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Visiting London - Restaurant Recs Please


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In terms of afternoon tea at the Savoy or whatever, yes.  Definitely need a reservation.  I remember being heartbroken one day about 10 years ago when my dad tried to take me when we happened to both be in London (from Dublin) on the same day!

(note: afternoon tea, not high tea - high tea is a very hearty early evening meal...)

Good point - afternoon tea!

And what's cream tea? Tea focused on puddings?

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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In terms of afternoon tea at the Savoy or whatever, yes.   Definitely need a reservation.  I remember being heartbroken one day about 10 years ago when my dad tried to take me when we happened to both be in London (from Dublin) on the same day!

(note: afternoon tea, not high tea - high tea is a very hearty early evening meal...)

Good point - afternoon tea!

And what's cream tea? Tea focused on puddings?

A 'cream tea', is small, delicate sandwiches with crusts removed, a pot of tea to drink and scones with jam and thick clotted cream. In a more leisurely age it was intended to fill the long gap between lunch and dinner and was served at about 4pm in the afternoon. It's a very pleasant thing to do now and again. Cream teas are very popular for holidaymakers in Devon and Cornwall, and a number of the larger London hotels such as the Ritz do an upmarket version. The Waldorf hotel on Aldwych combines their afternoon tea with dancing.

Edited to say that cream tea is more likely to be just the scones/jam and cream with a pot of tea......afternoon tea includes the sandwiches and is therefore slightly more substantial.

Edited by Rachellindsay (log)
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On the gastropub front, try an early lunch at the Anchor & Hope (closed Mondays) before an amble to the Tate Modern (it's round the corner from Southwark tube) - it seems to have been easier to get a table in recent weeks, and you can order from the full menu in the "pub" bit as well as the restaurant bit. Ate an excellent braised hare there a few days ago. If you're missing fish and chips, the Fryers Delight on Theobald's Road is a short walk from your hotel...

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In terms of afternoon tea at the Savoy or whatever, yes.   Definitely need a reservation.  I remember being heartbroken one day about 10 years ago when my dad tried to take me when we happened to both be in London (from Dublin) on the same day!

(note: afternoon tea, not high tea - high tea is a very hearty early evening meal...)

Good point - afternoon tea!

And what's cream tea? Tea focused on puddings?

A 'cream tea', is small, delicate sandwiches with crusts removed, a pot of tea to drink and scones with jam and thick clotted cream. In a more leisurely age it was intended to fill the long gap between lunch and dinner and was served at about 4pm in the afternoon. It's a very pleasant thing to do now and again. Cream teas are very popular for holidaymakers in Devon and Cornwall, and a number of the larger London hotels such as the Ritz do an upmarket version. The Waldorf hotel on Aldwych combines their afternoon tea with dancing.

Edited to say that cream tea is more likely to be just the scones/jam and cream with a pot of tea......afternoon tea includes the sandwiches and is therefore slightly more substantial.

If you are after afternoon tea, skip the savoy and head to claridges/Berkeley/dorchester/Ritz

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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In terms of Markets, do Borough Market on a Friday, if possible. Saturday is a zoo. If you go to Borough, have lunch at Magdelan...new place that opened on Tooley Street. Food is great and so is the atmosphere.

I'd also recommend going to Marlybone High Street on Sunday. The farmers market is in the am, then you can browse down the street (great boutiques and food places...also really close to Selfridges, so you can stop by afterwards).

In terms of High teas, i think that the Pret-a-port tea at the Berkley hotel or the tea they do at the Wolesley is better than the Ritz.

For finer dining, try Maze (GR's tapas place) or Aubergine (great set menu for lunch). The Greenhouse is my absolute favourite, but is is also very pricey.

Try oysters at the Bentley or at Scotts.

Lower key dining, I second Tom's Kitchen, Arbutus, Anchor and Hope (althouth they don't take reservations), the Salt Yard.

I'd say to skip St. John, and go instead to St. John's bread and wine (I know this would be contententious advice, but St. John's is equally likely to dissapoint as to please, and I like the atmosphere at the B&W place better.

Columbia Road flower market on Sunday am, Spitafields market on sunday (great for funky fashion)

Cream filled choux buns at Beard Papas (Berwick off of oxford st).

Oh I could go on...

Hope this helps.

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When Dayne and I were in London in September we went to 2 fabulous bars owned by Nidal Ramini who is quite a nice fellow!

Montgomery Place in Notting Hill

and Dusk by Battersea park

if you are walking around shopping and see a cosmetic store called Pout go in and try their limp plumping gloss! it is awesome and the best I have found :smile:

We did the London Eye too which we LOVED!! booked in advance online and did a champagne flight which was very fun.

Have an amazing trip!!!

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I'd definately advise a trip to a gastropub - its one of the things I miss now I live in Melbourne. The Anchor and Hope is top notch. The no booking policy can be a bit annoying, but you're fine if you arrive early and even if you have to wait for a table its a good place to drink.

The ledbury is also a great place if you want fine dining at reasonable places. Had one of the best meals of last year there for my sisters birthday. We did tasting menu and got the sommelier to pick us matching wines and it was under 100 pounds a head.

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Friday or Saturday breakfast at Roast in the Borough.

Flaneur Food Hall and Vinoteca in Clerkenwell

Wine Wharf at Vintropolis

Vivat Bacchus for great S.African wines and great cheeses.

