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Need Restaurant Recommendations for London, Please

p
poland221 Feb 12, 2012 04:03 PM

I'm looking for recommendations of restaurants that will satisfy two somewhat different people. My husband, who is a foodie with rather sophisticated tastes and is a wine geek, will be meeting our son, a 20-year old college student who is doing his junior semester abroad in London. They'll be together there for four evenings, and so I'm looking for up to four good restaurants to make both my husband and son happy, that is good restaurants that are not very formal (my son won't have a jacket or tie) and not too precious or sophisticated. If it were Paris, I would pick any number of typical Parisian bistros, but what about London? Any ideas?

  1. limster Feb 13, 2012 10:55 AM

    For mid-high end wines, Trinity in Clapham is one of the best values I've encountered (they claim to add corkage but not markups). Superb food too. Not necessarily close to Kensington but savings on wines are potentially worth the trip.

    In Kensington, the Bombay Brasserie's weekend (sunday?) buffet is excellent.

    I haven't been particularly impressed with the various Galvin restaurants (Bistrot de Luxe or La Chapelle).

    6 Replies
    1. re: limster
      ttoommyy Feb 13, 2012 12:35 PM

      "that is good restaurants that are not very formal (my son won't have a jacket or tie) and not too precious or sophisticated."

      Just a heads up...most men were wearing jackets when I was at Trinity in January and the service was a bit "stiff." Great restaurant though.

      1. re: ttoommyy
        limster Feb 13, 2012 01:30 PM

        I've been there in much less formal attire (polo shirt, jeans and trainers on one occasion), and never had any problems.

        1. re: limster
          ttoommyy Feb 13, 2012 01:33 PM

          OK. Good to know for the OP. I was just stating what I experienced that night. Maybe the cold January weather "dictated" sport coats for us guys.

          1. re: limster
            h
            Harters Feb 13, 2012 02:16 PM

            According to Open Table, Trinity's dress code is "casual" which, in my book, means polo & jeans would be fine.

            1. re: Harters
              t
              Trixibelle81 Feb 14, 2012 03:23 AM

              Went to Trinity about a year or so ago and seem to recall it was reasonably casual. Service wasn't fantastic - very busy Friday night which they didn't seem to deal with terribly well...

        2. re: limster
          t
          Trixibelle81 Feb 14, 2012 03:24 AM

          Limster - you should give Galvin at Windows a try. Been a couple of times and really liked it (amazing views over London as well!)

        3. m
          ManInTransit Feb 13, 2012 05:41 AM

          I'm guessing you are looking for some form of variety so it might be worth looking for something under different headings. It'd also be good to know where your husband and son will be staying as London is pretty large and sometimes it's worth making choices based on location.

          Personally I'd go for one modern British place: Wild Honey, Arbutus, Great Queen Street.
          One wine bar/charcuterie: Terroirs, 28:50 or the small plates at Polpetto or tapas at Barrafina.
          Maybe one fine dining if they like that sort of thing, perhaps one of the unashamedly casual places like Pollen Street Social or Roganic.
          Then depending on taste perhaps some Indian or Pakistani food. Go safe with Moti Mahal or venture out to the east end and try New Tayyabs or Needoo Grill.
          If they like the idea of a Gastropub and don't mind a bit of travelling then maybe the Hope and Anchor, Harwood Arms, Bull and Last, Draper's Arms (depending on where they are staying).

          7 Replies
          1. re: ManInTransit
            p
            poland221 Feb 13, 2012 05:58 AM

            Thanks! My husband will be staying at a hotel in Kensington. Are any of those places close to there?

            1. re: poland221
              zuriga1 Feb 13, 2012 07:53 AM

              It's easy to get around London regardless of the hotel's location. Don't let that stop them from choosing a good restaurant. The most your husband would have to travel is probably 30 minutes by Tube. I was also going to suggest Pollen Street (not like anything most would find at home) or Great Queen St. The choices are endless.

              1. re: poland221
                m
                ManInTransit Feb 13, 2012 10:34 AM

                None of those are outlandish distances from Kensington other than the east end curry places or the Bull and Last. Anywhere in Mayfair, Soho, Regent Street is very easily accessible.

                As Zuriga says you don't choose totally on location but sometimes it is useful as a guide. E.g. on the gastropub front the Harwood Arms and Bull and Last are both exceptional but one (THA) will take 10 mins from Kensington and the other 45.

                If they did Harwood Arms, Moti Mahal, Polpetto and Pollen Street social none would take more than 30 mins from Kensington.

                1. re: ManInTransit
                  p
                  poland221 Feb 13, 2012 10:42 AM

                  Thanks! So far I made the following reservations for them:

                  Harwood Arms
                  Moro
                  Chabrot Bistrot d’Amis
                  Galvin Bistrot de Luxe

                  1. re: poland221
                    m
                    ManInTransit Feb 13, 2012 10:49 AM

                    Very good choices - I think Moro is fantastic although my first visit was a victim of sky high expectations.

                    The only question I would have is whether perhaps one of the Bistros might be substituted - particularly if they are on successive nights as within the range of cuisine you can eat in London they are fairly similar.

                    1. re: poland221
                      howler Feb 13, 2012 11:14 AM

                      is your husband working and only free for dinners? then i would highly recommend he stay within kensington - and there are some truly stellar meals to be had here. if it were me on a business trip, thats what i'd want - a chance to get out and walk to dinner, see how the locals live etc.

                      assuming that is the case, here's where i'd go for dinner:

                      a) launceston place
                      b) sally clarkes
                      c) le cafe anglais
                      d) either racine/cheyne walk brasserie/min jiang/gessler at daquise

                      also as a word of warning, i'd give moro/chabrot/galvin a huge miss.

                      1. re: howler
                        h
                        Harters Feb 13, 2012 02:12 PM

                        One of these trips, I really will get to Launceston Place & Clarkes. Honest! Yes, I know Clarke's has been on my "to try" list for 20+ years but I will get there one day. Really I will.

              2. abby d Feb 13, 2012 01:25 AM

                terroirs by charing cross would be worth a visit - they have some really interesting wines and the food is a mix of things which should keep both your husband and son happy.

                in the city (chancery lane is the nearest tube), 28:50 on fetter lane is another place with the combination of interesting wines and enjoyable food.

                no jackets or ties required.

                1 Reply
                1. re: abby d
                  p
                  poland221 Feb 13, 2012 03:11 AM

                  Thank you. We will check them out.

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