Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Aug 15, 2009 07:56 AM

London - Picky Eaters

I'm going to be in English countryside for a week with my family and we'll have one day in London at the end of the trip. Unfortunately my family are all picky eaters and would never go to a place like St. John's (luckily I've been before).
Any suggestions on where to take two picky seniors and a younger sister whose favorite cuisine is a plain hamburger? In general, Asian food and Indian food is off limits.
Since we be in the countryside before we come to London I assume we'll be full of fish & chips. We'll be there on a Thursday in September. Can you get a Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding on a Thursday? Any other restaurant that you would take your grandma to?

Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Don't fill up on fish and chips in the countryside! There are so many wonderful pubs that serve terrific food. If you tell us where you'll be roaming, maybe someone will have particular suggestions for you.

    If you want something like roast beef, the family might enjoy traditional places like Simpson's or Porter's. And The Grenadier in Knightsbridge serves very nice food in an old-fashioned pub atmosphere. There's also the Wolseley - central location. You can the menus at:

    7 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      "Don't fill up on fish and chips in the countryside"

      In fact, be cautious where you do eat fish and chips. Never eat it in a pub - unless the pub is (a) in sight of the sea and (b) has a reputation for fish and chips. And, if you eat it in restaurant, it's unlikely to be the "real thing" but, rather, an expensive restaurant version.

      The best fish and chips comes from a chip shop, which fries in lard, and it's best eaten straight from the wrappings as you walk home late at night having drunk too much at the pub.

      1. re: Harters

        I love fish and chips, but eat that very rarely due to health and calorie concerns. Too bad I didn't live here when I was 20 or even 40. :-) I was very happy with what I ate at Master's Superfish in London, but I still want to try the Golden Hind and some of the other faves.

        I like the image of people walking home drunk from the pub, fish in hand.

        1. re: zuriga1


          The walking home thing has its downside. Many years ago, the house we lived in was absolutely spot on for the distance from the chippy to where you'd finish your supper. Meant that uncaring folk would throw away their paper and leftovers into the street which would blow into the front gardens. The eating distance was so precise that you could walk 50 yards in each direction and then there'd be no paper. This is so long in the distant past that the chips were wrapped in newspaper - something banned ages ago on health grounds but another British cultural icon down the tubes, unfortunately. :-0


          1. re: Harters

            Ah yes...I have many happy teenage memories of walking along rhyl prom on a summer's eve, fish n chips wrapped in newspaper, doused in salt and way to eat them, in my opinion. In the open air, on a promenade somewhere.....
            Talking of which, John, have you tried the pen-y-bryn pub in Colwyn Heights, Colwyn Bay, yet...I'd say it's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.. it's our new favourite, along with Queen's head for a good pub lunch.

            1. re: DietStartsTomorrow


              I contribute to another board which is usually better than CH for "not London" reccs and Pen-y-Bryn was mentioned a few weeks back, as well as the other pubs owned by Brunning & Price.

              When Mrs H retires at the end of next month, we're going to be "doing lunch" much more often and I've scribbled it down on the ever growing list of places at which we want to eat (currently stands at 63 - most but not all,within an hour's drive of home - including your recc for Bodysgallen) .

              Speaking of open air chips, we were eating strolling along Llandudno pier when a seagull nicked one of Jan's.


            2. re: Harters


              Food icons should be left intact. I'm sorry I missed out on the walking home with newspaper loveliness of British life. And I thought we'd get to the Magpie again this year but it won't be anytime soon. In America, the big buzz is the new film with Meryl Streep playing Julia Child. I don't much like those icons being messed with either!


              1. re: zuriga1

                Mercifully, we are unlikely to see a movie of the life of St Delia.

                However, to return to the OP's quest - might I suggest Rules. Very traditional. From the potted shrimps, through the roast beef and Yorkshires, to the gooseberry fool. What's not to like.

      2. I think even picky eaters might enjoy Belgo near Covent Garden. Their roast chicken and frites are very decent and not expensive. For the more adventurous there are good moules and the waiters dress up for you.

        1. Thanks all for the suggestions. I love fish and chips! We're going to have the pleasure to spend two nights in Whitby where supposedly they're above par and I'm super excited.

          Wolseley and Rules are great suggestions. We're staying in Kensington (but unsure of exactly where we'll be during meal hours) if anyone else wants to pitch in.

          2 Replies
          1. re: westvillager02

            They're only above par in Whitby if you eat at the Magpie as mentioned by zuriga.

            You'll probably have to queue for a table - it's worth it. Order the haddock, chips, mushy peas - you need loads of vinegar (or non-brewed condiment as it might be called) :-)

            1. re: westvillager02

              Do go to the Magpie Cafe in Whitby. Despite long lines, it moves quickly as the place is huge. It really depends on what time of year one is there. The menu is huge, but of course I had to try the fish and chips. That whole coastline is lovely and the beach at Redcar is very broad and good to visit.

              Village as in Greenwich? :-)