Stephen

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

MY BLOG

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if youre looking for Asian I would put in my vote for thai at Nahm, at the Halkin Hotel in Belgravia. it is well worth of the Michelin star it has, and while you can easily run overbudget, going for lunch or taking some care in ordering will keep you with the 75 pounds. it is certainly not a typical thai place, more designer than floating market, but the food is totally amazing.

You guys are so great - thanks for all this info (keep it coming!).
do you have any specific type of food you want to try?

I'm pretty open...I'd love to try some offal and/or game, so St. John's definitely appeals...will it be hard to get in?

I've also heard that Asian food in London is quite good...while I'd like to avoid Indian, I'd love to try pretty much anything else.

I also like the idea of doing some London-y things, like a gastropub and, obviously, fish and chips...someone on FFB's topic mentioned a fish and chips spot on Russell Square, so I figured I'd check that out. Any other suggestions?

I love the idea of exploring the markets, whether I eat from there or not. Besides Borough Market, any other recommendations? Market/food hall shopping is the only kind I plan to do - I'm not going to be hitting the department stores with my wimpy little dollar-based salary. :wink:

ETA: I probably need a reservation for high tea, right?

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Do the gastropub thing at The Ladbroke Arms www.capitalpubcompany.com/ladbroke.htm. No one ever seems to talk about this place but its absolutely my favourite pub in London.

A nice, ordinary pub that's been completely undermined by its clientelle, all of whom seem to insist on spreading themselves over a dozen chairs and broadcasting at volume 11 their importance. I spend every visit fighting the urge to shout "class war" -- something I'd be more than happy to do if the food were not quite so aggressively priced and so instantly forgettable.

The Fat Badger, a new place at the wrong end of Portobello market, offers better quality and a more convivial atmosphere, along with a pleasantly original take on Britishness. (Pay particular attention to the upstairs wallpaper.)

Places like Smiths of Smithfield and Hawksmoor are fine, but they're basically copying templates invented in New York, which'd make it a bit of a busman's holiday. St John, Vinoteca, Tapas Brindisa and Anchor and Hope are a bit more unique, and worth the effort. (Of the three, only St John takes bookings.)

This is probably the definitive, albeit a bit dated, thread for London through the eyes of a septic.

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I'd say to skip St. John, and go instead to St. John's bread and wine (I know this would be contententious advice, but St. John's is equally likely to dissapoint as to please, and I like the atmosphere at the B&W place better.

I'd second the recommendation for St John Bread and Wine. One of my favourite places. You do need to book a couple of days in advance but its got a great atmosphere and is very relaxed.

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Of course: I'd forgotten the legendary warmth of our welcome given to our transatlantic cousins.

I think you're misunderstanding the thrust of this. It's just th'oul Cockney rhyming slang. I don't think there's any real malice intended.

Si

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This is probably the definitive, albeit a bit dated, thread for London through the eyes of a septic.

that can't be right can it?

Septic tank = Yank

Of course: I'd forgotten the legendary warmth of our welcome given to our transatlantic cousins.

Dirty Yank, septic tank - my Australian friend often calls me a Seppo...I'm over it. :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK. I have planned the tour, any logistical problems??

RHR: 12pm

3.30ish: Either Moro or St johns or anyother suggestions......

5.30: Benares

7.00: L'atelier

8.30: Yautacha

10.15: Bentleys-Oysters and Jazz

10.00AM: Wolseley for breakfast

12.15: Arbutus

4.55: Virgin aberdeen angus burger :wink:

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We had lunch at RHR - started at noon - and were there until almost 2:30.  I don't think I'd be able to stomach the sight of food again at 3:30.  Robyn

Lightweight! We started at 12 and finished at 2.30, by 4pm my dining partner was tucking into a plate of brains on toast at St Johns :wacko:

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We had lunch at RHR - started at noon - and were there until almost 2:30.  I don't think I'd be able to stomach the sight of food again at 3:30.  Robyn

Lightweight!...

Not quite. But I hope to stay on this side of the doublewide dress aisle for quite a few years. Robyn

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  • 9 months later...

I've got some business in London in January and plan to shoehorn a couple of days gorging in while I'm there.

It's been a while since I've visited so I will have one top end dinner in either RHR or Petrus.

That leaves two lunches and one dinner ( provided I don't expire from gout by day two!) I specifically want to check out places that are producing simple yet high quality bistro fare. Places such as St. John, Arbutus, Wild Honey, Comptoir Gascon, Market etc ( I'm sure there are plenty I haven't heard of)

I would be very grateful for recommendations for lunch and dinner.

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good question. Im also going to London for a weekend with the staff at the place Im working at. We are re-opening our bar/restaurant and want to eat at places that can give us inspiration. So far, Ive sent a request for a table at St. Johns, but we have one more dinner and two lunches left to fill. I would like a good gastro-pub and mayby a brasserie. And are there farmer markets on sundays?

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good question. Im also going to London for a weekend with the staff at the place Im working at. We are re-opening our bar/restaurant and want to eat at places that can give us inspiration. So far, Ive sent a request for a table at St. Johns, but we have one more dinner and two lunches left to fill. I would like a good gastro-pub and mayby a brasserie. And are there farmer markets on sundays?

For a brasserie, you must do Le Cafe Anglais - see the thread below.

I go to Marylebone Farmers Market on Sunday, as apparently does the saintly Nigel Slater ('cept I've never seen him there).

Full farmers market details here.

And you get to see Marylebone High Street as well - The Ginger Pig will be open, as will Daunt Books, and you could stop by Paul for a coffee and macaroon.

Sarah

Sarah

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