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Post-theatre eating in London

Old Apr 24th, 2003, 02:52 PM
  #1  
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Post-theatre eating in London

Hello all,

I am trying to decide which neighborhood in London to stay in, and need to figure out how late one can enjoy a leisurely dinner in London. My main goals are to stay in a nice neighborhood, full of restaurants etc., but I have heard that Picadilly is not so nice to stay in. And I don't want to have to take the tube to the hotel after eating. So my question is: if I go to the theatre, is there time to take the tube to another neighborhood and still enjoy a relaxing dinner, or best I stay near the theatres?
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 04:19 PM
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I like to stay in Bloomsbury. From the theater district, you can *walk* back to your hotel - past Chinatown, Soho and lots of neighborhood restaurants. There are plenty of people out and about, so you won't feel uncomfortable even if you're on your own.

See Sandra Gustafson's "Great Eats" and "Great Sleeps in London" for reliable recommendations in the budget to moderate categories.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 05:35 PM
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I was in London the first of April this year and went to see two plays, STONES IN HIS POCKET (which was wonderful!) and WOMAN IN BLACK (a "thriller" which was well done, but a bit corny). There was NOTHING open in the West End after the show, but Chinatown offered later night restaurants. We stayed in Kensington, a very nice are near Kensington Gardens (Hyde Park) but it was a tube ride to the West End, not a big deal. Great place for lunch is St. Christopher's Pl with many outdoor, sidewalk restaurants, but remember, that England is not really know for their cuisine. Some great Indian foods though, and good Thai restaurants.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 06:56 PM
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I can't imagine anyone suggesting that there was "nothing open in the West End" after a show. There are dozens of places for after theatre dining. And saying that England is not known for its food is now a bit out of date. There are great restaurants in London these days. Staying in Covent Garden or the edge of Soho is great. How much are you willing to spend for a hotel and we could give you some specific ideas?

A few favorite after theatre restaurants in addition to dozens in Chinatown and Soho: Belgo Centraal, Le Deuxime, Joe Allen's, Brown's (the restuarant on St. Martin's not the hotel), Bank, Le Palais du Jardin, J. Sheekey, The Ivy, The Sugar Club, Sarastro, Asia de Cuba, and Langan's just to mention a few. It will be best to stay in the general area for restaurants open late.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 12:45 AM
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Thank you Patrick - I too am so tired of reading that England is not known for its cuisine. Anyone who says that simply does not eat in London these days and hasn't done so for a decade. mp413, there are plenty of places to eat. What's your budget for hotels, restaurants, etc?
 
Old Apr 25th, 2003, 02:17 AM
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Here's a short list of restaurants that are open late

Quaglino's- til midnight or 1 am for burger or steak
Atlantic Bar & Grill- til 3am Picadilly circus
Circus- last orders at midnight or bar menu til 1:30am
Mezzo- in Soho open til 1 or 3 depending on the day

Patrick how was Langan's the last time you were there? Buzzy? Good food? I've read it's not the same.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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We were last at Langan's last summer -- but for lunch. Four of us walked in about noon without reservations because we were in the "neighborhood". They were able to seat us upstairs, but they were jammed for lunch up and down. We joked with our waiter that we needed to be out in time for our matinee at 4 and we ended up just making it -- not because they were slow --but because we ate so much and had such a great time.
The service was wonderful (our waiter and bus person were almost like a comedy team). The food was superb! Very buzzy.
It's kind of the wrong direction for me for after theatre dining these days, but I always loved it for that when I stayed in the St. James area (the Dukes Hotel) or in the Shepherd's Market area. I had heard that the restaurant had gone down in quality but had been re-organized and is very good again.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 05:05 AM
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Thanks so much for the info Patrick. Can't wait to go back.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 05:09 AM
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mclaurie, what and where is Circus? I don't see it in Harden's and have never heard of it.
By the way, while I think Quaglino's is one of the most beautiful spaces around, we had really awful food there -- what a disappointment.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for posting all those restaurants Patrick! I was looking for the same info.

I can't find the post with all the sticky toffee pudding recommendations, was Brown's one of the places to try that? Is it OK to just order dessert post theatre there or is it frowned upon?
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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MP413: I have never had any trouble finding restaurants in the West End open after the theater. I like Luigis on 15 Tavistock Street for moderately priced Italian and Y Ming at 35-36 Greek Street in Soho for Chinese.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 06:49 AM
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For Patrick
Circus
1 Upper James Street, Soho, London, W1F 9DF
Nearest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus
Tel: 020 7534 4000

Go to this website for a review
http://www.london-eating.co.uk/56.htm

And you ARE discerning even though we don't agree on where to sit at Cabaret! LOL
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 08:24 AM
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Thank you all for your helpful advice. I am hoping to spend less than $200 a night on hotel; I have no limits on dinner, as this is an important event in my day! Any recommendations for good hotels, and more restaurant recommendations, would be welcome. Also, if anyone could point me in more specific directions as to where to stay that would be great, as "Soho" and "West End seem a bit broad.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 08:26 AM
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And by the way: what exactly does "buzzy" mean??
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 09:14 AM
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hmmmm, I'd say "buzzy" means that sort of electrical feeling you get in a place where the people are fun and interesting and everyone seems to be having a good time. You look around and think...wow, there's a real social current running through this place...it's fun to be here, even if I don't know anyone. (It's not the kind of spot that's jammed with tourists or families with kids running amok, we're talkin' sophisticated and maybe a bit sexy?)
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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Thanks, uhoh_busted!

Sexy is good, I like those places. Also anything romantic, so keep the suggestions coming.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 09:25 AM
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whoops, I got all hung up on explaining "buzzy" and forgot to make my recommendation...We stayed at the Moat House hotel on Sloane Square last April. There's a theater on the square (although we hit a show in the theater district) and a very convenient Tube stop, fashionable shops, and a very cool little bistro place called Oriel that seemed to be open from breakfast until very late. A nice crowd, and a good menu for lunch or late night dinners. We tried it our first night in London, after getting back from a concert at St Martin in the Fields, since it was also our jet-lag arrived at 7AM-that-day-night. (We saw it had been pretty busy with an after-work crowd on our way out that night, and noted that we might want to eat there after the show, since it was just catty-corner across from our hotel.) We went back again later that week after a long day and again had a good meal. The area is great to stay in, as there are some simply stupendous Chelsea restaurants within walking distance for a more "formal" soup to nuts meal. We totally enjoyed staying in the area...very classy. And we had lucked out with a 75pounds per night deal over the internet.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Just looked up the Chelsea restaurant I was remembering: pellicano it has a Sicialian menu, international clientele, and a GREAT wine list.
19-21 Elystan Street, London SW3 3NT
I have reviews of both places on a travel page on Virtual Tourist, if you want phone numbers, menu suggestions, etc. www.virtualtourist.com/radiomom (click on my London page).
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