Game for lunch: London
This Thursday, my wife and I have a 12-hour layover at Heathrow on the way from New York to South Africa.
Rather than suffer through a long wait at the airport, we're going to take the Express into the city and enjoy a nice lunch.
Given that it's American Thanksgiving, I feel compelled to eat some sort of game. I'd much rather have grouse or partridge or pigeon than turkey...and I'm guessing London has some good options for this. Besides, the Pilgrims were English, no?
I've heard mixed things about Roast, but do love the Borough Market. Are there other places that would be better dining? Doesn't need to be formal - it's more important to be comfortable and delicious.
Thank you for making our Thanksgiving memorable.
Many places serving game will be fairly formal, as it is considered to be a bit upper crust and expensive. Pigeon/rabbit etc less so though.
Guessing at your timings I reckon that getting back to Heathrow after lunch might be a little tighter than your morning schedule as most inbounds from NY can get you into Town by about 9 a.m. So you need to be quite close to Paddington station for the (excellent) Heathrow Express. So I'll suggest The Connaught hotel. Certainly formal, but they do everything so well. I confess that I havent checked their menu, but I'd be very surprised if game didn't feature.
I personally think Roast is fine, by the way.
I remember having good game (but some years ago) at the Grenedier pub, which is not too far from Harrod's. It's a well-known spot, but I don't see their menu anywhere online. It may worth calling them and asking if they'll have any game on Thursday's menu. Hopefully, some others will know a convenient spot for you.
A very short cab/bus ride away from Paddington- you could even walk if its a nice day - is Hereford Road which should fit the bill - ex head chef from St John B&W- you can search the board for a discussion (reviews are generally positive). I've thoroughly enjoyed my 2/3 meals there. And the menu, which you can review online, is heavy on the seasonal game (partridge & pheasant feature this week). You can also spend the rest of your day exploring the area as there are a lot of culinary and cultural treats in the notting hill area (a few great chocolate shops, Ottolenghi, museum of branding, Portobello Rd, a few galleries, etc...)
Thanks all, for the advice. Hereford Road looks very interesting. How would Roast compare, food-wise? It looks like they have more game on the menu (I'm looking for roast game, rather than in a pie).
Assuming our flights are on time, I'm confident that we have enough time for a tube journey from Paddington. Are there any other places that we should consider?
Haven't had time to post, but had an outstanding 8 course tasting menu at Trinity a couple of months ago at begining of grouse season where the star was a duet of grouse pie (beautiful meat, rich gravy, brilliant crumbly crust, gorgeous oven dried peach and strawberries) and roasted partridge with black summer truffle mash and apple sauce. A bargain at £45. Comparable to a meal at Autre Pied, but for less, and Trinity had slightly better edited dishes.
It's a bit out of the way in Clapham, but 12 hours is plenty of time.
Corrigans isn't far from Paddington (Heathrow express station) by taxi and the trip costs approx £7 each way. Richard Corrigan has a very British menu featuring lots of game in a good room with excellent service (he is Irish and so there are lots of Irish touches as well). Corrigans is best described as modern "British formal".
Rules is in the Covent Garden area, very old fashioned and "traditional british formal" (in a good way) and is famed for game. It is a lot closer than Borough market but can still be a lengthy taxi from Paddington.
The Harwood Arms is a great game pub, it is closer to Heathrow, being in Fulham but a nightmare from Paddington. If you taxi to and from Heathrow this is a great option as you are not far from the motorway to Heathrow, but that is probably £50 each way.
As you say Roast has a very mixed reputation, I have not been and rarely read about it on reputable boards. Is it more of a tourist/day tripper place?
If it was me, and money was no object I would go Rules, Corrigans, The Harwood. If money was a consideration then reverse the order.
If you go to Rules, you can get the Picadilly Line (tube) from Heathrow all the way to Covent Garden - it will take about an hour and cost around £10 return.
Thank you again for all the fantastic suggestions. It's been awhile since I've spent any real time in London - and given the number of culinary destinations on my list, I obviously need to plan a proper trip soon.
After my deliberations, I've chosen Hereford Road. They have grouse on the menu now, which sealed the deal. And they've agreed to hold one for me.
Thanks again. And if ever you need advice for NYC, I'll be more than happy to help!