London-a don't miss Restaurant?

Old Dec 10th, 2003, 05:02 AM
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London-a don't miss Restaurant?

What restaurant in London would you pick as your must go to? I'll be traveling with two 22 year old daughters.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 05:48 AM
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Hartlyn, as in any big city, I don't think there's ONE don't miss restaurant. (If you asked me the same thing about NYC I wouldn't know what to suggest). A lot depends upon type of food, price etc. I think the one thing most Fodorites would agree on is doing TEA at one of the famous places IS a must do experience. The general consensus is Brown's Hotel is the best overall choice for tea in terms of food offering & ambiance. There are sveral strings on tea if you want to read other options.

As to a restaurant, many people like to go to Rules. I've never been. The Ivy (I think owned by the same people) is also famous but I've been underwhelmed & don't particularly swoon over a "carvery" (carved roast beef or whatever at your table). I like to go for food (or ambiance) that I can't get at home. I love Indian food & London has the best. The Bombay Brasserie was my favorite for both food and ambiance but I think it's no longer considered tops. My favorite place is Langan's Brasserie which has a combination of English classics (like bubble & sqeak, bangers & mash) & more typical fare in a lovely setting but I'm not sure a 22 year old would find it "special."

Harden's is considered the best rest. guide for London. Their website is http://www.hardens.com/
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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Hi,

As McLaurie says, you must do Afternoon Tea.

For a veddy British dinner try Simpson's-in-the-Strand.
www.the-savoy-group.com/simpsons/default.asp
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 06:13 AM
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Mclaurie, I knew our tastes were similar, but you're the only other person I've ever heard say their favorite restaurant in London is Langan's Brasserie. I agree one hundred percent. I couldn't go to London without at least one stop there.

To hartlyn, I'd agree that doing tea at Brown's is a "must". As to one restaurant that's hard. Rules is special because it's the oldest and has great atmosphere. Langan's is special because I like it (grin.) And close on the heels of those is the quaint and reasonable, but simply delicious down-home cooking and country atmosphere of Maggie Jones.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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The ambiance at Bombay Brasserie is still very nice, but the food (while fine) is no better than I can get here in Kansas.

Keith
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 07:50 AM
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Mclauie is right - an impossible question to answer. But if you REALLY mean it and money is no object, then go to reputedly London's top restaurant for sheer gastronic extravagance (and recently voted one of the world's top 5): Gordon Ramsey.

Here's what Harden's has to say about it:

"Gordon Ramsay £91 (average price per person inc. wine)
68-69 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea:
?Devastatingly good? modern Gallic cooking remains the hallmark of London?s top chef?s Chelsea flagship, which ? despite the relentless growth of his empire ? remains ?second to none?; service is ?fabulous?, too (if sometimes ?comically attentive?).

Closed Sat & Sun; jacket required; booking: max 6; set weekday L £58(FP).
www.gordonramsay.com
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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Rules, said to be the oldest restaurant in London, is my pick. It's more than the sum of its parts. Other places have more cutting-edge food for sure, lower or higher prices, equally beautiful settings. But Rules, despite the fact that many tourists go there, is a great experience. It's very hectic there before theatre time, so allow plenty of time to finish and get your check. They have a website.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 11:09 AM
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Visiting Rules web site, the menu seems very limited. What do you recomend?

Keith
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 11:26 AM
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When going to Rule's I like the traditional dishes the best -- but I am an adventuresome eater. I recall a starter of stilton and walnut tart that is wonderful, and I've had a couple of great soups -- one of those being Stilton. For main courses, I've had the steak, kidney, and oyster pudding, and also the roast venison which is usually served with bubble and squeak (cabbage and potato combination). I don't think it's necessarily a place to get a plain steak for example. Their sticky toffee pudding is to die for -- but the richest stuff you'll ever taste!!
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 12:05 PM
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I would select the oldest restaurant in London, too.
I recall ordering a smoked salmon starter and a main course of grouse on my first visit to Rules.
What I remember most of all about that initial visit was that I was seated directly below the caricature of Margaret Thatcher. My friend had arrived at the restaurant before I had and he was already seated. When the host lead me to our table, I was so busy gawking at the decor that I somehow failed to notice the huge cartoon on the wall.
Sometime between the main course and desert my friend made me aware of who had been looking down at me all evening.
Now whenever I am in Rules, I think of that first visit and I nod ,graciously,to The Iron Lady.
The sticky pudding is veeeery rich, but absolutely delicious.
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