Restaurants in London

Old Nov 18th, 2003, 11:48 AM
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Restaurants in London

My husband and I, along with my in-laws, are taking advantage of the low fares and going to London for Thanksgiving. We are looking for suggestions for places to eat. We plan to find pubs for most lunches, but want to get some recommendations for dinners, so we can make reservations before we go. How about:
1) A place to celebrate Thanksgiving. We don't have to have turkey, but a nicer place would be great.

2) A newish place that may cater to a younger crowd (my husband and I are in our early 30s)

3) A good seafood place and a steak place.

Our hotel recommended Scotts for seafood and Greigs for steaks. Also, Wolesley for the "hipper" place. What about Simpsons on the Strand? OXO?

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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I'm going to suggest tried and true Rules (see website) for T'giving dinner.
It's traditional in decor and food.
If you have the sticky toffee pudding, you won't miss not having pumpkin pie.

It attracts a lot of tourists, but I found the service very pleasant, the food surprisingly good, the decor cozy and elegant. It's particularly busy in the two hours prior to theatre time and it's open all day, so on T'gving you might want to eat before 6pm or after 8.
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 01:04 PM
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I just topped a thread from a couple weeks ago that mentions some hot and trendy London restaurants, according to December issue of Bon Appetit.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 05:59 AM
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Can you give us an idea of budget?

Christopher's is an american restaurant (good quality) that may be a good choice for thanksgiving, but with 200,000 odd US expats living here, you'd better book it quick. This could also be your choice for a steak place.

Please promise me you won't ever ever go to a chain steakhouse like Aberdeen Angus that preys on poor unsuspecting tourists who eat there and then go home bewailing the poor food in London.

JSheekey's is great for seafood (similar tradition and price as Scotts), top end prices and a few stars if you're lucky. Bit more "trendy" than Scotts, but atmosphere still traditional. Again, book early.

Forget the Oxo Tower - poor rip-off food. Go instead for a cocktail in the bar to admire the views.

Or better still, go to Gary Rhodes' new restaurant Twenty Four, in Tower 42, then pop upstairs for a glass of champagne in Vertigo on the 42nd floor for the best ever views of London. You'll need to book the bar in advance and take photo ID with you as security is tight.

you can read about all these places and more at www.hardens.com, the London food bible.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 06:08 AM
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Almsot forgot one of my favourites - for steak go to Smiths of Smithfields, it's next to Smithfield meat market in Farringdon, and their meat is legendary.
www.smithsofsmithfield.co.uk

The restaurant is actually a converted warehouse split over 4 floors - bar, cocktail bar, bistro/dining room and top end restaurant. It would also suit your "young and hip" criteria. Bistro is busy and fairly casual, top floor restaurant is all white tablecloths and silver service. Either would be a good choice depending on your mood and budget.

Farringdon is an old industrial part of town that's gone through a regeneration in recent years, with design agencies flooding in the take up the old warehouse spaces. Think East Village NY. Go during the week when it's buzzing, rather than the weekend when it's very quiet.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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Is tandoori chicken close enough to turkey? Last year in London, we had our Thanksgiving dinner at an Indian place. Actually, we ate there twice during the trip. It was a stylish, clean restaurant with tableclothes and cloth napkins. The service was good and it wasn't too expensive. Best of all, because you order individual dishes, you can get just the amount of food you want.
I don't remember the name but there were tons of ethnic restaurants in the area. We walked from near the British Museum towards the theater district. Many had pre-theater specials. No reservations needed.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for your messages. Don't worry--we will not go to a chain place. We are looking for places that locals frequent. How important is it to make reservations ahead of our arrival? We have some set up already, but I am hesitant to make plans for every night, in case we hear about something once there. Is it possible to get reservations at the kinds of places that have been suggested the night of?
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 07:29 AM
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The Chez Gerard restaurants are good for steak frites. There are several. I also like Chez Max, in a small street just off Knightsbridge (actually, this used to be a Chez Gerard). It's in a basement, but very nice, good atmosphere, and good value I thought. Scotts is very good for seafood; quite expensive though. Also nice (but not cheap either unfortunately) is Poissonerie de l'Avenue on Sloane Avenue. Can't really say anything about Simpsons since I have never eaten there, but it is considered to be a very touristy place by locals.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 09:46 AM
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It never does any harm to book in advance. The more popular places can get pretty booked up, although you may be able to book on the day for some (NOT JSheekey though).

However if you want flexibility, then book now and cancel on the day if you want to. You can cancel a dinner reservation at any time, right up til the point you're supposed to be there, with no penalty. The busier places really don't mind, as there's always peole queueing up behind you to get in. They're genrally grateful just for letting them know - there must be plenty of people who make a reservation and never turn up.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 09:54 AM
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Langans Brasserie is very nice-maybe for Thanksgiving.

The Enterprise on Walton St is a nice upscale (gastro)pub.
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 07:41 PM
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Oh yes, mclaurie. I love Langans!!
And another great suggestion is the quite inexpensive but oh-so-atmospheric Maggie Jones off Kensington High Street. This would also be a great place for Thanksgiving. They have really traditional food, including roast chicken with dressing (not sure about turkey, but I think they do that sometimes also) in a great country rustic atmosphere.
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