Only ever so often will you have a meal where everything feels just right. Food, service, atmosphere and drinks- all coming together beautifully and effortlessly, to not only leave you stuffed, but also with a massive smile on your face. That was pretty much the case at Hubbard & Bell, the cosy restaurant inside the hipster friendly yet chic Hoxton Hotel in Holborn, where me and my friend Maddie got to enjoy a spectacular Sunday roast dinner that delivered on so many levels.
Firstly, I have to applaud the service and staff in general at Hubbard & Bell, especially living in a city where I have almost gotten used to being barked at by waiters for the smallest of request. Here we were looked after from the minute we sat down at our comfy diner inspired leather booth until the minute we left. Our wine glasses never ran empty and we even ended up extensively chatting to one of the chefs about the most spectacular of desserts they had created in the kitchen (more on that later), with him genuinely excited to see our faces light up as pudding arrived at our table. Clearly the team morale runs high here and it really reflects on the mood of the dining room, each plate served with a smile and with the intension of giving you the best Sunday afternoon possible.
Of course, this would have all not been any good had the food been mediocre but I am happy to report that their Sunday roast menu, served every Sunday from 12-5pm, was equally stellar- without a doubt serving me the best veggie roast I have had in London so far. Yes, it is slightly more expensive than your regular pub roast (all are priced at £20 whether you go for slow roast lamb shoulder, herb-fed spatchcock chicken or mushroom wellington) but you get a hell of a lot of amazing food, with surprising culinary touches that make it a real flavour experience.
My veggie roast for example came served with the indulgent buttery kale, a great array of roast vegetables including beetroot, carrot and parsnips, the most amazing rosemary roast potatoes and one of the most flavourful gravies I have ever had- a porcini gravy with hints of soy sauce and garlic that I could have drank by the litre. The portions were huge and just about manageable which makes it slightly ironic that one of the unique selling points of the menu is the offer of “bottomless Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes”, I physically could have not fit another bite of either in (and I was post Barry’s bootcamp kinda hungry). Is it a bit of gimmick to advertise it as bottomless? I guess so unless you genuinely can eat for 2 because then heck knock yourself out, the Yorkshire puddings were after all “outstanding” as my Yorkshire dining companion concluded. To be honest though it didn’t really matter as we were more than satisfied by the one plate.
My only small criticism when it comes to the roast was the mushroom wellington- advertised as being filled with truffled celeriac and mushroom, it turned out to be a little bit of a bland and soggy affair, still very edible and in no way bad, but just not as amazingly good as what else was on the plate and am sure is something they can tweak in the future to make it even better (I say more truffle and more filling).
Post-roast we were, as I said, pretty stuffed but also not quite stuffed enough to not order the one dessert on their menu, which not only sounded EPIC but was legitimately one of the best things I have ever eaten. Keeping to the roast dinner theme, their hot apple Yorkshire pudding pancake (a huge portion to share at a bargain £9) was one of the most delicious, comforting and incredible looking desserts I have come across and the chef had a huge smile on his face as he served up this beauty to our table.
A sweetened Yorkshire pudding dough was used as a sort of edible bowl for slowly stewed cinnamon apple slices in a bourbon caramel sauce, pecans and two big scoops of cornflake ice cream. My mouth is watering even as I type this and to be honest I have been thinking about it ever since, heck I would even come in casually on a Sunday (the only time they serve this dessert which is a travesty in itself), demolish the whole thing and skip the roast, it was THAT good. Even if you have to be rolled out by the end, make sure you order this pudding because you won’t forget it in a hurry and desserts like this are not to be missed.
We washed all this food down with a very good white wine (their list is extensive and affordable with the cheapest bottle being £19) and a fantastic espresso martini, you are after all still dining inside a hotel of a pretty high standard and with highly trained bar staff.
Overall if you are after a Sunday roast with a difference, where you feel spoiled in every way, the food is amazing, the drinks are good and you will have to unbutton your trousers after a Yorkshire pudding extravaganza, both sweet and savoury, Hubbard & Bell is the place to go. I for sure will be back and can’t wait to take more friends to experience this slick yet hearty take on the classic English tradition that is a Sunday roast dinner.
*I was invited to review the restaurant but all views are my own.