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An affordable dinner in London?

Hello Everyone:

I am flying to London from California on Thursday August 7th and need to find a special place for dinner Saturday night. From the research that I've done pretty much all of the big classics are out because a meal at most of them will run me at least 400- 500 dollars and thats definately out of my budget for this trip.

The exchange rate (1=1.9) s going to kill me so I think most of my meals will be inexpensive Indian or pub/gastro pub meals more or less, and thats ok because I know I can get fed pretty well at some of them.

My challenge: I dont want Asian or Indian for this meal. Italian, French or perfectly crafted classic/new British cuisine would be my first choices. My girl friend wants to wear a pretty dress and I would love a nice room and great service service but it doesnt need to be swank (beggers cant be choosers)

My budget for this meal is 150 pounds. I would appreciate anything that you might suggest.

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  1. Where is your hotel and does it matter to you that you can walk home after dinner, or be on a no-change tube line?

    Would you go for a New Zealand resto?

    1 Reply
    1. re: summerUWS2008

      Thanks for the response. We are staying just north of Hyde Park and an easy walk to Kensington and Knightsbridge. We can tube, taxi or walk. Whatever works best. I really appreciate the feedback to far.

    2. Caraffini in Lower Sloane Street (about 1 mile south of Harrods) should tick all your boxes. I my experience you can expect Italian charm and courtesy without too much oiliness!

      Unless you plan to rack up the drinks bill somewhat then only a handful of places, plus the swisher hotel dining rooms will be beyond £75 a head.

      1. Try "Hereford Road" very good modern british cooking (chef ex-St John), a modern bright room, with good service, and a very strong reputation - you will need to book. It is in Hereford Road (what a surprise) which runs off Bayswater Road which runs along the top of Hyde Park.

        1. You could have a fantastic meal at Wild Honey in Mayfair for £150. We paid a touch less than that for my birthday dinner and had champagne to start, three courses each, white wine, red wine and dessert wine (they have a cool system there where all their wines are available in 250ml carafes). Food is French/new British and service excellent (they have a Michelin star). The room is glamorous without being stuffy.

          1. I second Hereford Road. A shortish and pleasent walk from where you are staying. Super food. We were there just yesterday again (we are regulars). Food was as good as ever. We had: sweetbreads and green bean salad w/cashel blue; braised rabbit and pork belly; butter-milk pudding and rice pudding. No wine. Total bill: low 50s or so for two.

            3 Replies
            1. re: D Hound

              I appreciate each of these responses. Wild Honey seems to have gotten some mixed reviews and I am curious about that??

              My question about Hereford Road: the menu looks exactly like what I am after, however, the web site makes the dining room look very, very plane. Is it nicer than it seems or will we need to tone down our dress a little? The focus needs to be on the food and I appreciate that, but this is going to be a special evening and I am looking for something that offers both food and comfort. Wooden chairs dont say that too me. Have i misread the way it looks or am I expecting too much for my budgeted amount?

              And...I am not apposed to getting in a taxi and traveling a short distance from where we are staying.

              Keep it coming please.

                1. re: summerUWS2008

                  I just checked out the Wolseley and it looks great. We will definately have to go there. Frankly, there are so many attractive options that im a little shell shocked. I live in Los Angeles so I know how overwhelming it can be but its nice to have SO many strong choices very close to where we will be staying. Has anyone gone to Babylon in Kensington? That looks very nice and may be within our budget unless we get carried away.....