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Special meal in London for anniversary..of cheapskates!

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Special meal in London for anniversary..of cheapskates!

Old Feb 12th, 2008, 04:55 AM
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Special meal in London for anniversary..of cheapskates!

We are going to be in London celebrating an important anniversay. I won't say which one, because we just don't feel that old. We will be there for a week starting March 5. We want to have one special meal, but because of the dollars to pounds, don't want to sacrifice the whole travel budget on one meal. i have been looking at the restaurant sites and have almost decided that we just can't eat. At all! But..there must be places that are fun, or special, which are not prohibitive. I know I should give you a budget number, but I don't know what is realistic. We enjoy food..good food...ethnic food..(Burger king and such are not our bag.)
Thank you in advance!!!!!
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 06:26 AM
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There are loads of ethnic restaurants in London, you could try checking on www.squaremeal.co.uk click on London Restaurants (near the top left) then select your area and type of food. It will give you a list with a price range so you can just look at the cheaper places.

Sorry I can't think at the moment of anywhere cheap but special. If you want a nice plate of pasta and a glass of wine, you could try Strada, an Italian chain that is nice but not what I'd call special or fun. Their menu is on their website, I think you could get a main meal each plus wine for about 30 pounds total.
Kay
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 06:35 AM
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Time Out's Cheap Eats in London is a good resource. It lists all sorts of restaurants w/ info about the food and atmosphere. I have occasionally seen it in large US book stores but you might have to buy it on-line.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 06:38 AM
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You haven't given us a pound or dollar figure, so it's hard to know what kind of budget you're talking about. If you're like me, the idea is going somewhere with an atmosphere unlike anything back home. My favorite "budget" place for such a meal in London is Maggie Jones. It leans towards the idea of traditional British food rather than "cutting edge and new". The interior is three floors of old scrubbed floors and pine tables, real candles in bottles with tons of dripping wax, and lots of farm implements and dried flowers hanging from the ceiling. The waiters tend to be campy and fun if you go along with them. And the traditional desserts really are sensational. They offer a fixed price menu for further savings. We last ate there for Christmas Eve a year ago and spent a total of 78 pounds for a wonderful meal and nice bottle of wine. Is that within your budget?
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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Neopatrick..

thanks..where is Maggie Jones? I like the idea of somewhere like that. Did you spend 78 pounds pp? That is sort of high, but you never know...
Thanks to everyone. We have eaten at a Strada..that is the type of spot we frequent when we are in London...that and all the chinese places in Soho. that is why I was looking for something a bit different....."special" if you will.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 07:10 AM
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Not NeoPatrick - but I'm sure he meant £78 total for the both of them. I've eaten there a couple of time - though long ago, and would guess it is now in £25-£40-ish per person range.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Oh, yes, defintely it was 78 pounds total for the two of us. I've not been able to find a full menu on line, but here is a website with location. It's a short walk from the Kensington High Street tube station.

Oh, and let's just say this "important" one is your FIFTH. OK? I have clients in their 80's and he always refers to his wife as his "bride", and every trip as "we just got back from another honeymoon."

http://www.english-restaurants.com/e...asp?classID=31
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 07:37 AM
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To give you a clue-everytime I go to London for work(and we layover by Gatwick airport) I go for a cheaper takeout meal for lunch and breakfast. I ALWAYS drop at least 20-40 pounds for takeout picnic.Its horribly high! Good luck-
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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Thanks again. Yest this is our "5th" aniversary. We come to London most winters..we love it. Most Minnesota people go south in the winter...we are an exception. this one is special for the anniversary. I appreciate the idea. We don't eat out in Kensington very often. We mostly stay in Bloomsbury..or if feeling flush.... near Trafalgar. Feeling unflush this year due to the market and the pound we are at the Euston thistle. Hope it is OK. Got a great price.
Thanks
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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We ate a Bumbles near Buckingham Palace on our last trip to London. We really enjoyed the meal and the restaurant is small and well appointed. Prices were quite reasonable.

http://www.bumbles1950.com/

Some reviews:

http://tinyurl.com/2jv4r8
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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Have you checked out Porters Restaurant in Covent Garden? That may suit.

http://www.porters.uk.com
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 09:44 AM
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I go for a cheaper takeout meal for lunch and breakfast. I ALWAYS drop at least 20-40 pounds for takeout picnic.Its horribly high!>>>>

How on Earth did you manage to spend that on a picnic? I'm not doubting you, it's just more than I would pay, almost by a factor of ten.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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Add me to the list of those who always end up spending as much or more for a nice picnic as for a decent restaurant meal. I have found the prices of prepared foods at places like M&S bordering on the outrageous. I remember picking up a small container of pasta salad and it was something like 8.90 -- and seemed like a little side dish for two. Pick up a nice little pate and you might gasp. I often like to stop and get some nice cheese --OK, so we know Neal's Yard Dairy or Paxton (the place on Jermyn?) isn't cheap, but wow, it does get expensive. Sure, one could just get a sandwich or a simple salad for a picnic, but splurging on a few interesting little prepared foods adds up very quickly. I seem to do much worse shopping for a picnic than browsing a typical menu.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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The Criterion on Piccadilly has a pre-theatre fixed menu for under £20 and their wine list is very reasonable. It's a lovely room.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Probably doesn't meet the criteria of a place for a special meal for that special anniversary but one of our favorite places when we went into London (lived in a NE suburb for almost three years) was Belgo Centraal - great Belgian food (primarily mussels) and beer in a warehouse type setting. http://www.belgo-restaurants.co.uk/
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 10:42 PM
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where ever you go book before hand and tell them it is your anniversary.

You may get a little treat, something like sparklers in the pudding or a glass of bubbly.

You might get nothing but it's worth asking.


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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 12:52 AM
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There's an article about London dining under 20 pounds on Fodor's homepage right now. As a previous poster said; a before-theatre fixed price menu is usually very good value, as are fixed price lunches in some of the more expensive restaurants.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 01:04 AM
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The best cheap meal we have had of late was at Shampers - a wine bar/restaurant with a great atmosphere
http://tinyurl.com/yqy36x


Also, make sure you check out restaurant booking site www.toptable.co.uk as they have special offers on great restaurants - you can often get 50% off your food.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 08:03 AM
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Everyone has been SO much help. I am making notes on these suggestions. We may have to have more than one special meal!!
thank you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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I'm not a "foodie" but we like the Brown's Restaurant location on St. Martin's Lane. It is at the Leicester Square tube stop and fairly close to Covent Garden.

You can Google the menu. My daughter and I especially like the Steak, Guinness & Mushroom Pie, and we adore their Sticky Toffee Pudding.
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