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Quickie in London

My husband and I are stopping over in London for 2 nights before we head off to Paris in November. He has never been (and my only trip was years ago), so we are nubies to the city. We will be staying near the south kensington tube station. Aside from the usual sightseeing, we are looking for good food: best bang for your buck kinda thing...as well as the best "high tea" (good food). I have been researching the website thus far and have become dazed and confused with the plethora of choices. Can anyone narrow it down for us? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Yep. Here you go. For high tea, go to Patisserie Valerie, opposite the Brompton Oratory on Brompton Rd. It's the best Anglo French patisserie in town (and Sth Ken is a famous French enclave in London, believe it or not!).

    For food, you have a great variety to choose from, from high to low.

    St Quentin, also on Brompton Rd is very good, in an old-fashioned kinda way.

    The 'Oratory', on Fulham Road, is good without being spectacular. But it is inexpensive, the wine list is excellent, and they are maybe the only 'no-smoking' restaurant in London, ahead of the ban.

    On the higher end Bibendum, in the Michelin building, is really top-notch. Part of the Terence Conran chain. Downstairs, the cafe is good for lunch, without being really cheap.

    If you're a fan of Ab Fab, you have to go to the Harvey Nichols cafe on the corner of Sloane St, at least for a coffee or lunch. It's a hilarious scene, full of Sloanies having a shopping day out. And the food is good, and not over-the-top, pricewise.

    There's an old fav on Fulham Rd called San Frediano. Very old-world Anglo Italian. What would here in New YOrk be called a 'red-sauce' joint. But I remember it fondly, even if it's been a while since I've actually set foot in it.

    This response will probably prompt a dozen more, and more up-to-date too. But you will be staying in a lovely part of London, and you will have no problem finding good places to eat.

    Have fun,

    - Sean

    1. Head down Old Brompton Rd. When you come up out of the tube station you want to go left. Cross to the flower kiosk, also to your left and then right on Old Brompton Rd. There is a wealth of good places. La Bouchee, Rotisserie Jules in a side street just does French rotisserie chicken and frites, Al Bustan, Il Falconieri ...great grilled sardines, Lundum's (Danish) Cambio de Tercio (Spanish), up closer to the tube station is Daquise..great Polish. Both Brasserie St. Quentin and Racine are great but you are going to have plenty of French in Paris. There is a little Indian place in Glendower Place off of Old Brompton Rd. called Moti Mahal and in OBR we have never been let down by Cafe Lazeez, purists will pooh pooh it but we've been very happy there. We will be there next week and staying in the same area. It is a great neighborhood to be in, our favorite. High Tea is just supper but you can get a good tea at Patissierie Valerie, also at Fortnum and Mason and any number of places willing to take your $$$ and I mean $$$ or $$$$

      Photos to help you get your bearings

      S. Ken tube
      http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y75/...

      Flower Kiosk
      http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y75/...

      Old Brompton Rd. La Bouchee etc.
      http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y75/...

      1. candy - you know the place like a native! anyway, i think i can help you do better.

        a) try bosphorous kebab house a 100 yards away from old brompton station for lamb steak over rice. the sides like cisir are pretty good too. excellent for a quick bite.

        b) i've had no luck at rotisserie jules - the chicken is too dry. but try maroush on beauchamp place for the shishtaouk and ask for plenty of toom (garlic sauce). maroush is also much, much better than al bustan for lebanese in general.

        c) instead of daquise, try the polish hearth club, 55 princes gate. its a beautiful room, steeped in history and it opens up into beautiful gardens at the back. the food is even better than daquise.

        d) try launceston place restaurant for modern british - charming, competent cooking, not horribly expensive and in one of londons loveliest 'hoods. completely off the tourist path - and one of lady di's favourite restaurants.

        e) close to you is the bombay brasserie - hit them for a weekend lunch buffet. excellent stuff. the moti mahal in glendower place is bangla deshi stuff - i think you will appreciate the difference immediately. and i'd recommen zaika on ken high street over cafe lazeez if you want nouvelle indian.

        f) just for fun, try the tea palace on westbourne grove in notting hill if you're in the mood for high tea. much more fun, better and tea and more reasonable than dorchester/lanesborough etc.

        g) go to lidgates in holland park and get some pies. you will be in heaven.

        try some of these tips, candy. you won't be disappointed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: howler

          Thanks Howler and Candy for all the suggestions. If you had just one place for high tea, which would you choose (I have been to the Dorchester years ago...). Also, what of Brown's?

          1. re: slinky

            try to be non-touristy .. skip the big hotels. try the tea palace in westbourne grove instead .. friendlier on your wallet too.

        2. I have Bombay Brasserie on my list for next week, I have been to the Polish Club and had a lovely meal there but there is something about Daquise, maybe just the scruffy closeness and all of the perogi. Launceston is a possibility. We get in Wed. PM late and have flat in Stanhope Gardens for 8 days. Maybe Zaika this time. We have favorites but are always open to new places too.

          1. you're about 30 seconds away from the brasserie and about two minutes from launceston place.

            here's another tip: jacobs has excellent ready made armenian dishes to go. its on gloucester road half way between between cromwell road and ken high street. and how can you miss mohsen on warwick road? 5 minutes by cab.

            1 Reply
            1. re: howler

              I love Launceston Place and Bombay Brasserie, though it's been a couple of years since I've been to either. Launceston Place, is, well, so very British!