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Feb 29, 2012 12:50 PM

Restaurant Help - a few days in London

I've been reading through all of the boards on similar subject, but thought I'd put my query out there and see what I can get.

I'll be in London, staying in the Oxford/Tottenham Court Road area, with my husband. I'm pregnant with my third and leaving behind 2 kids - 3 and 2, with my sister-in-law. My husband and I, Irish and American, live in Norway ... where food is expensive and decent, but in our particular area, not too varied.

We have only booked a room at the hotel, so I'm in need for breakfast suggestions within 10 minutes walk of the hotel (latte & porridge, toast, bun type places - no need for anything full).

We definitely want Dim Sum while in a city that offers it, and so far I've got my eye on Yauatcha for lunch one day. I'm looking for another lunch spot, something good and memorable, but comfortable and not too pretentious. I thought of Pollen Street Social but also just stumbled upon Mishkins, which looked quite nice -- you can see how scattered my thinking is about this! Also considered Bar Boulud, as we'll likely be in the Knightsbridge area on the day of this second lunch. We would like a place we can walk in to and not feel too under dressed - definitely will be casual for lunch. Not sure if this is a problem with Boulud's place.

For dinners, we want to have one "tasting menu" night out and are going for a bit of glitz here - star attraction - at the moment our top contenders are Petrus and L'Atelier. We can't quite decide what would be best. I have read that there are many other great "it" restaurants that might offer similar or better experiences, but once I start looking, my head starts spinning and I'd like to just keep the options between these two -- still, we're stuck on which to choose.

For the second night, we're planning a show and will need a pre-theatre place to eat. I wondered about NOPI ... I hadn't come across anything on Yotam Ottolenghi on here yet, so I'd love your input and am also open to other suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. NOPI gets rave reviews (I haven't been there yet), and I don't think you could go wrong with that choice. Another pre-theatre favorite is Deux Salons. They have a pre-theater menu, but I always seem to order from the regular one. You could also consider Min Jiang for dim sum... elegant surroundings and a bit pricey.

    3 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      Thanks a bunch. Can you help me a bit with dress code for these places? We're taking this trip within a trip to visit family in Ireland and will only pack what's necessary as far as dressiness goes. And I have the "little black pregnancy dress" that I'm hoping will get me through the evening situations. But what about for the lunches? I would assume that if we went for Pollen Street Social, by the name itself, we would be okay in jeans. How about Min Jiang or if we chose Bar Boulud? Would you say we could go in with jeans and decent top -- but no shirt and tie and nothing otherwise too fancy?

      1. re: maggie9480

        You would be fine in jeans for any of these places, as long as you still look fairly smart. There is no need for shirt and tie at Bar Boulud or Pollen St Social.

        1. re: maggie9480

          I agree with pj26 - London is a very casual place, most of the time, when it comes to dressing for meals out. A little black number will do you fine and jeans for lunch with a nice top is always OK.

      2. For breakfast: If you're near Tottenham Court Road tube, then Lantana ( is within your ten minute walk. South of Oxford Street is all of Soho; you may wish to search for cafes in Soho both on this board and on the TimeOut London website. Maison Bertaux on Greek St is supposed to have good French pastries (croissants etc) and is near Tottenham Court Road. Even closer is the Milk Bar ( which is good for coffee. Note that many cafes are closed on Sundays. If you're further west along Oxford Street, take a look at the Marylebone High Street recommendations, such as La Fromagerie. If you're not feeling picky, then just picking up a granola and yoghurt or porridge from one of the ubiquitious Pret a Manger outlets might suffice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tavegyl

          I'd also recommend Tapped & Packed on Rathbone Place for breakfast. They have great coffee and also lots of pastries in the morning.