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Oct 11, 2006 06:41 PM

First Anniversary Dinner Recs

My husband and I will be celebrating our first anniversary in London in a few weeks, and we are looking for a 'special' place to spend the evening, and enjoy a good meal.

By special, I do not mean an overpriced, overly posh place. My DH is not the foodie I am, but he holds up pretty well. I just want an intimate place for a memorable evening.

We also are not planning to bring 'fancy' clothes, so please consider our 'smart casual' attire as a factor.

Thanks in advance,


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  1. A couple of places that I like and do not get mentioned on this site are, Eyre Brothers and Fino.

    Both are Spanishy without flamenco or ramming it down your throat. It is quite possible that a food moron might not even notice the influence.

    The food in both varies from sublime to very good and is always interesting. They both have bars where you can dabble in a wide range of quality spirits, cocktails, beers and wines. Eyre bros is sit up and beg but with a floppy bit as well, Fino is small and comfortable. (I have particularly enjoyed the whisky sour at Eyre.) Fino works with lots of little courses, Eyre brothers is a 3 course menu but with tapas at the bar as well. The wine list at Fino is much more interesting if that is important.

    Eyre Brothers is north City fringe in Leonard Street, EC2 and feels like the mugging zone but isn't. Fino is just off Rathbone Place/Charlotte Street i.e north of Oxford Street.

    I have had seriously good meals in both places and the cost is around the 120 GBP mark though enthusiasm in the liquid department or eating everything at Fino will cause quite a hike.

    In north London we dress normally for dinner. Whether the smart diners of west London don fancy dress, I have no idea. No doubt the Gavroche groupies on this list can help.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TLC_Tim

      Hello Tim, Great post and interesting information. But may I request a translation of "Eyre bros is sit up and beg but with a floppy bit as well", for speakers of American English? It sounds like a really positive thing, so I would love to understand the phrase. Thanks much!! Cheers, Ken

      1. re: kstroble

        Apologies for confusion. I was referring to the bar which has bar stools but there are also chairs where you can adopt a less upright posture.

    2. I am not a great fan of Fino since my meal there a little while ago where the owner announced that he wanted to give people " a taste of the real Spain" Trust me, if he opened this place in Madrid, he would be ridden out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathers.

      I like Eyre Brothers although I have not set foot in there for a while despite living so close. I really must get back there.

      TLC Tim is correct. Most people assume "smart casual" for most middle end dining places. Unless you live in the swamps where these things are, of course, an annual treat:-)

      I still like Andrew Edmunds

      There is nothing spectacular about the food which is solid, but it is a good venue for a romantic occasion


      2 Replies
      1. re: Simon Majumdar

        Simon, I did try to kill any expectations of authentic Spanish in my report!

        The problem with both is that you can, on occasion, have an ordinary meal. Both, when firing, are superb. (Note for Ken, I mean 'firing on all cylinders'.)

        'Smart casual' is, I understand, the dress code for northern discotheques and their tribal expeditions to pubs on Friday night. I do hope that diners visiting these real London restaurants would dress more sensitively.


        1. re: TLC_Tim

          Tim - I appreciate both your sense of humor (humour) and your willingness to provide translations. After all, someone needs to teach English to us Americans! Cheers, Ken

      2. Thank you all for the recs. So far, I'm leaning toward Andrew Edmunds based on the food. I would love to do a tapas/spanish-esqe meal, but my DH would have trouble with the menu.

        I've searched but it doesn't look like Andrew Edmunds has a website, or an ability to book online. Am I wrong?

        As for dining times, I've seen reviews that say the place gets really busy. Our anniversary is the 28th of this month, which is a Saturday, so what time would be optimal to avoid 'crowds' but still have 'atmosphere'?

        2 Replies
        1. re: MayrMN

          I don't think they do have a website, but they are always very friendly when you call. particularly if you mention your anniversary.

          They do get busy on a Saturday, so call soon. I think around 8pm would be perfect.

          There are some great bars around there before and after supper.

          Refuel at the new(ish) SOHO hotel ( just set back off Wardour St ) has a lovely bar and the mixing is pretty good too.

          The Player on Broadwick st is quite chilled before 8pm. you could even try getting into Yauatcha for tea and cakes after although it is not a favourite of mine.

          Wherever you end up, I hope you have a splendid evening

          Happy Anniversay and many more


          1. re: MayrMN

            andrew edmunds is excellent, really great value, cosy and romantic. the tables are a little close together but it's a small price to pay. I wouldn't necessarily say it was a push the boat out special occasion kind of place but a great choice none the less. Ask for a table downstairs though and admire eachother in the candlelight

          2. i took my parents to andrew edmunds for their anniversary last summer. it's a great choice. if you'd like cocktails first, i'd recommend making reservations at milk and honey (poland street).

            1. Great place for an Anniversary meal is Galvin Bros. on Baker Street in Marylebone. We end up there on birthdays, anniversaries etc. Lovely Bistro with excellent food and not over the top pricey. £110 for food and wine for two is the average fare.