Sunday lunch is sacrosanct to some, Nick is simply fanatical about it and finds the Lanesborough as keen as he is to do things properly.

I love Sunday lunch and I mean a proper Sunday lunch which is, as everyone knows, a roast dinner. How people can end the weekend with anything else is beyond me, how do they know it’s Sunday if they’re eating pasta? Even vegetarians and vegans can have roast potatoes, there really is no excuse.

Now I’ve been to a few carverys in my time, steam filled saunas of gluttony, and I’ve been to fancy gastropubs where there’s always too much gravy (usually with the server’s thumbprint in it), and the Yorkshire pudding is too often bigger than the plate. They don’t really do it for me.

If you want a roast dinner done right, and your mother isn’t available to cook it, then you need to go to an institution and The Lanesborough Grill is just that.

In 1825 Viscount Lanesborough’s house, in what was then a suburban village, was refurbished keeping much of the original intact. In 1991 it opened as a luxury hotel in the manner of a grand 19th century town house and set new standards for the luxury hotel world.

The entrance opposite Hyde Park is tastefully restrained, with an open fire welcoming you in before you turn the corner into the Lanesborough Grill, a truly gorgeous room with a massive domed glass roof flooding the soft, luxurious furnishings with light and stupendous glass chandeliers suspended from on high.

This is proper posh, a mix of tables, chairs and embracing sofas with properly dressed staff gliding about, with one pushing a traditional  silver antique Gueridon trolley in which resides the roast beef, the pride of Olde Englande. Specifically, in this case, Herefordshire.

In charge is Executive Chef Shay Cooper who weekdays delivers Michelin worthy modern dining. This is evident in the starters on the set Sunday menu, where you won’t find pub classics such as prawn cocktail or pate and toast.

You do get a nod to the prawn concept though with a Coronation crab salad, curry and lime sabayon. This is beautifully light and fresh, and the superb meat is shot through with a citrus kick that effortlessly serves to elevate the sweetness, while those curry notes tip the hat to days of Empire.

I order the Cep risotto myself, cauliflower mushroom, Iberico Ham, Mimolette cheese, but with a little trepidation. A risotto usually takes twenty minutes, can the kitchen shortcut that successfully?

As it turns out, or turns up, I think they may have taken the full twenty. We’ve been eating excellent bread and kind of enjoying the live piano music, so we don’t notice the time taken. I say ‘kind of’ as the piano player seems intent on playing rather frenetic 1920s flapper jazz and could usefully slow it all down a bit as it’s Sunday.

Excellent rice just al dente, large slices of bosky cep, salty chewy ham and rich cheese throughout. The cauliflower mushroom is a talking point, it really does look like cauliflower. This is all very pleasant, eaten with the sommelier’s choice of Chateau Thivin Beaujolais, one that shows that Beaujolais can be far better than Beaujolais Day would have people believe.

We’ve been watching that Gueridon trolley trundle about for a while now, snuggling up to tables for its silver lid to be rolled back to reveal what looks like a proper piece of roast sirloin, and now it’s our turn.

Perfectly medium rare slices are accurately sliced and plated and delivered to table with a dish of veg – roasties, of course, heritage carrots, some kale and grilled hispi cabbage.  Gravy comes too, but served separately as it should be, and the crispy Yorkshire is a good size, but not comically over-inflated. The beef, and I try some, is superb, releasing flavour on every bite

I want a roast too, but for variety I have the Beef Wellington which is kind of ‘roasty’, or at least beefy. This comes as a slice, of course, but it’s a very bare plate. A cabbage leaf, some sweet puree and a salt-baked carrot. It looks very good, very minimal, but it’s a bit mean looking. I need more. It’s Sunday, after all. Red wine sauce was on the menu, I discovered later, but I never saw any.

I swipe some of P’s roasties and a bit of her kale, this makes my plate look a little less austere. The Wellington is excellent; delightful pastry with a thin duxelles layer (might have been thicker) and you could have cut the beef with a spoon, which is the point of fillet. You can’t put any meat  more challenging than fillet into a Wellington. It’s as a fillet should be, butter soft and richly flavoured.

You don’t see Beef Wellington on menus much anymore, which is a shame, but then it does require the kind of old skool skills a classic hotel restaurant specialises in. My own attempts have not been too successful so I know how hard it is.

I should mention that fine sounding fish and vegetarian mains are also on the menu, for those people that might have a beef with beef.

As the pianist slowly segues  into the theme from Dr Zhivago, we do dessert. Caramelised brioche pudding, burnt orange puree, milk ice cream is a trifle bitter for my liking, but the milk ice cream balances it out.

I prefer P’s Lemon tart, candied citrus fruit, Earl Grey meringue though. Its mix of sharp and sweet is just right after a meaty meal, cleansing the palate and light enough to not send me to sleep later.

So quite a Sunday lunch. At £70 a head ex-wine it’s not something most of us can do every weekend, but as a special treat (especially for one’s mum) I can’t think of a better way to pass a Sunday. Great cooking, marvellous service and a wonderful spot.

The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA