Elephant’s Head, Lower Clapton: Devour ‘bottomless’ Sunday roast in down-at-heel decadence

PUBLISHED: 12:26 28 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 28 March 2018

The barrel vaulted stained glass ceiling at the Elephant's Head

The barrel vaulted stained glass ceiling at the Elephant's Head

Elephant's Head

Emma Bartholomew and her family try the “bottomless roast” at the revamped, and renamed, Elephant’s Head

The The "bottomless" roast beef at the Elephant's Head

Ruairi Gilles decided to revamp the Elephant’s Head when he realised he had collected “enough to fill a pub” through his other job in architectural salvage.

A door from Clerkenwell Prison, oak from railway carriages and a barrel domed stained glass window from the Metropolitan Cinema Victoria evoke a down-at-heel decadence in the Lower Clapton Road pub.

Ruiari took the place over four years ago, when he opened the French restaurant Bonneville.

But the team decided it was time for a change, and the pub has been re-christened its original name dating back to the 80s.

Langoustines, scallops and smoked salmon at the Elephant's HeadLangoustines, scallops and smoked salmon at the Elephant's Head

Now it’s less formal and more “pubby” - to make the most of the boon in craft beer around here.

Mondays and Tuesdays they do “pub classics and a pint”.

Then Wednesdays to Saturdays there’s a weekly changing a la carte menu, dependent on what the supplier has in stock, with three starters and three mains.

And on Sundays when we visit there’s a “bottomless roast”.

Orange and marsala jelly, and the vegan chocolate cake at the Elephant's HeadOrange and marsala jelly, and the vegan chocolate cake at the Elephant's Head

You can get as many potatoes, parsnips, Yorkshires and cauliflower cheese as you want, until you’re full to bursting.

At £14 for the pork belly and £16 for the tender sirloin, it’s incredible value for top-notch quality.

None of those dried-out offerings, all too common at other pub roasts, that leave you feeling you could have done better yourself at home.

Board games like chess or making up silly words at Scrabble provide welcome family amusement.

Cocktails at the Elephant's HeadCocktails at the Elephant's Head

We tried a few of the bar snacks as starters, from a generous seafood platter (£18) of scallops, langoustines and Secret Smokehouse salmon, to the divine Scotch egg with home made Piccalilli (£4) and chicken wings and hot sauce (£6).

Cocktails are not to be missed either. Likewise with the chocolate vegan cake, and orange and Marsala jelly for dessert.

The blend of high quality restaurant food with a laid-back pub atmosphere really works, and roast doesn’t get any better than this.

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