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London in April


therese
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Forgot to say - there's a frighteningly good French bakery on Gloucester road - on the left hand side as you head towards the park. Does some of the best croissant I've found anywhere.

Should the name of said establishment come to you, in a dream perhaps, do let me know. Or I could just wander Gloucester Rd in my jammies. Surely somebody would come to my assistance.

A great little take away place for roast chicken and potatoes several different ways: Rotisserie Jules. Bute Street, South Kensington. Not a big place. They also deliver. 020 7584 0600. Tube: South Kensington. Since everyone seems to be recommending Polish restaurants, another fun little place in this neighborhood is Daquise. 20 Thurloe Street. The atmosphere is fabulous. The food is simple and the service can be questionable (but usually entertaining!). And a terrific bookstore next door! Very walkable from your neighborhood. But it doesn't sound like you're going to need a take away!

Actually we will be needing takeaway, as the children will not joining us for either Gordon Ramsay's or the dinner dance at The Ritz. So delivery of roast chicken and potatoes sounds like a very good idea (the usual U.S. options being not very good Chinese and really atrocious pizza). Though we have a kitchen, and both children can manage simple meals, so we may just drop by Waitrose and have them pick out something they'd like.

Use this link The London Tube Guru to find your way around and plan stops. It's an interactive site that allows you to pick the tube station of interest and see what is in the local area.

Yes, the Tube Guru's very user friendly. One of the nicest things about being a tourist in London is the Tube. The site itself leans a bit heavier than perhaps necessary on the "fuck the tourist" aspect of things, though.

And speaking of the Tube Guru, using it to find a possible Sunday midday meal option yields the following in proximity to either the Cutty Sark or Greenwich stops:

Trafalgar Tavern

Admiral Hardy

North Pole

Gipsy Moth (where we've eaten before)

Meeting House

Anything else to offer? There is the pie shop right across the street from the Gipsy Moth, but I think we might like something a bit less frenetic.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Forgot to say - there's a frighteningly good French bakery on Gloucester road - on the left hand side as you head towards the park. Does some of the best croissant I've found anywhere.

Should the name of said establishment come to you, in a dream perhaps, do let me know. Or I could just wander Gloucester Rd in my jammies. Surely somebody would come to my assistance.

Café Deco!

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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A great little take away place for roast chicken and potatoes several different ways: Rotisserie Jules. Bute Street, South Kensington. Not a big place. They also deliver. 020 7584 0600. Tube: South Kensington. Since everyone seems to be recommending Polish restaurants, another fun little place in this neighborhood is Daquise. 20 Thurloe Street. The atmosphere is fabulous. The food is simple and the service can be questionable (but usually entertaining!). And a terrific bookstore next door! Very walkable from your neighborhood. But it doesn't sound like you're going to need a take away!

Actually we will be needing takeaway, as the children will not joining us for either Gordon Ramsay's or the dinner dance at The Ritz. So delivery of roast chicken and potatoes sounds like a very good idea (the usual U.S. options being not very good Chinese and really atrocious pizza). Though we have a kitchen, and both children can manage simple meals, so we may just drop by Waitrose and have them pick out something they'd like.

Our options for ordering out are Thai, not atrocious pizza, Malaysian, Japanese, pretty good Chinese (Hunan or Szechuan), or regular Chinese, excellent Mexican, excellent Italian, Cuban, Vietnamese, and more. But I still long for the choices we had when we lived in the East Village. One person's everyday is another's exotic, which is why I wouldn't choose to eat Polish, especially since we're only in London for such a short time. I'm looking forward to having a Wallace and Grommit moment looking in the markets for cheese. In fact, going to the markets is at the top of my list as is looking at art. My biggest concern now is the exchange rate, which we can't really do anything about, except worry. But if this week's New Yorker is correct, I have images in my head inspired by high school history classes, of showing up with wheel barrows of devalued currrency to buy a cup of coffee.

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But if this week's New Yorker is correct, I have images in my head inspired by high school history classes, of showing up with wheel barrows of devalued currrency to buy a cup of coffee.

But if you come to my house, it's only a wheel barrow and a half per cup - which I think you'll agree is a very modest amount.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Our options for ordering out are Thai, not atrocious pizza, Malaysian, Japanese, pretty good Chinese (Hunan or Szechuan), or regular Chinese, excellent Mexican, excellent Italian, Cuban, Vietnamese, and more. But I still long for the choices we had when we lived in the East Village. One person's everyday is another's exotic, which is why I wouldn't choose to eat Polish, especially since we're only in London for such a short time.

You can get all those things delivered? Well, come to think of it, I can get Thai, Malaysian, and Mexican in addition to Chinese and pizza (and one of the pizza places is better than the others, except that the kids don't seem to like it, though I can't really say why).

