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Dec 11, 2009 07:22 PM

Lunch on New Years' Day around Leicester/Covent Garden?

Spending New Years Day in central London - is it possible to find a good place for lunch? It used to be everything was shut but now I hear things stay open?

Location preferably around Leicester Square/Covent Garden
Not too noisy/loud - want to be able to sit down and have a nice chat with old friends
Budget is ~20-35ukp per person
Menu needs to contain vegetarian options (one vegetarian in the group)
No chain places please - although something like Carluccio's is ok.

Where can I go? I'd like to be able to reserve since I am limited on time and want to minimize waiting for a table.


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  1. hey sq

    i know this is obvious, but have you tried the ivy? they open most days and do a good set lunch. moving next door, so does robuchon's l'atelier, though think that may push the top end of your budget.

    pending opening, i'd also check the following:

    - bar shu just off shaftsbury if you fancy sichuan
    - arbutus, soho
    - downstairs at l'escargot
    - quo vadis, soho (these three are all only just the other side of charring cross rd)
    - great queen st, sister gastro pub to the anchor & hope, check the address though as there's no sign outside

    and, finally, i'm a fan of chez gerrard atop the cg piazza itself to be honest. beautiful setting looking across to the opera house. stick to a steak frites, creamed spinach and a good red on a cold day and you really can't go far wrong (don't worry, there are veg options!).

    know this post is late in the day, but happy new year and good eating either way.

    2 Replies
    1. re: marcus james

      I got half way through SQ's post and I too was thinking Chez G. but then I saw the "No chain" bit.

      Chain or no, it's a nice place:

      1. re: Robin Joy

        What about Terroirs, which is between the two? Not sure if they're open but check. Small plates, so people can order according to budget, and I had one of the nicest vegetable dishes I've had all year there which was the caponata.

        There's also Moti Mahal, posh Indian place on Great Queent Street, who sometimes do offers, Orso is a reliable Italian just down from the Opera House, or there's a good and elegant Korean by Holborn tube.

        Have been disappointed with Chez G the last few times. Chain or not, given steak is their whole raison d'etre, you'd think they'd train their chefs how to buy/cook it.