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Fine British Cuisine without breaking the bank in London

I'm traveling to London with my family, 9 total, on Wednesday the 14th of September and am trying to find a good family style place that serves contemporary British cuisine. My wife and I are foodie's but the rest of the family will be a bit more budget conscious, so really fine dining is out of the question. I'm thinking 50 to 75 quid a head, including wine and tips. Let me know if I'm off the mark I haven't been to London in over 10 years. Thanks for you help in advance.

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  1. Great Queen Street is pretty good and fairly priced, as are both Arbutus and Wild Honey.

    1. I should have mentioned before that we are staying at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel near Paddington.

      23 Replies
      1. re: twbalding

        Hereford Road (in Bayswater) and Duke of Wellington (in Marylebone) are two good places that are relatively close by for you (caveat: haven't been in more than a year). Also, consider getting a sausage roll at the Ginger Pig in Marylebone; it's a meal in itself.

        P.S. if you're looking for other delicious things nearby, Erebuni (Russian/Georgian/Armenian) and Cocomaya (bakery) are worth going.

        -----
        Hereford Road
        3 Hereford Road, London W2 4AB, GB

        1. re: limster

          Agree with Limster. There are other Marylebone eats but not really in the contemporary British space.

          Just had a friend with two weeks in the Hilton Paddington, the hotel was a bit shabby but good location.

          If it were me, I would hop on the tube at Paddington and go round to St John Bread and Wine at Spitalfields. It's no changes and just a short walk from Liverpool Street Station.

          1. re: mr_gimlet

            St Johns in Clerkenwell would be closer to Paddington -- is St Johns Bread and Wine preferable? (I haven't eaten at the latter place, so would also appreciate the comparison.)

            1. re: limster

              I find Bread and Wine a bit more laid back and a bit more friendly - so I would recommend it to a larger family group over the main one, which can be a bit up itself sometimes.

              1. re: mr_gimlet

                St John has a bar area, which is really nice and fairly cheap with a great selection of eats.

            2. re: mr_gimlet

              Thanks limster, how long of a ride is it from Paddington? to Liverpool Street Station?

              1. re: twbalding

                About ten minutes. The important thing is there are no changes

                1. re: mr_gimlet

                  There most certainly are changes and the journey is 25 minutes.

                  Paddington --> Oxford Circus --> Liverpool St. Station

                  1. re: brokentelephone

                    Come on people please don't offer advice unless you know what you're talking about.

                    The easiest way from Paddington to Liverpool Street is to sit on the Circle or Hammersmith and City line for 30 mins - no changes.
                    The Oxford Circus change shaves about 5 mins off the journey but personally I'd avoid changing at Oxford Circus if I could.

                    1. re: ManInTransit

                      Oo miaow! Apologies OP for the transport contradictions! Given your locale, and the mixed budgets...I should stick out west, so echo Hereford Road, also check out Cafe Anglais, or a far surer bet would be the Harwood Arms which is a starred gastropub, you'll love it. Celebration of all things British without St John's willful austerity. Venison scotch eggs and you might even get grouse if you're lucky. If the others in the party agree on a splurge though there are very good VFM lunch menus at the Ledbury and Launceston Place which are also your way.

                      -----
                      Launceston Place
                      1 Launceston Pl, Kensington, Greater London W8 5, GB

                      Hereford Road
                      3 Hereford Road, London W2 4AB, GB

                      St Johns Restaurant
                      24 Sir Thomas Street, Liverpool L1 6JB, GB

                      Ledbury
                      127 Ledbury Rd, Kensington, England W2 5, GB

                      1. re: helen b

                        Ha re-reading that it sounds less jocular than it did in my head.

                        1. re: ManInTransit

                          Is there any way of getting there faster? half hour seems a long way but maybe not in London.

                          1. re: twbalding

                            Hailing a cab *can* be faster, dependent on whether or not you need to cross the river, time of day, roadworks in the area etc etc. The reason the tube journey is estimated at 25 - 20 minutes is to take into account pesky things like getting into the station, getting from ticket hall level to the platform and the switch to a different line in the middle of your journey - different lines can run as close together as the next track, or as far apart as what feels like another station. It seems like a long time, but it's not 30 minutes on the train itself. There are days when I hate the tube (particularly in rush hour as I'm 5'3", which happens to also be armpit height and perfect newspaper resting height), but I honestly believe that it's one of the easiest and fastest ways to get around. Obviously not that great if you want to watch the world go by.

                            1. re: ultimatepotato

                              London's a big city, sorry folks, they exist outside the US, with all that entails. We have a default 'hour rule' - no matter where you live and where you're trying to get to, it takes an hour. Cabbing from Paddington to Smithfields would be a 'mare as it takes you right across central London.

                              So follow my suggestion and stay west! Harwood Arms does the British thing, but less monkishly than St Johns which, to me, has kinda lost is lustre.

                              -----
                              St Johns Restaurant
                              24 Sir Thomas Street, Liverpool L1 6JB, GB

                              1. re: helen b

                                The hour thing is oh so true. And it's why we end up eating locally way more than we should.

                                1. re: helen b

                                  The strange thing is that I live 45 minutes or so south of London by train but find that I can get to most central areas to meet someone in an hour from when I get on the train. That said, the train is so expensive that we tend to eat locally, too. I'm not sure what all this means, but I'm not so jealous now of those who live in London. :-)

                  2. re: twbalding

                    Its faster if you walk to lancaster gate and take the central line.
                    Lancaster gate is a couple of minutes walk and the tube is about 15mins to liverpool street.

              2. re: twbalding

                We are traveling from IN/IL to London on Sept. 15th and will also be staying at the Hilton! If I see a group of nine walking together - should I assume it's you? Sorry - I know, not food related..

                1. re: sjbensen

                  I doubt there will be many 9 person groups from the states so you could probably assume its us. The Balding clan will only be in London for the night of the 14th. We might run into each other on the following day depending on when we leave for the country. We're all headed to a family reunion with my uncles who are both well know horse trainers in England, should be a ton of fun. Enjoy your stay in London.
                  Tim

                  1. re: twbalding

                    Any relation to Clare Balding of horsey fame then? How exciting!

                    1. re: helen b

                      She is my cousin and I haven't seen her for years. I'm really excited to watch the houses work on the downs with a cup of hot tea in the early morning. I love the english county side.

                    2. re: twbalding

                      You too! Your trip sounds exciting! We will be in London for a few days then heading North to Newcastle and Alnwick... it's my parents' 50th anniversary trip. If you come across a must-not miss place in London (that's not too frou-frou), leave a note for the "Geggie's" at the front desk! : - ) Safe travels!