I agree with not needing to eat Japanese or Thai or whatever when visiting London or Paris---it may well be excellent, but it's unlikely that it's better than what I've got available around the corner. I'm making an exception for Indian, as it's so closely linked to England.

One thing that is relatively exotic in this part of the world (I live in Atlanta) is northern and eastern European food. Very few German or Scandinavian or Polish restaurants of any sort, and they're generally so far away that I really might as well just drive right by them and keep going until I hit another land mass. So a Polish restaurant is a bit exotic for us.

As for the plummeting value of the dollar, I'm going to buy everything with a credit card and not think too hard about it. If you just look at the prices and disregard the fact that there's that groovy little £ next to the numbers they all seems quite reasonable. Drinking plenty of alcohol makes this approach much easier, by the way.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Café Deco!

Ahhh, Café Deco! I used to live on Cornwall Gardens, just off Gloucester Road, and Café Deco was my hangout. Cappuccino and a cigarette -- can't believe I smoked when I lived there (lived with a smoker so if you can't beat 'em...). Pain au chocolat in the morning. And their lemon tartlet in the afternoon. Are most of the employees (and perhaps the owner) Polish?

Ahhh. Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories, Moby! And sorry to drag you all down Memory Lane with me! :laugh:

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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  • 2 months later...

As a reminder from up thread, the children are 11 and 14, and well-behaved. Though they're quite good at sitting through fairly long and somewhat tedious performances (a recent two hour concert featuring Bach here on campus taken in stride) I'm looking for something a bit more upbeat this time, preferably a musical.

I'm planning on eating early that evening, at Rules, so proximity (so as to make the curtain) would be an issue.

[edited to add the date]

Edited by Suzi Edwards (log)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Plans coming together nicely. An early dinner at Rules followed by Mamma Mia at The Prince of Wales. Not the sort of thing I'd usually pick, but my husband's surprisingly fond of musicals, and the children should enjoy it. At least my daughter will: I told her what we'd be seeing and she immediately began singing the theme song.

We're doing lunch at St. John B&W one day, Wodka (I hope---I've not yet got a response to my email inquiry) one evening. No definite plans yet for Indian---something casual in our neighborhood would be nice. Bombay Brasserie too pricy, the new Masala Zone might be open by then but sounds like reviews have been mixed. New Tayyab seems like a trek, but maybe we'll end up in the neighborhood at some point (points of interest nearby?).

I'd posted earlier to the ISO thread that's pinned at the top of the forum, but as our trip is farther than 7 days away it doesn't meet criteria for that thread (and I'll already be traveling by the time that it does meet criteria, so never mind). So at Andy Lynes' suggestion I'm re-posting here:

"I'm visiting London with my family early next month, April 2 through April 8 (returning the 9th). They're huge fun, of course, but a week with kids and husband only will likely start to wear on us all.

So coffee or a drink with either local eGulleteers or fellow tourists at some point during the week would be a nice break. I'm staying near the Gloucester Road Tube station, but don't mind traveling a bit. PM me if you're interested."

No replies to the thread, please, PM arrangements only.

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And speaking of the Tube Guru, using it to find a possible Sunday midday meal option yields the following in proximity to either the Cutty Sark or Greenwich stops:

Trafalgar Tavern

Admiral Hardy

North Pole

Gipsy Moth (where we've eaten before)

Meeting House

Anything else to offer? There is the pie shop right across the street from the Gipsy Moth, but I think we might like something a bit less frenetic.

If you want to eat in a pub I would also suggest the Coach (in the Market) and the Greenwich Union on Royal Hill (exit the park onto Crooms Hill, and through Gloucester Circus) which is child-friendly and has truly excellent beer from the meantime brewery.

Fancier are the brasserie bar du musee and the restaurant inside (with prices accordingly). A walk around to the Gun in coldharbour (foot tunnel across the river and then round the river till you're opposite the dome might also be of interest.

Wilma squawks no more

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Thanks for the suggestions, Gavin. The Greenwich Union sounds like a very nice option, particularly the beer. Just the thing for an afternoon visiting the Maritime Museum.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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What area's considered Chinatown? Anybody have any specific restaurants to recommend? Weekday dim sum would make a nice change from a steady diet of kidney pies and bacon sandwiches.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Therese,

I would say that Soho would be considered chinatown, there are specific streets that have good dim sum restaurants. I am blanking now on the names.

I have to say the LTM has a few things going for it:

1. large plaza outside to burn off energy

2. interactive displays

3. great gift shop

4. decent little cafe, okay, its like an aroma or caffe nero, but still, its not bad

Greenwich is also nice and you can always walk the tunnel underneath the thames.

I'm not a big fan of chain restaurants, but quick eats that kids seem to like include belgo (covent garden location) and wagamama (all over the place). If you are reaching meltdown, you can get something down your gullet pretty fast.

lalala

I have a relatively uninteresting life unless you like travel and food. Read more about it here.

