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London splurge

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This board has been quite reliable when I've planned visits throughout the US and Europe. Going to London for a few days, and will refrain from asking the general question (still trying to nail a good Indian restaurant, but no lack of options, too many actually).

Anyhow, the question is this: For my "splurge meal" (cost is not an object): Restaurant Gordon Ramsey (Royal Hospital Road) or The Ledbury? Not looking to spend money just for the sake of it, but am seeking a superlative dining (food + atmosphere) experience. Been to a number of Michelin three-stars in France, so wondering whether the drill's the same in London (the stars appear to be based more on the theatrics than the food, which was still excellent).

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  1. Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Rd is closed until September 5th for renovations, so I guess that narrows it down for you!

    1. Indeed -- thanks!!

      Perhaps I'll broaden the question a bit -- are any of his establishments worth going to over the Ledbury? I'm in NYC and he's opening a restaurant here this fall, so didn't know if it's like a Thomas Keller situation (you can go to Per Se, but you really must experience the French Laundry).

      1. The Ledbury in Notting Hill? It's so NOT Nitting Hill, but it is very good. Between that and another of Gordon's? You could try Maze or Petrus, which has a great tasting menuu:

        http://www.gordonramsay.com/petrus/me...

        TT

        Or, if you're into tasking menus, try the Lecture Room at Sketch, which has the WORST website in restaurant history (so I won't bother posting it here).

        TT

        1. I was given a gift voucher by a friend for my birthday for a meal at Petrus

          It was inordinately expensive and, if truth be told underwhelming

          http://majbros.blogspot.com/2006/08/p...

          there are a lot better ways to spend $400

          S

          5 Replies
          1. re: Simon Majumdar

            Where would you suggest as an alternative?

            TT

            1. re: TexasToast

              I recently had a very good if equally expensive meal at Galvin @ The Windows ( Top of the Hilton )

              http://majbros.blogspot.com/2006/07/g...

              Not far off Petrus on the cost stakes, but much much more able cooking.

              Not something to be done everyday, but if you are spending that kind of money it is, IMHO, a better bet than Petrus and will, I am sure, get a star on the next round

              S

              1. re: Simon Majumdar

                That was undergoing renovation, but it's on my list for next time.

                TT

              2. re: TexasToast

                Le Gavroche ini Upper Brook St, Mayfair. Hard to beat for ambience, food and service. It is my big splurge reataurant of choice.

                1. re: Candy

                  I'm fairly new to London so haven't eaten at a lot of the expensive places (I'm also poorer than in my previous life), but we had a very good dinner last year at the restaurant in Blake's Hotel. The setting is very intimate, and the meal was really topnotch. I'm glad to have been treated to this great night out.

            2. If cost is no object, I think I would go to Fat Duck in Bray. (You may need to book fairly far in advance, though.) Bray is not far from London, close to Windsor. Travel links in this part of the country are very good and frequent. It's in the commuter belt for London. Unfortunately I don't have specific rail/bus instructions, but an Internet search would probably provide those details. Probably, it would be train to Windsor or Maidenhead, then a short taxi ride.

              From all accounts, it's "the" place to go in the U.K. for a memorable experience (and meal).

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lake

                There's a Fat Duck thread on here somewhere.

                TT

              2. If you love Italian, Zafferano is a wonderful treat! It's on Lowndes Street in Belgravia. A charming restaurant, with delicious, original food. Lovely staff.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mnosyne

                  I personally think that Locanda Locatelli is the best Italian restaurant in London. You should definately go there if you can get a res. FYI, George Locatelli used to be the head chef at Zafferano.

                2. The best Gordon Ramsey restaurant, by far is Gordon Ramsey at Claridges, the restaurant which made him. Another Gordon Ramsey restaurant, far less expensive but well worth it is the Boxwood Cafe in Knightsbridge.

                  I would favor Gordon Ramsey at Claridges over The Ledbury.

                  1. Would you really say Claridges "made him"

                    As far as I am aware, he has never actually cooked there and I would think his time at Aubergine ( if I remember rightly) and RHR which has 3* would be what made his name

                    I may be biased as my one experience at Claridges was perhaps the most laughably bad meal I have had in London

                    1. The Ledbury is excellent, as is The Square in Mayfair -- Philip Howard is the chef-patron of both. If you want to go to Bray, as another writer suggests, I've had several phenomenal meals at The Waterside Inn, which like The Fat Duck also has three Michelin stars.