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Feb 12, 2008 08:23 AM

Quiet restaurants in London

Why are London restaurants so noisy? I guess it is a mixture of hard surfaces and our rather high-pitched, loud voices. Often music too. In Paris one can have a meal where you don't have to shout at each other, and it's much more relaxed and easier to concentrate on the food and wine - and, with Valentine's Day coming up, one's companion.

So, does anyone know a restaurant with good food, not outrageously expensive, central or south London, where one can enjoy a quiet, civilised meal?

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  1. Your post looks rather lonely without a reply, so here's mine!

    Caraffini in Lower Sloane St. might suit you. It's a civilized Italian with enough going on to provide some atmosphere but not, in my experience, to overwhelm. Scallops followed by calf's (should that be calves?) liver were lovely last month. It's where The Gavroche was until about 1980 and it's mid-£. However, lots of places could be pretty busy tomorrow night and even getting a reservation may be tough.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robin Joy

      Thanks very much, I'll try it - but not, as you say, tomorrow!

      1. re: Jenny Sheridan

        I'm struggling to think of many London restaurants that I would call 'quiet'. (Most of my favourites are quite buzzy - I love the Mango Tree but even on weekday evenings, it's literally impossible to have a conversation without using hand signals or shouting.)

        Lemongrass in Camden is small and quiet, though. Very good Thai / Cambodian food. It's not exactly fine dining (which does mean it's reasonable price-wise), but we've had some wonderful quiet birthday dinners there.

        Patara on Greek Street was very quiet when we went (quite early in the evening) and the food was excellent.

        The only real way of getting around the noise is to eat earlier in the evening, or go for lunch. (We were the only diners at Moti Mahal when we went on a Friday at 1.00.)

    2. I thought it was the Americans who had high-pitched, loud voices. :-) Could it be the acoustics in the restaurants or is that too simplistic? High ceilings? I haven't noticed all the noise, but maybe it's because I'm old and losing my hearing.