I need help with my London trip research
- Tracy L. Mar 2, 2006 10:46 PM
I am itching to finally go abroad but due to limited time off for DH we can only go for a long weekend and will most likely have to go later this year. So the bad news is that I have to wait but the good news is that I have lots of time to do research. Does anyone have suggestions regarding good sources of restaurant reviews and travel/food blogs or related web sites? I am looking for London specifically. I am wide open to suggestions from comprehensive sources to little neighborhood related sites. We'll most likely be doing this on a budget because we'll be traveling during the holidays. We like ethnic food and good adult refreshments. Of course I'll be doing a thorough search of CH. Thanks
Hello, since you appreciate the joys and rewards of research, I recommend the pub site beerintheevening.com. I knew we'd need to have a lot of options during an rainy early spring London vacation, made use of this site, and nearly every pub we visited as a result was rewarding for brew, ambience/historical interest, food, comfort or combination thereof. It's set up so you can search using neighborhood, tube stop, brewery affiliation, food service, and so on as criteria, there are many user reviews a la CH, linked photos of the pubs, and a great feature, excellent detailed street maps linked to each pub. With a short stay, you can't get to do quantity, but at least you'll know the places on your doorstep or tube stops that you'd consider. cheers
Lots of good websites:
For blogs there are a few, including my own
Also take a look at
I'm not quite sure what you mean by adult refreshment. Are you being coy about drinking or something else?
Fish and chips are essential in England and I like it at the Seashell in Lissom Grove. Before or after you can check out Alfies Antique Mall, if antiques are of interest to you. If not Madam Tusseau is near by. I've never been but I have a friend who went and she was surprised at how much she enjoyed it. Anyway, there are many threads on Fish and Chips. In Notting Hill there is the much touted Geales. I like Haddock for my fish.
For good Indian check the posts from Howler.
Do not miss the Bourough Market and the fresher than fresh oyters from the woman there. Yum.
London is very expensive, so one has to be inventive and careful.
Enjoy yourself and report to us when you come back.
www.hardens.com I am on the verge of ordering the 2006 London guide for out October trip. I have been using their restaurantguides for years and they are spot on every time. I also love the maps in the back of the books showing where the reataurants are in each neighborhood. They also have a version for a Palm. There is a London Cheap Eats guide too from Hardens. As someone else said London is very expensive and that Cheap Eats guide can be quite handy.
www.londonguestsuites.com is a good alternative to hotels. Hotel rooms are miniscule, they are stingy with ice and getting a flat is about the same price as a hotel, unless you were planning on the cheapest accomodations you can find, and that can mean the bath is down the hall. Having a bit of a kitchen where you can make some breakfast or a sandwich can really help keep costs down.If breakfast is not included in a hotel room you will find hotel breakfasts extremely expensive.
To piggyback on Tracy's question, are there specific recommendations for the Covent Garden/Soho area? For breakfast, fish & chips, curry, romantic dinner (it's our first anniversary!)? Our criteria are about the same as Tracy's.
London is expensive, sometimes shockingly. You are obviously doing the wise thing with your research efforts here.
Another idea, I went to the book store and thumbed through the 2006 Zagat (am I allowed to say that word here?) guide for London. They have 4 number ratings for each restaurant. The first one is it's Food rating and the last it's Cost. Thumb through and write down every restaurant where the Food rating is higher than it's cost number. I think there is aleast 7 of them. These then "should" be great food for value options. Then list those restaurants here and ask for opinions on them.
Have you figured out where you'll be staying yet?
The problem with Zagat is that, by its nature, it is biased towards 'inoffensive' restaurants. The raters (of which I used to be one - I left by choice) MUST have been to the restaurant 'recently'. Accordingly my big HATES (where I didn't go back) could not be reviewed (by me) in a subsequent edition. Only the good reviews survive.
Sad to say, London food in general is terrible value for money. Better value in the suburbs (obviously) but my strategy is to search out one 'top' place. A few months ago I had lunch at Tom Aikens (Michelin 1 * but many people think underrated by Michelin) and the set meal (3 courses and choice of two dishes each course) was superb at £30.
Many people recommend Pret-A-Porter for a value lunch (and it's not bad) but if you visit the Harrods Food Hall you can buy a much better sandwich for almost the same price (take-out).
And, of course, Borough market.
And check out the St John menu too - not the cheapest place, but at least you'll have a true 'British' meal.
I am in the same boat but will be staying in London for 4 days and then heading to Paris for 3. We are going the first week of Sept and have never been before. My husband wants to take one of those tours but I think we should travel independently. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?? Thanks, Linda