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Aug 29, 2011 08:23 PM

London trendy restaurants/bars/lounges

Although a lot has been posted on this topic, I was hoping fellow foodies could help us. We are in our early 30's and consider ourselves foodies. Going to London next week and made reservation at the Dorchester (worth it? feedback?). This will be our fine dining experience out of the 3 nights we'll have in London. The other 2 nights want a more laid back atmosphere and ideally would like to go to a trendy restaurant that may have bar/lounge to have after dinner drinks/music. We'll be in Mayfair but willing to travel. So fellow chowhounders, what would you recommend? I've emailed the Opera Tavern for reservation but otherwise seems like there is almost too much choice - please help!!! Thanks in advance.

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  1. I would also appreciate recommendations on any theatre shows. Again, so much choice. We love classical music, but open to concerts. We'll be there Sept 3-6. Thank you

    1 Reply
    1. re: upscaleTO

      It might be a bit late to get decent tickets to shows, but it's always worth a try. I find that things here get sold out much quicker than they did back in the States. I've heard that the current staging of South Pacific is very good, and I think Anna Christie with Jude Law is still on but probably a tough ticket to get.

      That said, there are a lot of places to eat in the West End. The concensus on this board is that Deux Salons is a good pre or post-theatre choice.. very convenient to most theatres. Also near by is Great Queen Street, Moti Mahal for Indian. Opera Tavern is a good choice!

      Moti Mahal
      45 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AA, GB

    2. some of London's latest openings fit the 'trendy' description: you could try Spuntino in Soho, it's 'the' place at the moment, but unfortunately no bookings are taken so it's first in first served.

      If you want a really trendy place, with good food and a cool bar, you could head east to Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green. After (or before) eating upstairs you can head down to their luscious Gin Den, over the weekend they have cabaret shows which are loads of fun.

      Opera Tavern is a good choice - make sure you have the burgers.

      If you like meat, Hawksmoor in Covent Garden has a great bar with excellent cocktails.

      Are you eating at Alan Ducasse at the Dorchester? I personally haven't been but there has been mixed reviews about it.

      23-27 Wadeson Street, London E2 9DR, GB

      157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ, GB

      1. had a great time at Purl bar -- it is in marleybone so im not sure where that is, compared to where you are staying

        Great drinks, speakyeasy - make sure to reserve a table online

        1. Experimental Cocktail Club is a nice speakeasy and not too far from theatre land. The door policy can be a pain at times but otherwise the drinks are excellent. Good idea to reserve a table.

          Closer in Mayfair itself, Dukes makes the best martinis if that's your thing.

          I agree that the burgers at Opera Tavern are to die for but besides that I've failed to be overly impressed by their other dishes.

          To have a bar/restaurant all in one though I'd strongly recommend Great Queen St. The restaurant is relaxed and they do fantastic gastropub fare. The bar downstairs is trendy and fun.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jonY

            I've just been reading the many dreadful reviews for ECC, and it's definitely put me off - perhaps one to avoid?

            How about Roka in Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, followed by drinks in the Shochu lounge downstairs? Both are fit the desciption for what you're looking for.

            1. re: Nii

              Roka is a good suggestion, bar downstairs is lovely.

              1. re: pj26

                There is a Roka Akor in Phoenix USA - sister restaurant

                They have great drinks here - I would imagine that they would continue at the original

                Also you could do Mandarin Bar inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel - great unique drinks, but it is pretty loud in there and the drinks are expensive

                1. re: Dapuma

                  The Mandarin aka Russian Ladies' Pick Up Joint ;) If you're after bars then Rules upstairs (trad atmos but marvellous drinks), Long Bar at the Sanderson, One Aldwych, any news on the refurbed American Bar at the Savoy? One Cavendish Square. Milk and Honey (speakeasy vibe in Soho, members only but you can get in before 11pm if you call and book). But I still think Acqua Kyoto for the 'I'm there' feel. Everyone's about 12 and dining out on Daddy's Swiss-sheltered hedge fund.

                  1. re: helen b

                    Good grief!! The Long bar @ The Sanderson, I thought that had passed away!

                    Cocoon on Regent Street is cool as well - sushi, house music and pretty girls.

          2. If you want high-energy big city trendy I'd go to Aqua Kyoto for Japanese food and drinks. It's the kind of trendy thats not that trendy at the minute -- huge space with lots of beautiful people eating expensive sushi under massive light fixtures-- though I really enjoy it. The food is very good, and the drinks are vunderbar! It's a high energy atmosphere with loads of Eurotrash.

            1 Reply
            1. re: brokentelephone

              Aqua Kyoto is my guilty pleasure, and Eurotrash is a great description. Cocktail there on one of the balconys, then dine somewhere decent in Soho.

              For classical music in the environs check out the Wigmore Hall just behind Oxford Circus. Glorious venue.

              Wigmore Hall Restaurant
              36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP, GB