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Apr 15, 2009 10:41 AM

London - please help with my list

I would greatly appreciate any advice you might have to offer on my research below:

My sister and her husband will be travelling to London (from Ottawa, Canada) for their 20th wedding anniversary. They will be staying near Russell Square in Bloomsbury from July 7-14. They will have one 'big splurge' meal out to celebrate. At the moment, the front runners are Gordon Ramsay's Royal Hospital Road and Maze. (They've looked at Marcus Wareing, One o One as well). I know that Ramsay's RHR is not considered the *absolute best* restaurant in London these days - but it would definitely be an experience and a competent meal (not to mention expensive!). Other suggestions are welcome.

Also looking for some good restaurants for the rest of the week at a better price point. I know they will spend a day wandering in Soho, so some suggestions for a quick lunch and a good inexpensive evening meal would be appreciated. So far, what I've come up with is Hummus Brothers for lunch and Princi for dinner.
For a dinner near Covent Garden, I thought Gianconda was a good choice. Any other suggestions?
They might go to the theatre one evening...
Other eating destinations being considered: St John's (though I'm not sure they're too interested in offal), Tayyabs, Golden Hind and J. Sheekey Oyster Bar.

Around their hotel, there is the Brunswick centre with some options. Does anything stick out there? A good place for a morning coffee perhaps? Also a pub close by called Friend at Hand, as well as the Bountiful Cow should they suddenly be overwhelmed by a craving for beef? Any good clues regarding the options within walking distance would be awesome.

Finally, some markets they could visit? I've seen some of Limster's posts - which are incredible. But I'm wondering - if they were only to go to one market, which would be the best for a visit? (Anything open any day from Wed through to Monday). Borough Market? Brick Lane?

Thanks very much to anybody who takes the time to respond.

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  1. The hummus at Hummus Bros is amazing, so good call on that one! It can get pretty busy during lunch, so your sister and her husband will most likely end up sharing a table.

    As for Russell Square, perhaps you could try Bea's of Bloomsbury on Theobald's Road? Coffee, cake, sandwiches, soups (i.e. their whole entire menu) have all garnered favourable reviews.

    Of the two markets you've listed, I've pick Borough Market over Brick Lane, although it does depend on what they're into. If it's just food, then definitely the former. If they're looking for interesting accessories and clothing in addition to a wide variety of food, then Brick Lane on Sunday's probably better.

    1. Be aware that Borough Market has limited opening Thursdays and is open from noon on Fridays and all day Saturdays. It's well worth visiting.

      I like Princi very much. I've never had a dinner there, but lunch is always a treat. Near Covent Garden there is also Great Queen St. which serves modern British cuisine. I haven't been there for awhile, but we enjoyed a lunch awhile back.

      1. For me, Masters Super Fish is better than the Golden Hind. They're both equal in terms of the fish (great at both), but the chips at Masters are better. The Golden Hind's chips are a poor partner to the glorious fish. The lunch deal at Masters is great value.

        Consider Hereford Road. Perhaps a bit more "accessible" than St John? I don't know, but either way I like the place.

        Hummus Bros is cool. Make sure you let them know to add the garlic and lemon, otherwise I have found it quite bland (I am Lebanese though and I bleed hummus...)

        1. Russell Square is also not too far from Exmouth Market, where the excellent Moro is - I would highly recommend lunch or dinner there. There are also a few good pubs around Exmouth Market as well.
          Giaconda is definitely a good choice for Covent Garden, and Great Queen St mentioed about is also fantastic.
          The Brunswick Centre has a few eating places, mainly chain restaurants but there is a good pub opposite (I'm afraid I cant remember the name, it's on a corner).
          Another place worth trying out in Soho is Fernandez and Wells - great place to stop off after a day shopping or walking around London.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pj26

            I'll second the recommendations for Bea's of Bloomsbury and Fernandez & Wells - both excellent.

            The pub might be the Friend At Hand? It's not a bad little boozer.

            I'd definitely go for Maze over RHR and Borough Market is definitely the place to go if you can only have time for one.

            If they happen to like Sichuan/Xin Jiang food, I'd recommend a visit to Ba Shan in Soho.

          2. Thanks to you all for your help! zuriga1 - I'm likely a little confused about's not considered a place for dinner really?
            I've added Great Queen St, Bea's of Bloomsbury, Hereford Road, Fernandez & Wells, Ba Shan and Master's Super FIsh (no offense, but it's a name almost as funny as Golden Hind!) to the list.
            I'm very jealous....

            2 Replies
            1. re: tochipotle

              woops, should have mentioned Moro too! Thanks again.

              1. re: tochipotle

                Lots of people must eat dinner at Princi since it's open till midnight. It's just that I never have. And for me, I like a bit more space between tables when eating dinner. The seating there reminds me of a cafeteria, although a nice one. :-)They have a great bakery and food to carry out, too - might make a good snack if a big meal isn't required.