Food - Hampstead Heath and the Best Roast in London at the Red Lion and Sun, Highgate

October 03, 2014


They say that a Sunday well spent brings a week of content so continuing on the Sunday walk and a roast theme, one of my favourite ever Sunday's was back in January. Last Winter seemed to have a big storm every week with so much rain. I much prefer crisp days even if they're cold to wrap up and go for a walk in the sunshine. After checking the weather, we finally saw a Sunday that had sun forecast all day and it was a novelty to see blue sky and feel chilly for once. We grabbed our boots and took the dog to Hampstead Heath for a long walk followed by lunch at The Red Lion and Sun in Highgate for one of the best roast dinner's ever. 


I love North London, after living in Maida Vale we used to spend a lot of time at weekends on Hampstead Heath, London's biggest and wildest green space. You can forget you're in London with the villagey feel of Hampstead and Highgate whilst still having all the great convenience of London on your doorstep, and amazing views from the top of Parliament Hill over the city. There are also some great pubs and we keep meaning to try more of them like the Spaniard's Inn or the Gate in Hampstead but we discovered the Red Lion and Sun, in Highgate as it's super dog friendly and was awarded London's best roast by Time Out London. We've been meaning to try those other pubs but really we're hooked on the Red Lion and Sun, going back a couple of times this summer and we've booked to take my parents, and the dog again, in November. They have a cosy open wood fire in the Winter for your pooches to dry off in front of and a sunny garden in the summer. Both times we've had the most amazing food, the roasts even better than the Alford Arms which is really saying something.




On a Sunday you can park for free in nearly all of Highgate, so we parked up near the High Street and did a big circular loop. Turning right in the High Street {towards the city} we entered Waterlow Park and walked down past the cemetry, Swain's lane and then into the Heath at the bottom of Parliament Hill walking up to the top for the views over London {which was hazy at the time but on a clear day you can really see the skyline}, and then into Hampstead to admire the pretty coloured terraces and cute streets with houses like dolls-house mansions and then back into the Heath and up past Kenwood House to the pub in Highgate. It's a good walk but with lots to see on the way and you'll work up an appetite. 








We probably walked for around 2 hours before heading to the pub for our lunch booking, we were so ready for a big dinner and Riley, our pup always loves a big walk to tire him out. The Red Lion & Sun doesn't look much from the outside and it's on a busy road next to a Petrol Station but I love the decor inside with cosy traditional decor whilst still being light and airy, any place that has festoon lights strung up in the back and the pub garden is good enough for me! Sitting next to the fire we had a lovely table.






Prices are fairly reasonable considering you're in London with lots on the menu to choose from for £15 including roast potatoes, carrot and swede mash, tender stem broccoli, yorkshire pudding and gravy. Both times now we've had the Braised Welsh Lamb shanks which are incredible, I love the fact that the yorkshire's are not just for beef! As I said before in the blog post about the Alford Arms, it really can be hit and miss on a Sunday to get good food and service but the Red Lion and Sun get big ticks for both these things, and being so dog friendly they win all round! The puddings were pretty good too, sticky toffee yum! We're looking forward to going back in a few weeks time, just make sure you book in advance or turn up early to bags a table, it's one popular pub! 




It got approval from Riley too who stood like this for most of our lunch begging for just one more piece of lamb, how can you say no to that face? We'll be taking him back with us in November.


The Red Lion and Sun, Highgate have a website here. Booking for a Sunday is highly recommended.

Do you know any other gems for a Sunday lunch and walk? The best season for them is coming up.

R <3 xx

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