Sundays are ruling the roost as the best day of the week at the moment, and it’s quite simple why that’s the case: the great British Sunday lunch. No one does Sunday lunch better than us Brits, and this is the time of year to really embrace this weekly ritual.
With Autumn in full swing, the only decision you really need to make is whether to take a walk before or after lunch. There are two schools of thought on this – walk before lunch and you’ll build up an appetite, or alternatively head out after lunch to walk off all those calories….choices, choices…
While you’re mulling it over, we’ve put our heads together and come up with our favourite autumn walks which combine with the perfect pubs for a spot of Sunday lunch.
Hambleton is set on a peninsula approximately two miles from Oakham in Rutland, otherwise known as the smallest county in England. Walking around the Peninsula loop is a truly picturesque 7 mile walk with a great route set out here.
Sunday lunch at Hambleton Hall promises to be a spectacular affair with choices of sirloin of beef, roast guinea fowl or slow cooked belly of lamb and with these incredible views across Rutland Water you probably won’t want to leave. For something a little more low-key, try The Finch’s Arms in Hambleton – a two storey 17th century English country inn. With beamed ceilings, traditional flagstone flooring and open fires, you couldn’t feel more at home in this bustling friendly pub if you tried.
TimeOut recommends a really fabulous walk for a Sunday that is “conducive to walking off worries and hangovers” (see, perfect for a Sunday). It starts at Blackheath Station and finishes with a view of London from Greenwich Park. Take a look here for the route.
It might be an idea to start with lunch first at Chapters in Blackheath and then get walking, we spotted this lovely roast beef on their twitter page after they were featured as one of the top spots for Sunday lunch in South East London by The Resident.
Kingham, set in the Evenlode valley in Oxfordshire is a beautiful unspoiled Cotswold village with a large open green and some elegant stone and thatch cottages mostly dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Cotswolds Conservation Board have put together a great walk from Kingham which is about 3.5 miles and will take 2-3 hours – depending on how quick you walk.
This is the view from The Wild Rabbit in Kingham – a re-invention of the traditional English inn – a place to eat, drink and sleep it all off!
Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, they serve locally sourced, seasonal food in a relaxed and welcoming setting.
We love following The Wild Rabbit on instagram as they post really fabulous behind the scenes images of daily life. Needless to say we love this shot of the Yorkshire puddings coming out of the oven.
Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Originally forming part of the Hylands Park Estate, the landscape includes ancient woodland, grassland, lakes, ponds and gardens. It was designed by Humphrey Repton and is home to some fantastic trees including veteran oaks and the British Champion Pyrenean Oak.
The 574 acres of historic landscaped parkland surrounding Hylands House, a stunning Grade II* listed property, will provide amble opportunity for a Sunday walk and there are four walks recommended ranging in time from a 30 minute stroll to a 4 mile walk.
Lunch should definitely be at the Square & Compasses in Fairstead, near Chelmsford – a lovely 17th century English inn with a stellar Sunday lunch menu and real ales available.
The upstairs private dining room at the Square & Compasses is perfect for a larger party.
Head chef Clint Arnold sources seasonal ingredients from local farms and uses lots of game which is all sourced from nearby estates. Take a look at their ever-changing seasonal menu here.
There is a really lovely 3 mile walk of Chobham’s wild and open rolling heathland which handily has the ordinance survey map and lots of background information including the fact that there are around 60 species of butterflies in the British Isles – and you can see 29 of them on the sweeping expanses of Chobham Common which isn’t just the largest National Nature Reserve in South East England, it’s also one of Europe’s best protected wildlife sites.
Starting the walk and then finishing the walk at Chobham Common gives you a few options in terms of lunch, but very handily located right in the centre of the green is the Four Horseshoes. Serving the best Sunday lunch around and perfect for the whole family, booking is essential and looking at the roast beef above, you can see why.
Image credit: 1 – View from Hambleton Hall, 2 – View from Greenwich Park across London – Henry Stuart, 3 – Roast beef at Chapters Blackheath, 4 – The view from the Wild Rabbit, 5 – Autumn at the Wild Rabbit, 6 – Yorkshire Puddings at the Wild Rabbit, 7 – Hylands Park – Chelmsford Council, 8 – Dining Room – Square & Compasses, 9 – Roast Suffolk Chicken – Square & Compasses, 10 – Roast Beef – the Four Horseshoes.