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What area's considered Chinatown? Anybody have any specific restaurants to recommend? Weekday dim sum would make a nice change from a steady diet of kidney pies and bacon sandwiches.

Chinatown is about 10 minutes' walk from the London Transport Museum. It's not massive; about four streets (if you look at your A-Z, it's the little patch bounded by Shaftesbury Ave (north); Charing Cross Road (east); Leicester Square (south); and Wardour Street (west). There are other Chinese areas but that's 'official' Chinatown. I usually go to the Chuen Cheng Ku, bottom end of Wardour Street, where their pork slithers (or pork cheong fun, as I believe they are called in the real world) are the best I've found. You're also not far from Yauatcha (do a search for the many and varied comments thereupon), but it's not cheap.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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What area's considered Chinatown? Anybody have any specific restaurants to recommend? Weekday dim sum would make a nice change from a steady diet of kidney pies and bacon sandwiches.

For dim sum I recommend the following places in chinatown royal dragon, golden dragon, joy king lau. tehy all pretty good quality and cost is normal for dim sum in chinatown. Yauatcha and hakkasan are good although probably double the price of a normal dim sum place.

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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We're doing lunch at St. John B&W one day, Wodka (I hope---I've not yet got a response to my email inquiry) one evening. No definite plans yet for Indian---something casual in our neighborhood would be nice. Bombay Brasserie too pricy, the new Masala Zone might be open by then but sounds like reviews have been mixed. New Tayyab seems like a trek, but maybe we'll end up in the neighborhood at some point (points of interest nearby?).

New Tayyab isn't too far from St. John B&W. There's a relatively short walk you could do which gives an interesting perspective on the many tribes of London and which takes in both places:

Get the tube to Liverpool St (Central/Circle Line) and take the Bishopsgate exit. You're in the heart of the financial district here (and in the shadow of the Swiss Re building aka "the erotic gherkin"). Also a short walk from Leadenhall Market.

Walk north up Bishopsgate then east down Brushfield St to Spitalfields Market (great views of Hawksmoor's beautifully restored Christchurch at the end). St. John B&W is on Commercial St opposite the main market entrance. Not sure if the market's open during the week.

After lunch, wander down Fournier St and check out the stunning houses built by the Huguenots (French protestants) and inhabited now by the great and the good (and the rich). And by Young British Artist Tracey Emin, I think.

At the end of Fournier St is Brick Lane and you're into "Banglatown" (where many of London's Bangladesh community live). At the end of Fournier St you're in sight of a mosque and also an original frontage of a Jewish shop (earlier inhabitants of the East End). Turn left and you'll find some trendy shops and the Vibe Bar which is pretty good until it fills up at about 6pm. Turn right and you run the gauntlet of the curry touts. But press on until Brick Lane turns into Osborn St, then turn left into the Whitechapel Rd, where the Whitechapel Art Gallery is a hop and a step away, if that's your bag. After that you'll be in 5 mins walk from Fieldgate St, home to New Tayyab, where you can eat the finest sheek kebabs and nan bread and be thankful you avoided the reconstituted gloop of the Brick Lane curry. And if after dinner you're still after more, Rhythm Factory is just round the corner for a nightcap and perhaps a dance before heading home.

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New Tayyab isn't too far from St. John B&W.

I think I should probably try and leave at least a bit of a dining lull in between St. John B&W and New Tayyab, don't you? I wasn't going to do dinner that night at all, instead doing a pub crawl/tour along the Thames that evening. But I suppose we could do an early dinner at New Tayyab and then do the pub crawl...

Hmm, maybe I could fit dim sum, SJ B&W, tea, New Tayyab, and a pub crawl all into one day.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I think I should probably try and leave at least a bit of a dining lull in between St. John B&W and New Tayyab, don't you? I wasn't going to do dinner that night at all, instead doing a pub crawl/tour along the Thames that evening. But I suppose we could do an early dinner at New Tayyab and then do the pub crawl...

Kebabs are a traditional end to a British pub crawl, though they're not usually of the New tayyab quality.

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Kebabs are a traditional end to a British pub crawl, though they're not usually of the New tayyab quality.

My god, man, you're a genius!

Apologies if you're a woman, by the way---still a stroke of genius.

This will be on a Monday night---should I book ahead? The tour (it's not really a pub crawl in the way that I did pub crawls back in the day) starts at 7:00 or 7:30, I think, so it would be late-ish but not really late by the time we ate.

And should I try and fit in yet one more meal that day? Hmm...

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  • 1 month later...

So, back from London, and here's hoping I can actually remember what and where we ate...

