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Jan 10, 2008 02:52 PM

Saturday night near Tower Bridge, Sunday Barbican ?

Am staying in London t/d end of Jan and staying in EC 1 , near Tower Bridge. I know this area can be a bit dead on Saturdays and Sundays - any recs you can give ? Have twice eaten at Rosemary Lane on Royal Mint St based on rec from Chowhound. First time outstanding ( Nov 06 ) ast time ( summer 07) very disappointing.

Also will be near the Barbican on Sunday evening - am looking at Canteen as safe bet but any where else instead ?

Finally will be at Lyric Theatre , Hammersmith on Friday - any good pre or post theatre places ?

All cuisines welcome so long as food is good and it isnt a pretntious rip off.

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  1. Blueprint Cafe, inside the Design Musuem, is nice. For Barbican, just an observation. You're quite close to Clerkenwell. You'll find many recommendations for that area. Cheers, BB

    1. I work in Hammersmith and my favourite place to eat is Sagar, a very well-regarded southern Indian place on King Street. It's very cheap but still stylish and the food is outstanding. If you wanted something a bit smarter Chez Kristof on Hammersmith Grove is a good bet - French food, lovely lighting, good menu du jour. The Gate on Queen Caroline Street is also great - it's vegetarian but so good that all carnivores I have taken there have loved it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: foodequalslove

        Hi thanks for recommendations. Are these places all likely to be open and/or rammed after theatre? Should i book ?

        1. re: willowan

          Hmm, haven't been to any of these late - they would all be open and not too busy pre-theatre though. I would book at The Gate but no need at the other two unless you're going at peak times. Here is their website - it says they close at 11...

        2. re: foodequalslove

          Went to The Gate on Friday night after the theatre - fantastic , interesting food , decent wine but service a bit patchy ( one waiter a bit up himself). Would definitely return tho' , so thanks for the recommendation !

        3. Speak of the devil. I recently posted that I had never read a post on this board mentioning Rosemary Lane and then lo and behold. And you've answered my question about the recent calibre there, I went once 4-5 years and thought that it was excellent and deserved way more love and publicity than it was getting.

          If you're near the Barbican, go to Vinoteca on St John St for dinner, pan Mediterranean, delicious small and large plates, great wines by the glass, tap water without having to request it, 10% service charge, good friendly service. Simon M recently posted that the chef Carole Craddock is on the verge of upping sticks so now's the time to go. No reservations.

          3 Replies
          1. re: oonth

            I found myself in need of this post Friday night and followed your recommendation and went to Vinoteca. Brilliant place. It was packed but the staff was very relaxed and friendly and would happily accommodate you with a glass of wine and small plate even wedged in a corner. All I had was a (well, two but who's counting) glass of wine and three lumps of cheese. But they were sublime. At 7 it was packed. By 8 it was thinning out a bit. I suspect there was another surge later. But a short walk put me at Barbican and all was well with the world. Cheers, BB

            1. re: oonth

              Just a quick thank you for the Vinoteca reccomendation - great place , atmosphere food and wine all spot on !

              1. re: willowan

                Glad that both you and BB enjoyed the place, if only every London nabe had a few more places along similar lines. Let`s hope that they`re able to maintain their form if and when Carole Craddock leaves.

            2. Staying near Tower Bridge: Walk up to Liverpool Street and around Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, and Columbia Road. Not dead on weekends. Not hurting for choice here.

              Barbican: Canteen is NOT close. Canteen is over by Spitalfields. (Although easily accessible by tube from Barbican to Liverpool Street. Or bus. Can't remember which routes--I think they usually start with 2 if they end at Liverpool Street.) There are a ton of options around Barbican in and around Smithfield Market. Vincoteca and St. John in particular. (Both are closed on Sundays though, I believe. Check first.) Look at Bleeding Heart. Comptoir Gascon. (Or any of the Gascons.) Saki for sushi.