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Thoughts on my quirky London restaurant list?

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We will be in London for a week in late May with our 9 year old. We are staying in an apartment on Eccleston Square, not far from Victoria Station, so I guess this is roughly Belgravia or Pimlico.

Experience has taught us that between jet lag (we're coming from New York), trying not to eat dinner too early and trying not to get our son to bed too late, we do better if we stick to nearby restaurants for most dinners. So it's a big, big city with lots of wonderful places to eat, most of which aren't even on the radar for this trip. Ah, the sacrifices we make for children! Anyway. . .

The following places seem to be well thought of here and generally on the web and the menus look good to us. Are they a mistake for any reason (food really isn't good? Not child appropriate?). Are we missing anything terrific in the neighborhood that we should add to the list? Is there anything that requires a reservation made further in advance than morning of?

The Orange
Kazan
Cyprus Mangal
Grumbles
Thomas Cubitt

Of course, we'll probably also do a couple of dinners in with food bought in markets or food halls.

Our tastes in breakfast run more towards coffee and a pastry than a full on English breakfast and Tomtom Cafe looks good. Any thoughts?

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Cyprus Mangal
107 Westbourne Grove, London W2 4UW, GB

Thomas Cubitt
44 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9PA, GB

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  1. I think the clarifying word here is 'nearby.' If you're near Victoria, a 10 minute Tube ride will get you to a much larger selection of restaurants. That said, I *do* know what it's like to travel with children, not to mention jet lag.

    If you like Indian food (and it's ten times better here than anywhere I ever ate it in NY), Quilon is near Victoria and very highly thought of. A 10 minute bus ride will take you over near Hyde Park Corner and a short walk to Ishbilia for very good Lebanese (child friendly) meals.

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    Quilon
    41 Buckingham Gate, London, Greater London SW1E 6, GB

    1. Hi there - i'm a local so have tried most of those places:

      The Orange - very civilised pub/restaurant - good option for a low key dinner, no complaints about quality though may be seen as a little overpriced due to the area

      Kazan - not a bad place but the areas is a little scummy and not particularly nice late at night. I would give this a miss personally.

      Grumbles - haven't been myself but reports i've heard suggest it rests heavily on tourist custom and is pretty outdated.

      Thomas Cubitt - lovely place for a few drinks. Owned by the same people as the Orange and similar comments on the food though more british than italian influence. Get a seat outside or by the windows down in the bar area for a buzzy atmosphere. The restaurant area is a little quiet for my liking

      Other options:

      Daylesford Organic - opposite the Orange - great spot for brunch in the sun.

      La Poule au Pot - expensive traditional french restaurant, often cited as most romantic in London though not sure the food quality matches up to that.

      All in all the area is a little more about style than quality - as Zuriga says if you're after quality and value for money you are better off travelling a little further. Having said that, if you are just after relaxed and enjoyable meals without too much concern about cutting edge cuisine then any of those I mention should tick your boxes.

      Good luck!

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      Thomas Cubitt
      44 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9PA, GB

      1. I know nothing about the restaurants you've mentioned, but my husband and I did stay in the area (at The Rubens) last fall and greatly enjoyed dinner at Mango Tree. I'd say it's child-friendly for a 9-year-old, probably not an infant. Have a great time!

        1. You need to bear in mind that some of those places - The Orange and Thomas Cubitt particularly - are pubs and may not allow children in the evenings. I aso agree that The Orange is good but a little overpriced. I used to work on Eccleston Place (many years ago now though) and Olivo on Eccleston Street was a good option for Italian (actually Sardinian). They also have a pizzeria, Olivetto, round the corner on Elizabeth St which is decent and good for celeb-spotting and I think they now have a deli and a fish place too.

          http://www.olivorestaurants.com/cgi-b...

          For fine dining you're close to Roussillon, which I haven't been to but my friend used to rate quite highly. On Pimlico Road you have a well-reviewed Italian which is part of the Locando Locatelli empire, Tinello.

          You shouldn't dismiss travelling a little bit - five minutes on the tube from Victoria will get you to Soho, for example.

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          Roussillon
          16 St. Barnabas Street, London SW1W 8PE, GB

          Thomas Cubitt
          44 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9PA, GB

          1 Reply
          1. re: greedygirl

            Ah yes, good call on Tinello - completely forgot about that somehow - it's pretty good value especially if you stick to the antipasti/pasta/desert courses.

            Rousillon lost it's michelin star this year (not that that necessarily means anything) when the chef left to set up Gauthier in Soho. But could be a good 'fine dining' option if you really don't want to travel.

          2. Bad luck. Pimlico is a nice and convenient place to stay, but the restaurants are awful. In immediate proximity to Eccleston Square, the handiest place is probably the Queens Arms - an inoffensive, friendly and quite inexpensive gastropub. The Seafresh fish and chip shop is also quite good. Most of the locals, though, head for PizzaExpress, which doesn't even have a particularly convenient location. (Beware the Chownhound map, incidentally - locations of two of the four restaurants shown next to this entry are wildly off.)

            1. We just got back after living in Pimlico for 5 months, so this list brings fresh memories to mind!

              We never ate at Kazan because it looked a bit... skeezy. Lots of hair gel and belly shirts around.

              Grumbles was disappointing- glad we paid less for the early dinner prix fixe.

              We went to this Cyprus Mangal (is it a chain?! the one you linked is way up in Kensington/Marylebone) weekly for their delicious, addictive take-away kebabs, especially good with a side of their hummus:

              45 Warwick Way
              London, SW1V 1QS
              (020) 7828 5940

              Mr. sfumato really liked Thai Cafe:

              22 Charlwood Street
              London SW1V 2DY

              And we both really, really liked Pimlico Fresh (pricey by American standards, but fairly on par with most other things in the area):

              68 Wilton Rd
              London SW1V 1DE

              1. I have been working - and eating - in and around Victoria for 20 years, so the least I can do is spare you from some terrible mistakes...! In this case "Grumbles" (Shockingly bad) and Kazan (Turkey-Disney ambience and 2nd rate food).

                But to be more positive and add to the thoughts others have already offered, you could try Tinello - Italian with a small plate type mix of dishes (Pimlico St); Jenny Lo's Tea House - chinese with a wagamama vibe (Eccleston Bridge Road); Noura - Lebanese (Hobart Place about 100 yrds from Victoria Stn); or why not go just two stops on the Tube to South Kensignton and visit Casa Brindisa for high quality tapas?

                All of the above are fine for kids and Casa Brindisa has the added advatage of being close to the museums (at which point at least one of you could slink off around the corner to The Sampler - a wine shop with over 30 wines available by the glass, including some very classy ones...).

                Enjoy the trip,

                Gareth