London's a direct flight from Atlanta, and I'd booked a late flight so as to increase the chances of our actually sleeping en route (which I did quite nicely with the help of some Ambien, thank you). This meant that we could could eat a real dinner in a real restaurant, thereby avoiding the really really horrifying fare offered by the airline. We chose one of our favorites that happens to be on our way to the airport, Iris. No pics of the food (I've talked about Iris previously here) but I will take this opportunity to introduce a friend who came along on the trip with us, Pierre:

gallery_11280_1076_107276.jpg

Flat Pierre, to be precise. Flat Pierre was my 11 year old daughter's interpretation of a school project based on children's book called Flat Stanley. I swear that I am in absolutely no way responsible for her decision to name her version Pierre, nor with her decision to dress him in the featured, um, attire. Had it been me I'd have added a red neck scarf and a mustache.

We arrived in London a bit after midday, found our way to our nice apartment (PM me if you want details) in what our landlady described as the "French ghetto" based on its proximity to the lycee, and went for a walk in Hyde Park. A nice day, but altogether too chilly for boating (to my daughter's dismay, and clearly there were many who didn't agree with us), and we ended up back on Gloucester Rd at a pub (right across the side street from l'Etranger, it seems) that featured French pop music overhead but very traditional fare:

gallery_11280_1076_4444.jpg

Cottage pie (for daughter)

gallery_11280_1076_475284.jpg

Steak and gravy pie (for son)

gallery_11280_1076_294764.jpg

Bangers and mash (for both me and husband)

gallery_11280_1076_53729.jpg

The most important part of the meal.

Flat Pierre wasn't very hungry, and the French pop music was making him a bit sentimental, so he skipped supper.

[edited to fix street name]

Edited by therese (log)

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Sunday was nice weather, so we decided to walk along Regent's Canal and through Regent's park, ending up at The Albert (Primrose Hill) for a late lunch/snack. Nice place with a garden out back. Menu a bit more upmarket: husband had butternut squash soup, daughter had mussels served on the half shell with breadcrumbs, etc., and I had something billed as salmon terrine that was largely what we call cream cheese. Son had something neither he nor I can recall. Very pleasant ambience, and of course there was the most important part of the meal:

gallery_11280_1076_361936.jpg

Flat Pierre had met with a misfortune earlier in the day that will become evident later. He was unwilling to be photographed and spent the afternoon sulking in my daughter's backpack.

After dropping the children back home we went out for dinner at Racine. No pics, but we had herring roes on toast with sorrel and rabbit with green beans and potato puree (for me) and bayonne ham with celeriac remoulade and Dover sole meuniere (for husband). Main courses not just swimming in sauce (or butter, in the case of the sole) but very nearly drowning. Very tasty, though, and service was excellent. Too much food to even consider dessert, so we finished with a muscat (me) and coffee (husband).

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Monday drear and cold. We managed to make it out of the apartment for sandwiches at the Petit Delice around the corner (on Kynance Place off Gloucester Rd) from our house. No pictures, as the food was every bit as drear as the weather. This place is inexplicably popular, particularly given that it's right around the corner from Cafe Deco. They did offer us extra potato chips (crisps?), which was nice, but I'd have preferred non-browning lettuce in the salad.

A tour of Westminster Abbey was followed by a trip in the London Eye, and finally on to dinner at Tayyabs. We arrived relatively early to find a largely empty dining room (very glossy new decor) and take a table on the non-sweet shop side. Realized immediately that we've forgotten to BYOB, so husband ran out to remedy situation while I ordered samosas and pakoras. Both fine but sort of boring, and when husband returned our waiter (very sketchy command of English, but nice) talked us into ordering seekh kebabs and lamb chops, both excellent. We followed up with stewed lamb, pumpkin, naan, and rice. Lamb and pumpkin both particularly great. Ras malai (me) and kulfi (kids) for dessert.

We pay up and waddle out into the night through the now packed dining room and a queue of very hungry looking yuppy Londoners.

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You're probably wondering how ever we managed to make it out of Tayyabs without buying sweets. Well, we didn't. We bought some to take home for breakfast the next morning. Even sweeter (if possible) and a bit denser than we're used to here in Atlanta, so we only managed to eat about half of this lot over the course of the week:

gallery_11280_1076_69554.jpg

Husband woke up sick with a cold Tuesday AM, leaving me to get the children to Victoria station, where to take a train to see Salisbury Cathedral:

gallery_11280_1076_162071.jpg

followed by lunch at Reeve's where we dined on a Lancashire pasty (for son, helpfully described by very young waitress as being very like a Cornish pasty), "pizza" (for daugher, a not very pleasant open-faced cheese and tomato sandwich which she ate because she was told to), and an egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread (for me). For dessert we shared a Bakewell tart swimming in custard.

Sturdy food that came in handy for the very cold and blustery visit that afternoon to:

gallery_11280_1076_269856.jpg

Dinner that night at home with snuffly father, ready-to-heat chicken korma from Waitrose. Not as bad as you might think.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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