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Seeking restaurant suggestions for pre-wedding dinner in early November.

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Arriving in London November 4th for a wedding on the 5th. Guests staying near Elephant and Castle tube station as well as Shoreditch High Street station. Looking for a nice dinner on the 4th for 4-8 somewhere in-between those areas - will hop in cab or on the tube. We don't want to go too far as a few will have jet lag. We all love good food and looking for a place that serves a variety of food [seafood and meat], they will be OK with us eating/drinking and catching up but not a loud pub setting, just a casual yet nice setting/ambiance. An upscale neighbourhood bistro? Done some searches on Chowhound and looked on London food blogs but this is an area I'm not familiar with and not sure where to go/search. Thank you for any suggestions you might have.

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  1. Well, IG, your locations are about 2 1/2 miles apart and bang in the middle is The City which is the financial centre. Many City places do not open in the evenings as the working population tend to head home, especially on a Friday. The bars can be quite lively, but even the open restaurants might be a bit quiet. Anyway, you could do a lot worse than the basement bit of Swithins, which is mid-market Italian. The ground floor is superb, but it's fish only, and rather expensive.

    http://www.swithinsrestaurant.co.uk/S...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robin Joy

      Thank you for that suggestion - I've sent the link around to the group. I've looked on Google Maps to try and get an idea of what is around each area but it is information overload. Is there much of a difference between the types of restaurants we would find nearer to E+C or nearer to Shoreditch? I use Open Table for finding and booking restaurants in the USA and Canada but not knowing the neighbourhoods and the ones close by that might have a great restaurant so close it is worth the extra five minutes I get lost in the long list of restaurants.

      1. re: Island Girl

        I'm sure that both E+C and Shoreditch have their good points, but there's no getting away from the fact that they are not as restaurant rich as areas about 4 miles west..

        Revised rec:

        http://www.bleedingheart.co.uk/bistro...

        This place will charm you.

        http://www.bleedingheart.co.uk/bistro...

        There's a smarter bit on site, but the bistrot is fine.

        1. re: Robin Joy

          Shoreditch has a load of great restaurants. As suggested there is the Rivington Grill, you could also try Boundary which is very close to Shoreditch underground station, or Brawn on Columbia Road, which is excellent. The Corner Room at Bethnal Green Town Hall, sister restaurant to Viajante is also very good but you can't book so might have a problem if you have a larger group.
          A little closer to the City is St John's Bread and Wine in Spitalfields which has a buzzy atmosphere and is one of my favourites in the area.

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

        2. re: Island Girl

          Elephant and Castle is a bit of a no man's land when it comes to restaurants, but it's close to Waterloo and London Bridge, and not that far from central London. Shoreditch is quite a trendy area with some decent choices nearby. Rivington Bar and Grill might fit the bill for your group and it's close to Old St, which is on the Northern Line and therefore pretty convenient for Elephant & Castle.

          Closer to Elephant and Castle, I like Zucca, which is a very good neighbourhood Italian, or Magdalen for upscale modern British.