Where to eat in London

Old Jul 14th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Where to eat in London

Zwho and I and 2 other women are going to be in London in October for 6 days. We were wondering if anyone could recommend some good restaurants around London. We will be staying by Trafalgar Square but are willing to eat anywhere in the city. I am personally
not crazy about Indian food but will try almost anything else that is good and not too expensive.
I have been to London before and had OK food
but I know there are places that are very good because London is such a cosmopolitan and exciting city.
We expect to also eat in a pub at some point.
Interested in some feedback.
natjgc is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 07:36 AM
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Brown's on St. Martin's Lane is v. reasonable, good food & service. The place is huge! There's also a restaurant on top of Covent Garden Market--sorry, the name escapes me. If the weather holds, you can eat outdoors, if not, there's a "glassed in" area with terrific views of the city.

Happy Travels,
bookchick is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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What sort of price bracket are we looking at?
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 08:03 AM
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If you are going to be near Buckingham Palace or St. James Park during mealtime, you should try Bumbles on Buckingham Palace Road. It is just down the street from the Royal Mews. It's a delightful little restaurant with fabulous food and very reasonable by London standards.

Also, if you are near Parliament or the Cabinet War Rooms, try the Red Lion restaurant upstairs (not the Pub downstairs) on Parliament Road for a good noon time meal. Our meal was under 10 pounds per person and very tasty and filling.
bettyk is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Bookie if you're talking about the places we went to it's Brown's, as you said, and Chez Gerard, part of a chain of French style bistros.

Also near Trafalgar square are Axis and Indigo, both restaurants within the One Aldwych hotel. There is Le Cafe du Jardin on Wellington Street (you'd need to walk up through COvent Garden) that's nice.

As has been asked, what kind of budget, what kind of atmosphere?
Kavey is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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Both Browns and Chez Gerard (both are chains so you'll find several around town..) are OK, nothing 'special' but very good value.

Had you thought about Rules? It's London's oldest restaurant and in the Covent Garden area www.rules.co.uk

If you fancy a FABULOUS lunch, there's the Capital Restaurant (in the Capital Hotel) in Knightsbridge. You can get a 3/4 course meal for £28 each at lunch - which isn't bad for one of London'few Two Michelin starred restaurants. http://www.capital-london.net/capital/restaurant.html#

My personal favourite restaurants (other than the ones above) are:

Andrew Edmunds (British/French)
Randall & Aubin (fish)
Oxo Tower (terrible service but great views!)
Gaucho Grill (several in town)
Yauatcha (Dim Sum)
Cinnamon Club (could turn you onto Indian!)
Hunan (Chinese)
Stanleys (sausages)
Bistro 1 (fairly standard food but incredibly good value - just over a fiver for 2 courses and an extensive menu)

For value, any of the All Bar One's do pretty reasonable food at a good price. If you're going to go for pub food, for heaven's sake don't go anywhere near a Wetherspoons pub (they're a chain of horrid, sterile, cheap and nasty pubs)!

It's also worth getting out of Central London - my favourite place is Primrose Hill (nearest tube is Chalk Farm on the Northern Line) - in my opinion it's the last of the London villages. You'll find nice cafes, pubs (proper food!) and restaurants.

I live in London and always use www.squaremeal.co.uk when choosing restaurants, you can find all manner of 'Best..' lists which are helpful.
Tallulah is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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Hi -- Oct. in London is fab. You will have a blast.

I reallllly like the reviews at


(you might have to sign up to do their free trial for fully searchable reviews)

You can also find out about 'gastropubs,' foodie pubs with great atmos + modern British cooking (& awesome beers). And, do try Indian at least once, if you like BBQ then I guarantee you'll like tandoori.

HTH, have fun
ealing_calling is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Also check out toptable.co.uk not only for reviews, information and sample menus for many London restaurants but also for current offers. Some restaurants even offer 50% discounts off the entire food bill ordered from the a la carte menu which really brings some higher priced places into my price bracket.

