The Dining Room Derby – best Sunday lunch in Derby?

Located on Friar Gate in Derby city centre, The Dining Room is consistently one of the top rated restaurants in Derby on TripAdvisor so I’d been wanting to try it for a while. I finally got the chance today and it was every bit as good as I hoped. Here’s my impressions of Sunday lunch at The Dining Room Derby.

Situated directly opposite St Werburgh’s Church on Friar Gate, The Dining Room 121 is a bistro style restaurant serving up “classically contemporary dishes, focusing on the best of local and regional British produce.”

I immediately loved the décor and ambiance. Exposed brickwork, abstract art and a warm welcome.

birds eye view of a roast dinner at The Dining Room Derby

Sunday lunch at The Dining Room Derby

Sunday lunch menu at The Dining Room Derby runs from midday to 4pm. Priced at one course for £16.95, two courses for £20.95 and three for £24.95.

I’m never fussed about starters with Sunday lunch, but the options were soup of the day served with house baked bread, mushrooms on toast or vegan katsu curry.

The mains were a choice of roasts, catch of the day (today a delicious sounding tuna dish) or a vegan cashew and apricot falafel served with cauliflower tabbouleh and red pepper coulis. The latter two were gluten free, with gluten free options available on the roasts.

The roasts were a choice of Derbyshire beef striploin, Derbyshire lamb rump or corn fed chicken supreme. Each roast is served with roast potatoes, roast root vegetables, seasonal vegetables, cauliflower cheese, stuffing ball, pig in blanket, Yorkshire pudding and pan gravy.

roast chicken at The Dining Room Derby

Both my friend and I opted for the roast chicken. The meat was beautifully succulent with a crispy skin. The roast potatoes were some of the best I’ve had anywhere, perfectly seasoned with crispy exteriors and the fluffiest inners. I liked how a generous serving of gravy came in a little jug so one could add it to taste. I’m a huge gravy fan, but ever so picky about where it goes. In my mind some things need to be crispy on a roast dinner! I wish more places served the gravy this way.

I was also impressed with the quantity, selection and quality of the vegetables served. I enjoy the vegetables as much as anything on a roast dinner. And The Dining Room Derby knows how to serve immaculate veg. On the day we dined the ‘roast root vegetables’ consisted of roast beetroot, parsnip and carrot whilst the green veg was perfectly steamed cauliflower and broccoli. These were both served on the plate. We were impressed enough with the plate, but our server returned with steaming bowls of the most incredible braised red cabbage and creamy cauliflower cheese.

Based on the overall quality, sheer generosity and range of food, I’d suggest this is the best Sunday lunch in Derby. If we were splitting hairs, the Yorkshire pudding wasn’t the best I’ve had but everything else was spot on. Click here for other great places for a Sunday roast in Derby and the rest of the county.

two plates of dessert at The Dining Room Derby

The desserts were equally tempting. For once I wasn’t necessarily in the mood for sticky toffee pudding. However, my friend did order this and said it was delicious. It was generously portioned and came with an extra serving of Maldon Sea salt caramel sauce, again in a little jug.

For me, it was a toss-up between the “Jaffa Cake” dome (a decadent chocolate and orange concoction) and poached pear and bramble cheese cake. I chose the cheesecake which was very pleasant and beautifully presented. I particularly enjoyed the white chocolate mascarpone.  

poached pear and bramble cheesecake

There was also the option of a British cheese board served with quince jelly and fig chutney (£5 supplement).

Service was great throughout: friendly, efficient and unobtrusive.  

Overall, we absolutely loved The Dining Room Derby. Everything about our visit was wonderful and I would return in a shot.

bill with Love Hearts sweets at The Dining Room Derby

Go for:

Incredibly good food and drink and fabulous service in a comfortable, stylish setting.


121 Friar Gate, Derby, DE1 1EX, 01332 613991.

Good range of vegetarian and gluten free options.

We paid £50 for two courses each, an alcohol free beer, a small glass of wine and a single espresso (excluding tip).

In addition to the Sunday lunch menu there’s also an a la carte menu and a very good value early bird menu priced at £19.95 for two courses.

If you’ve enjoyed this, please read my round up of my all-time favourite restaurants in Derbyshire.

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By Molly Scott

Derbyshire blogger - bringing you the best places to eat, drink, spa and stay in the wider Derbyshire area. Champion of the most fabulous independents.

3 replies on “The Dining Room Derby – best Sunday lunch in Derby?”

I love the look of exposed brickwork-type places, too. I must admit, the Love Heart sweets at the end did it for me! Not just because I love Love Hearts, but just because it’s such a thoughtful, down to earth, “sweet” thing to do. The food looks and sounds lush, and I appreciate it when a place does decent veggies. Fab review!

Caz xx

Thank you so much Caz. Yeah, it’s amazing how exciting the cute quirky sweets were… think I forgot getting a choc mint is pretty standard 😂 And I’m a fan of exposed brickwork too. Xx

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