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London Food Prices and Pubs

Old Aug 6th, 2012, 09:21 PM
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London Food Prices and Pubs

As I have never been to Europe -- and will be in London for 5 days -- I would like to enjoy some good Bangers and Mash, Fish & Chips, Bubble and Squeak, and other dishes that I have always heard about. Suggestions ??? Wonder what the price ranges will be ?? I have heard that everything is incredibly expensive, even burgers. Is it so?

I watch the Two Fat Ladies Show on the Cooking Channel, and love what they cook. Do you have any recommendations where I might find good, local cuisine, as such. We are interested in having Pub Fare, and some good beer. I have never been real keen on dark ale and am hoping to find some light ale that might be more to my palate.

I will also be spending one day in Guernsey. I have looked at some information and still do not know what the best to see and do. Anyone have some ideas? I am totally open. I saw a video of the Channel Islands and the connection with England during the war with the Germans. Most interesting. Other than this, this is the only knowledge I now have.

I've gotten such good ideas that I am seeing input again. It's almost time to leave the USA for London. We are all really getting excited about our journey.

Thanks so much for taking a few minutes for us. We really appreciate your comments.

Melaine
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Old Aug 6th, 2012, 10:58 PM
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Here is a good thread on pubs in London - you can check their oniline menus for prices and what's on offer http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-london.cfm

Don't forget to have a great Sunday lunch...most pubs serve these so check out the menus for those as well
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Old Aug 6th, 2012, 11:50 PM
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For the type of traditional 'British' food you describe, the best option in pubs. The quality can vary hugely, so you will need to do your research. Pubs typical charge anywhere from £9-15 for a main course, depending on the smartness of the pub and its aspirations as a foodie place.

Pubs typically serve a vast array of beer, from the darker ales to 'lager' - the fizzy cold stuff you will recognise from home. Hard to give you a recommendation as pubs sell many different brands, but you can often ask for a taste if you aren't sure what to order (in which case they will just pour a little sample into a small cup for you to try).
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 01:24 AM
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Check out London Eating .com for great price offers > Make sure you choose your pub carefullyas a lot don't actually cook, they Microwave/ I Like the Anglesea Armsw near gloucester Rd
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 01:31 AM
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Many pubs that are mainly pubs will have pre-prepared meals brought in. Others, particularly those with "gastropub" ambitions, are more like proper restaurants with a pub attached.

Also worth checking out
www.fancyapint.com
www.beerintheevening.com
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 04:16 AM
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Just checking, would my sons, aged 12 & 14, be able to have a counter meal in the front bar in some of these places? Or would there have to be a restaurant or beer garden? Say The Ship in Holbourn, or the Cheshire Chese? Could we have a beer at the counter with them there? Is it done?
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 04:35 AM
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Pocket - I think they would have to be in the restaurant side. Most pubs in central London will have signs that say they allow children, but you can always ask at the bar. It's more likely they will be allowed at lunch and before say 8pm, but almost certainly not at the bar counter.
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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Pocket - eating at the bar is not standard behaviour for anyone in pubs - the bar area isn't like counter bars in the US, it's mainly used for ordering and for a few locals who want to stand around with their pints.

People dining sit at tables to eat (after ordering the food at the bar - unless they specifically have table service).
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Guernsey et al. The whole Germans WW2 issue on the Channel Islands is still a live emotional subject so tread sensitively.

The Islands chose some different paths, as the invasion came close, the alderney people left and to this day where they settled near my place of birth is called Alderney. As a result the germans put tens of thousands of russian slave workers on the island to pour concrete and starved most to death. Much of the concrete was blown up after the war, but there is still tonnes left, plus a splendid harbour wall.

Guernsey and Jersey people decided to stay on the island (apart from most men of fighting age), there are still families who are not spoken to on the islands due to the level of working with the invaders. Jews, of course, and trouble makers were deported to the camps.

The action on Sark is now blurred by time but my father, who knew many of these people, felt that the Chatalain did her best to keep her people safe.

