderflower martini as your lunch warms up in the oven.
You can order directly from the website, which is the cheapest option, or via Uber eats or Deliveroo.
The Pig And Whistle, Lincolnshire
The Pig And Whistle launched its at-home menu back in March and the orders have been flooding in ever since. The kitchen has a strong focus on using suppliers in and around Lincolnshire.
You can also order beers from the local Axeholme brewery. Prices are very reasonable: at £9.50 for the beef, pork or turkey roasts and £10 for lamb shank. There are also veggie options, such as sausages or vegan wellington with all the trimmings. Children’s portions cost £6.50.
If you’ve still got room left, don’t miss out on the fudgy treacle tart, with tangy marmalade ice cream and a brandy snap crumb.
Customers can get a delivery or collect in person, with the pub accepting orders right up until 5pm on Sunday. Deliveries are available up to a five mile radius.
It also has a #NominateYourNeighbour initiative, so customers can suggest a person they think is particularly deserving of a free Sunday lunch – whether it’s someone who lives alone and struggles to get out or a family facing financial difficulties.
Tredwells, Covent Garden, London
Tredwells delivers up to four miles from its West End home, although customers further afield have the choice to pick up in person. The restaurant does a whole range of meal kits: from family-sized lasagnes and fruit crumbles to a steak dinner for two.
A Sunday roast costs £15, with a choice of beef, chicken or a plant-based “Tredwellington” that comes with vegan Yorkshire puds. They don’t stint on the trimmings so expect lashings of gravy and potatoes.
If you’re feeling really hungry you could go for Tredwells’ four-course tasting menu for two people. The meaty version costs £60 and includes crispy venison dumplings, roasted hake, top side of Lake District beef and a decadent Choux pastry doughnut with walnut praline.
There’s also a plant-based version for £55 with treats including grilled cabbage with miso aioli and pear and ginger pudding with vegan custard. All the ordering details are on the website.
The Corner House, Kent
Anyone living within six miles of The Corner House’s two sister restaurants in Minster and Canterbury can get dishes delivered to their door.
Kick off with some homemade focaccia, smothered in truffle oil and wild mushroom ragout, before moving on to the main event.
Choose from local slow-cooked lamb shoulder with dauphinoise potatoes (£30 for two) or a hearty beef wellington with red wine jus (£44 for two). Both come with roasted vegetables.
More adventurous diners could try the Stour Valley rabbit with mushroom suet pudding. Lighter options include The Corner House’s speciality bouillabaisse or roasted cauliflower with ratatouille.
If you’re already thinking ahead to Christmas, the restaurant will also be delivering festive feasts. For £125, you get five courses, a bottle of mulled wine and some chocolate truffles for two. Festive treats include scallops with truffled cauliflower, a board of artisan British cheeses and of course a good old Christmas pud.