Foodies visiting London - with a baby
My wife and I are visiting London for 5 days at the end of May. We are both foodies, and have on previous trips enjoyed places like Le Gavroche, Harwood Arms, Wild Honey, Corrigan's, St. John's, Maze etc. etc.
On this trip, there is a small complication: We became parents in January, and are travelling with our 5-month-old daughter. We will have to bring her with us in her carrycot wherever we go. On the plus side, she is usually reliable to stay quiet - both for lunch, and in the evenings when she is fast asleep.
I am looking for suggestions for places that both has good food (and preferrably decent wine lists), and that would be able to acommodate us bringing our little girl with us. We have been thinking that restaurants perhaps will be a little bit more easy going for lunch, so we are open to having this as our main meal of the day. Any suggestions would be welcome. Also, if anyone has experiences from dining with a baby, please share.
I guess formal Michelin starred places would definitely be out of the question, so cost is not really an issue. We are staying right by Trafalgar Square, and are used to the tube, so the whole city is of interest.
We did a weekend in London not too long ago with our 2 year old son, who is definitely NOT as reliably quiet as your daughter sounds. Count your blessings!
Our concessions to eating out with a young one:
--Shifting our mealtimes earlier, to accommodate his nap schedule (not an issue for you, it sounds), to avoid crowded rooms with pushchair in tow, and to minimise the number of other diners Himself's occasional yodels might affect
--Making reservations and telling the restaurant there would be a child along
And that was pretty much it. :o) I would say to let your tastebuds rule, call the restaurants you want to go to and let their reaction be your guide. Enjoy the chance to be dictatorial while you can...
If you're looking for specific recs, we had a fabulous dinner at Bocca di Lupo off Piccadilly Circus. We also hit up our favourite cheap-and-cheerful Indian, Lahore Kebab House off Commercial Road.
As Howler commented when I posted a similar question prior to our trip, Indian restaurants are firmly grounded in a family-and-child-welcoming cultural tradition, so you could also go upscale and try Quilon (1 Michelin star, I believe) near Buckingham Palace or Moti Mahal on Great Queen Street. We didn't get to either with our son, but both are fondly remembered from previous visits. I dream of MM's makhni dal...
I'd also suggest a couple of nice gastropubs in Islington, should you be in that neighbourhood: the Charles Lamb and the Drapers Arms.
Enjoy, and report back!
41 Buckingham Gate, London, Greater London SW1E 6, GB
45 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AA, GB
I've eaten at both Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley when there have been babies sleeping under tables. If she's reasonably quiet, I'd go for it!
Royal Hospital Rd, Kensington, Greater London SW3 4, GB