If you go the best trip is a taxi ride around the island (you can hire a car or take a trip most days) get out and walk over the concrete. Visit the underground hospital, then go to St Peter Port and walk up the main shopping street. You will soon realise how small the place is.

Alexander Dumas was sent here towards then end of his life (due to his sexual uncertainty) and his house has a whole load of secret chambers.

If you want some fun take a boat out to Sark (Europe's third ancient dictatorship (see Monaco and Lichtenstein)) where no cars are allowed and the Twins who own the Daily Telegraph are trying to take control (think white cat purring on two laps). The views are wonderful, talk to the boat captain about what it is like working in the world's highest/strongest tides.
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 06:47 AM
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You might also enjoy this website www.fancyapint.com. It includes ratings, search feature, etc for pubs in London and throughout the UK. We often used it to find pubs near wherever we were sightseeing.
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 08:27 AM
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Melanie, oh I used to love those two fat British ladies with their so rich food and nutty antics.

I also enjoyed watching ISLAND AT WAR which gave a good cross section of life on the Channel Islands during the Nazi occupation.
You might also read THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows, a novel set in the same period. The book (crazy title and all) was a runaway best seller and has heightened tourism in Guersey in recent years.

Bilboburgher, thanks you for the additional info on the island and about how the scars from WWII remain among the population. It was a devastating experience for all.

Would love to go there some day. We’ll see.
Melanie, enjoy your first (of many I am sure) trip to Europe.
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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I'll third the www.fancyapint.com recommendation.

Lee Ann
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 02:41 PM
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"We are interested in having Pub Fare, and some good beer. I have never been real keen on dark ale and am hoping to find some light ale that might be more to my palate."

My husband finally found a UK beer he liked - the bartender at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (which is a Samuel Smith's pub) recommended a Samuel Smith's beer. He can't remember which one, but their India Pale Ale is one we can find here in Texas and I like it (I'm not much of a beer drinker). Ask the bartender for a pale ale? Different chains of pubs carry different brands, I think. You might not be able to find a Samuel Smith beer in a competitor's pub. (Is that right, UK Fodorites?)

A lot of these pubs and restaurants also carry American beer.
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 07:18 PM
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Oh yes, Foster's is a beer you can find in most pubs that tastes similar to American beer.
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 12:54 AM
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"Oh yes, Foster's is a beer you can find in most pubs that tastes similar to American beer."

That is so cruel

Pubs and beers.
Officially there are no more tithe pubs (that is pubs that have to sell a brewery's beer), in reality all that has happened is that groups of pubs sell a range of beer that central buying buy rather than make. But this has an interesting affect so that, for example Witherspoons sells beer that central buying bought very cheaply (ie old beer with short sell by life).

Sam Smiths would stand out in some parts of London as a good beer (head in hands, tears running down face). But there are some good beers.

India Pale Ale is available in the UK but has declined in production since loss of Empire. A single barrel went to India three years ago by boat and was the focus of a very entertaining book. It was developed to lager well on a long ocean trip and to be drunk in the great heats of the sub-continent (hence the interest in East Anglia).

http://thekernelbrewery.com/ might be of interest

Green King IPA claims to hit the mark
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 05:56 AM
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If you don't like beer, you may like cider.
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 06:52 AM
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the best fish we have had in london over the years has been at The Sea Shell; 49-51 Lisson Grove NW1... its a taxi ride.
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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bilboburger:

Yes, she can definitely find something better than Foster's.

Thanks for the tip on the Greene King IPA (I Googled it - the IPA Gold is an even lighter beer).

Any Americans out there who've found something they've liked? (I'm asking for my DH).
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 12:44 AM
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"Yes, she can definitely find something better than Foster's."

Spawn of the devil, If you drink it warm you can see the E numbers float to the top.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 12:51 AM
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Recent tax changes in the UK mean that there are now loads of new micro-breweries which I cannot keep up with however, Camra can.

http://www.camra.org.uk/
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