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Last Minute London


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My wife and I live in NYC. Inspired by a last minute business trip to the UK next week, we decided to spend this weekend in London. Since we only have Fri-Sun, we only have a few meals. We're looking for places that are uniquely London (read: can't get in NYC) and are hoping you might be kind enough to share some of your favorite restaurants, food specialty shops and markets.

We were thinking about going to Borough Market on Saturday morning. Also thought we might try to get tables at St. John and Chez Bruce. Might like to try some of London's world famous Indian food. Perhaps a good spot for tea that isn't overrun by tourists. Any suggestions, particularly smaller places we might not have heard of, would be fabulous. Thank you so much for any help.

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My wife and I live in NYC. Inspired by a last minute business trip to the UK next week, we decided to spend this weekend in London. Since we only have Fri-Sun, we only have a few meals. We're looking for places that are uniquely London (read: can't get in NYC) and are hoping you might be kind enough to share some of your favorite restaurants, food specialty shops and markets.

We were thinking about going to Borough Market on Saturday morning. Also thought we might try to get tables at St. John and Chez Bruce. Might like to try some of London's world famous Indian food. Perhaps a good spot for tea that isn't overrun by tourists. Any suggestions, particularly smaller places we might not have heard of, would be fabulous. Thank you so much for any help.

There are lots of places to go at. Some of my favourites are the square restaurant, la trompette (a little off the beaten track, but worth it) and the ledbury in Notting hill. All great places to eat and sister restaurants of chez bruce.

As for food markets etc, you've got far better in NYC. There is wholefoods in kensington which Im sure you will have been to before! Stay away from oxford street, nothing there, apart from the usual over priced nonsense.

If you are planning to go to borough market (similar to the market you have in union square) on a Saturday, well worth a vist, then go early, as it can get very, very busy.

Hope you enjoy yourselves.

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I always like Bombay Brasserie for Indian when in London.

If you haven't done it, high tea at the Savoy is something you should do at least once. Be sure to stop in the loo in the lobby on your way out.

The food shop at Fortnum and Mason is also not to be missed.

I usually pick up single malts at the duty free in Heathrow on the way home.

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Thank you for all the suggestions. So far, I've gotten really lucky and found some tables at hard to get spots:

- a Friday lunch at St. John

- a Sunday dinner at Chez Bruce

- a Tuesday lunch table for one (while the wife is in a meeting) at The Fat Duck

Next up, I'm working on an Indian spot and tea. Then finding a good gastro-pub or two. I'll be putting those suggestions to good use. Thanks so much everyone and please let me know if anything else pops to mind.

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Tayyabs for Pakistani food

Mangal in Arcola Street in Dalston for Turkish food

Alounak near Kensington Olympia or in Westbourne Grove for Iranian food

North Sea Fish Restaurant near Russell Square for fish and chips

Amoul in Maida Vale for home-cooked Lebanese food (truly amazing) and a very 'local' experience (everyone within a few streets radiates there on the weekend)

Moti Mahal in Covent Garden for Indian food

Bob Bob Ricard in Soho for middle of the night snacks/afternoon tea/milkshakes (you have to try the raspberry ripple one) (and the decor)

The Wolseley for afternoon tea

Peyton and Byrne on Tottenham Court Road (inside Heals/Habitat main entrance) for a sandwich/British cakes etc

Princi on Wardour Street in Soho for dessert

Mrs Kibbles sweet shop on Old Compton Street in Soho for a bag of British retro sweets

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I can't stop going back to The Harwood Arms for great "gastro-pub" food. It specialises in game so do try the venison (not a lot in season at the moment). The beer is good and is ideal to wash down one of their famed venison scotch eggs, cooked to order so the centre (yolk) is still runny - bliss.

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I always like Bombay Brasserie for Indian when in London.

If you haven't done it, high tea at the Savoy is something you should do at least once.  Be sure to stop in the loo in the lobby on your way out.

The food shop at Fortnum and Mason is also not to be missed.

I usually pick up single malts at the duty free in Heathrow on the way home.

The Savoy is still closed for refurbishment - would go for browns on albermale street instead

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

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If you have not worked through a full English Breakfast, Simpson's In The Strand is rather good at it. My impression is that some Londoners consider Simpson's a tad touristy, but I really enjoyed the pomp, the circumstance and the breakfast.

Rules bills itself as the oldest restaurant in London. Their fare is traditional British. Rules is well respected for it's game, much of which comes from their private estate in northern England.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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An update for those interested (any comments and suggestions would be much appreciated):

Friday (with the wife)

- Lunch at St John

- Tea at The Worseley

- As You Like It at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (not food related)

- Grab something to eat after the play

Saturday (with the wife)

- Borough Market in the morning (will visit Neal's Yard Dairy while there). Figure we'll try enough things to meet our lunch needs.

- Dinner at Moti Mahal

Sunday (with the wife)

- Still trying to figure out lunch

- Dinner at Chez Bruce

Monday (on my own)

- Waiting on lunch reservation request at The Harwood Arms

- Not sure about dinner

Tuesday (on my own)

- Lunch at The Fat Duck

- Dinner in Reading (have to be there for work), probably at a pub

Wednesday (on my own)

- Might head to Oxford for the morning and lunch

- Off to Heathrow for a 4:45pm flight

Return to NYC fat, happy and in need of a diet :biggrin:

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Reading has a semi-decent bistro type place called the London Street Brasserie that overlooks the canal that goes through the town centre. It's peaceful and pretty compared to the rest of the town. I would imagine you can find a table at short notice. http://www.londonstbrasserie.co.uk/

There's also Forbury's which does classical French fare, but is probably a touch more expensive. There was a write up of it on this forum somewhere but I can't find it with a quick glance.

If I am your princess, then where is my crown?

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A pal mentions a place in Reading, although I've no personal experience (wrong end of the country). It gets a reasonable write-up in Harden's Guide

London Street Brasserie

Monday dinner I'd suggest Tayyabs for Pakistani food or one of the various Lebanese places on or just off the Edgeware Road (the are various branches of the Maroush mini-chain). Personal experience here.

Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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Re: tea.

The Wolseley is very grand but I don't think it represents a true afternoon tea experience :)

Some other ideas: The Goring, which has got a very nice lounge, a terrace that looks over the small but lovely garden, and veranda which is a covered but outdoor space. It's the only family-run 5 star hotel in London, and you might even bump into a Royal or 2.

For a more "grand" atmosphere, Brown's is very nice. It is sophisticated, airy, nice piano, and a good selection of tea and pastries. It might be pretty busy over the weekend though.

Sarah

Sarah

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