Would love your review of Yauatcha as I almost booked there for tonight then changed mind for somewhere nearer to where my friends will be during the day. And can you give me any indication on typical prices as I've yet to find a menu posted on the net anywhere.
Kavey is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Thanks for the great tip. I love getting discounts not only on restaurants but my lodging as well.
rj007 is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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I just went to the website. 106 special offers! I like the 360 interior view as well. And now I have more restaurants to add to my London notebook! Thanks again!
rj007 is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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ttt for such a difficult topic - its hard to find good value!
SydneySteve is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 03:57 PM
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Time Out's new publication "Cheap Eats" has a lot of recommendations for good food in places that won't break the budget.
curiousx is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2004, 08:11 PM
Original Poster
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Thank you to all for giving us such wonderful ideas. I know things are expensive in London but I don't think we should skimp on meals. I am open to
all price ranges as long as they are
not out of sight. We are looking for fun places not really anything stuffy,
outdoor cafes and bistros and such.
I appreciate all of your help.
natjgc is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2004, 02:19 AM
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You're welcome richard.
I really like the site, and the 50% offers (and several others) do work out well.
My sister often books through the site. I'm too lazy to register so I usually do a quick search to find the restaurant's phone number, phone them direct, and ask if they'll do the same offer for a direct booking!
Tch Tch!
Kavey is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2004, 02:19 AM
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I've been to Yauatcha 3 times now but each time has been for lunch (I work just around the corner). I personally think that it's fantastic value for the best Dim Sum bar Hakkasan (which, bearing in mind that it's the same owners, would kind of make sense!).

There are one or two items that weren't to my taste (the Venison puffs - or whatever they're called - lacked adequate filling and the dish that's basically Semolina with bits of chicken was... interesting!) but I find that wherever I go.

Each time we've (2 of us) had in the region of 8-9 dishes, which has been more than enough - and a glass of wine each and it's been well under £50. Considering the quality, service and ambience. I read recently that you may have to wait up to a month to get a booking - but, certainly at lunch, they have unreserved tables that you may have to share, but it's worth popping in to find out.

One word of note, in the Ground Floor Tea Room, you can get get THE most marvellous cakes. Quite honestly the best that you'll find around here - even puts Patisserie Valerie in the shade.

Highly recommended.
Tallulah is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2004, 03:26 AM
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Thanks Tallulah,
It's definitely on my must-try list.

Last night ended up in Axis, hadn't been there for a few years, it was very pleasant indeed, they had a live jazz group playing, the good was excellent, service friendly and helpful. Very nice indeed.
Kavey is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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We did not like the food at Chez Gerard, but stumbled across a gem of an italian restaurant a short distance away...Luigis of Covent Garden.
RonZ is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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Ron, sorry to hear you didn't like Chez Gerard. I always go there for the steaks which I always enjoy but haven't really tried the other menu items...
Kavey is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2004, 08:37 AM
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My friends and I went to the Wolsey just down from the Ritz last Friday night. (I just happened to run into these friends on the street around 10 pm after I left my barrister/solicitor crowd still drinking away-we were indeed having a good time, but the smoke was getting to me). It was funny, I kept running into people I knew in London-how often does that happen? -out by Tower Hill, on Piccadilly Sq.-some who, it was quite clear, were making the "walk of shame," (one certain solicitor I'm thinking of in particular) and clearly did not need to be seen the day after! (but that's another story).

The Wolsey is clearly a place to see and be seen. As for the food, my friends ordered steaks, and pronounced them practically inedible, I had a ravioli stuffed with spinach which was quite good. We all agreed their desserts were scrumptious-we ordered a lighter than air vanilla cheesecake with a mango sauce, and a lemon tart-both wonderful. But it was really interesting to see how everyone was dressed-there were some real characters there! I would not describe the Wolsey as a young hangout-it was a slightly older crowd, service friendly, if a bit incompetent (quite typical for London-we heard dishes crashing everywhere after midnight). It was quite fun, really.

We also tried another night to get into Cipriani's in Mayfair-but since it's one of the hottest tables in the city at the moment (so we were told), we couldn't get a booking at a time we wanted. I was disappointed, because I heard their Italian food was excellent. (p.s. provocative question: has the immigrant scene overtaken Mayfair? I suppose one could say that about most western capital cities in general, but it sure seemed whereever I went in Mayfair-Richoux's, Claridges, the black chadors were ALL OVER THE PLACE) Oh yes, I'm quite aware of how un-p.c. my question must sound-however, in private conversations with Londoners you WILL get an honest assessment of this situation!)
Old Jul 15th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Personally I find naffly brass buttoned blazers far worse than, and I quote "black chadors" unquote. It's not just, and I quote "un-p.c." unquote, it's quite simply racist. The people Londoner's don't like are the illegal refugee types, the flashy foreigners are helping the economy, I live in Mayfair, not bothered or even concerned in the slightest!
m_kingdom2 is offline  

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