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Christmas lunch in London


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I am wondering if anyone could help with suggestions for lunch on Christmas Day in London. My boyfriend and I have a long layover at Heathrow between Delhi and Vancouver and would like to come into the city for one midday meal. A quick glance at Open Table looks like few places are serving. Does anyone have any suggestions for where we might try to book?

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I can't help with opening info, but I can warn you that the Tube (and normal buses) shut down for Christmas Day. And I think the Heathrow Express rail link too...

My guess is that cabs would also be pretty scarce ... (Probably more of a problem for getting back to Heathrow than getting into town.)

If the airport bus is running, then somewhere close to the bus terminal... (ie around Victoria)

A restaurant in a hotel, perhaps?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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... Alternatively, some of the well-regarded Indian places in Southall are likely to be open and reachable by bus.

But the ordinary buses aren't running...

... although the "Heathrow Hotel Hoppa" is (dunno if that helps!)

... and there's a replacement bus ("coach") service to and from Paddington (while they do work on the closed "Heathrow Express" railway lines)

Download the holiday travel leaflet http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/Fes...eaflet_2007.pdf

which I found linked from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/6574.aspx

EDIT: Delhi and Southall in one trip... :biggrin:

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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EDIT: Delhi and Southall in one trip...  :biggrin:

Fair point, well made.

Many of the Ramsay-owned establishments appear to be open. The Devonshire, one of his underwhelming gastropubs, is probably the closest to Heathrow. Or if you can get to Paddington, you'd be within taxi distance of both La Noisette or Boxwood. It's likely to turn into a bit of a cash-guzzling odyssey though (contrary to what's been said, London cab drivers do work on Christmas day, but will charge double rate and expect at tip of at least £10 for their efforts).

The other option would be to go to a Garfunkels in the airport. Sad to say, but London's baseline quality and value look pretty poor when compared against Vancouver. And, on Christmas day, you can't be expecting anything other than the baseline.

Edit update: On a more general note, I've been stuck in London on the 25th exactly three times. The first, I tried to cook. The second, I went to Little Bay, where for under £30 they'll do a meal that's similar to your mum's, except it's served by Polish girls drunk on cherry vodka. The third I spent on Edgeware Road, smoking shisha and decrying western decadence. Since the smoking ban now rules out option three, I recommend option two.

Edited by naebody (log)
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EDIT: Delhi and Southall in one trip...  :biggrin:

Fair point, well made.

It's likely to turn into a bit of a cash-guzzling odyssey though (contrary to what's been said, London cab drivers do work on Christmas day, but will charge double rate and expect at tip of at least £10 for their efforts).

Black Taxis DON'T charge double on Christmas day. There is simply a surcharge of £4 which makes them one of the Christmas bargains in London. Having said that you can expect to pay between £40 and £70 from Heathrow, I guess it would be towards the lower end of that scale with the lack of traffic on the road.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Black Taxis DON'T charge double on Christmas day. There is simply a surcharge of £4 which makes them one of the Christmas bargains in London.

I chose my words carefully. A licenced black cab will indeed cost you £4 above the meter rate. But the chances of getting a licenced black cab in both directions are close to nil. Meanwhile, a minicab will (in my experience) charge twice the usual rate and still expect a hefty tip. Happy holidays.

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Black Taxis DON'T charge double on Christmas day. There is simply a surcharge of £4 which makes them one of the Christmas bargains in London.

I chose my words carefully. A licenced black cab will indeed cost you £4 above the meter rate. But the chances of getting a licenced black cab in both directions are close to nil. Meanwhile, a minicab will (in my experience) charge twice the usual rate and still expect a hefty tip. Happy holidays.

In my experience a Mini-Cab on Christmas day will be a minimum of triple fare. This may be different with the illegal unlicensed versions we find proliferating in London these days.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Take the Heathrow Express (runs Xmas day) and then from Paddington hop in a taxi over to Clerkenwell. Give the Hoxton Grille at try. Lots of great establishments in this trendy hood or if the new BA terminal is open just eat there and avoid the chance of missing your flight.

SB

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

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Take the Heathrow Express (runs Xmas day) and then from Paddington hop in a taxi over to Clerkenwell. ...

Yes, as I mentioned above, the *service* is running -- But, as noted, its using buses while "engineering works" are performed on the railway...

Getting a taxi *from* an open public transport terminal should be the easiest way of getting a black cab on Christmas Day.

Hailing a taxi in Hoxton for the return, however... ? But the restaurant damn well ought to be able to find a semi-reputable "minicab" for your return to Paddington.

My wild guess is that booking ahead for the restaurant would be, um, prudent...

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Thank you so much for your replies. I quickly realized that this needs much more planning than first thought, but we will probably take the replacement bus to Paddington and then go from there. Funny to be planning this London lunch while wandering through Delhi markets.

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