Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Jan 2, 2012 12:05 PM

Just 2 nights in London

Hi, everyone
My husband and I are celebrating out anniversary in London on April 1 and 2, after 2 weeks in Cyprus. We will be staying at the 41 Hotel and would like something closeby for the first night dinner - we arrive at about 8pm. How would the St. George's Tavern be for pub food? We really don't know anything about British food. We have reservations for Petrus, but will cancel because we don't want to have to get dressed up. We are looking for places where locals would be. I guess we might also try Harwood Arms or Bull & Last. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi Cindy,
    The Bull and Last is great but not worth the trek from 41 hotel if you're only here for two days - definitely go to the Harwood Arms. Best possible choice for your situation I'd have thought.

    Do you know where you're going the second night? You're in striking distance of plenty of great restaurants.

    13 Replies
    1. re: ManInTransit

      I went to the Bull & Last last week and it is a great pub with some very good food. To compare it to to the Harwood Arms I would say the Harwood is a little more refined and a little more ambitious, and a bit better food, but is still a decent pub. The B&L is a far far better traditional pub and the food is a bit more rustic - and they have a menu for your dog. At the B&L I drank pints of beer with my meal but at the Harwood it was wine. As Manin says from you the Harwood is a much easier and closer journey. Neither is dressy.

      1. re: PhilD

        I was at the Bull & Last last week as well Phil - 28th I think, wonder if we were there at the same time.

        Ox cheek and snail risotto was the standout, stunning. Their in-house fishboard incredible too.

        1. re: ManInTransit

          While we're on the subject, is there anythink to choose between the bar and restaurant areas for lunch at B+L? I'm finally going to take the plunge and go north!

          1. re: ManInTransit

            Manin - Thursday evening at 7:00? And we tried both those dishes plus the Carcuterie plate and a Scotch Egg.

            1. re: PhilD

              Ah no we were in at lunchtime so we could walk it off on the heath. Didn't feel we could manage the charcuterie plate as well so went for the game terrine and then the apple crumble all fantastic stuff.

        2. re: ManInTransit

          Thanks, ManInTransit
          I don't know where to go either night, really. If you want to give me more suggestions I would appreciate that. We just don't want to get dressed up. I have to try to pack light and Cyprus is not dressy so I don't want to bring special clothes just for London. I've looked at several dining rooms with white table cloths, etc, but that's not what we want. We like noisy places with local people. We are 55 and 65 years old.
          So far my plan is: arrive at 41 Sunday night, check in, find fish and chips or something quick. We can "plunder the pantry" back at 41, too. Next morning, we get picked up for a taxi tour of all the tourist things for 3 or 4 hours, lunch at Porter's so we can go on the London Eye. Back to the hotel, then out for dinner somewhere - maybe Harwood Arms.

          We like good food and do a lot of cooking at home. Restaurants are the best part of our trips. I just can't figure out London!! Let me know what you think. Thanks so much.

          1. re: cindyhoo

            How long is the trip to Bull & Last vs. Harwood Arms?
            We're in London for 3 days and would like to go to a pub that has real ale and local beers as well as great food--which of these would you recommend for that? Anything closer that would fit the bill?
            Thanks a lot!

            1. re: katewh

              MUCH less pretentious than the harwood arms/bull and last is the white horse pub on parsons green - and the beers are outstanding.

              1. re: katewh

                The Harwood is the better side of town for you and wouldn't be too bad by either tube or taxi (it is west and you are on the west side of the centre). The Bull & Last is a trickier journey as it is in North London.

                I am very surprised that Howler thinks the "Sloaney Pony" (The White Horse) is less pretentious than anywhere given its neighbourhood and clientele - must of changed since my day. It is a good pub though. The Harwood is a bit more of a restaurant than a pub, but you can still have a pint or three at the bar, the Bull & Last is a very real pub with great food in a less affluent area of London than both the Harwood and the Sloaney Pony.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Bull & Last pretentious as against the white horse? Very odd comment.

                  1. re: ManInTransit

                    Well putting aside a comment which is both unpleasant and I think inappropriate for a forum like this, I would be genuinely interested to know how someone could consider the Bull & Last pretentious.
                    I am often conscious that on Chowhound we are helping to mould and shape people's holidays, I know that when the situation is reversed the quality of the advice I get can have an impact on the enjoyment of time abroad and so try to take the responsibility quite seriously. And I always think we should bear in mind what the poster has asked about, rather than showing off our knowledge/bringing out our own prejudices.
                    If the Bull & Last were being compared to the Queen's Head on York Square, or an authentic Sussex pub then perhaps I could understand it, but the comparator - in this case the White Horse - just doesn't make sense to me and I'd be interested to know the rationale behind it.

                    1. re: ManInTransit

                      Manin totally agree - also i never thought the Harwood was pretenious, all in all a fairly relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

                  2. re: PhilD

                    Thank you. I appreciate the detailed info and comparisons of the three. Sounds like Harwood probably isn't what I'm looking for.

            2. I think the Thomas Cubbitt pub is not too far from 41 Hotel. That has a very good reputation and is probably superior food-wise than the St. George's.