The Old Nun's Head
15 Nunhead Green, SE15 3QQ
Overground: Nunhead or Peckham Rye
020 7639 4007
Expect to pay: around £8 for main, £4 for dessert
There are certain requirements for a Sunday Lunch, certain things that make it what it is. The Old Nun's Head has these in spades. £8 gets you proper Sunday roast, with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and peas. Mint sauce for lamb, horseradish for beef, apple sauce for pork and if you have to have a vegetarian lunch, then there's no reason it has to be any less hearty –or rich—then the meat. The Old Nun's Head has a small kitchen, so don't expect anything other than the standard roast dinner –beef, pork, lamb or vegetarian- if you go on a Sunday. Prices are reasonable, the quality is good and the size is enough to have you debating if you really need a dessert. (The answer to that is yes, by the way, though you may need someone to split the organic chocolate brownie with.) It's not a gastropub as such, but what it does, it does very well.
The pub itself is a decent size, open and light with friendly staff. "It's like coming back to civilization!" said a shell-shocked first timer, dragged out of his north of the river comfort zone.
It does a good range of wine and cocktails, but really excels when it comes to beer. As well as the standard pub stock, they have a very good range of guest beers on tap which change regularly and are well worth trying, plus the odd limited edition cider. All of which is enough to make you look more kindly on the only negative side of a good pub—other people getting there first. It does get busy on a Sunday, so you may be forced to have a pint while you're waiting –oh, the hardship!- but once you're seated, food is normally quick and service is prompt. It also has live music, in the form of a two-piece swing and jazz duo.
The only downside of this for some is that yes, it is a good place to bring the kids, which people do. Not the place for a quiet lunch, but definitely somewhere to go if you want good food, good prices and a great atmosphere.
Words and photography by Jenny Meyer