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Apr 4, 2012 01:43 AM

Sunday Lunch between Heathrow and Euston

I'm transiting through London on Sunday of next week. I arrive at Heathrow from Los Angeles at about noon and need to be at Euston by about 4 to catch a train. If my plane lands on time, I expect to have about 2 hours to eat, plus I'd like to stop by a grocery store. So, I need a place on the Picadilly or Northern lines (anywhere between Heathrow and Euston and close to the tube station) that's open on Sundays till at least 3 or so and not terribly crowded. As much as I like traveling out of the way for good food, this time location beats just about everything else.

I'd love to have some British food (either pub food, or gastropub, or even just good fish and chips), but I'd prefer something not too expensive (definitely less than £30), larger portions since it's likely to be the only real meal I'll have all day, and fairly quick as I might not have much time. I've been looking, but finding something that meets all these requirements is proving to be challenging.

The best I've come up with so far is Great Queen Street, but with no website I'm not sure how late they're open or if really fits what I need. Is there anything else you'd recommend?

Thanks for any help.

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  1. You could do worse than Harrods. Right on the Piccadilly Line and it's a grocery store with restaurants. The ground floor Sea Grill or Rotisserie would be good:

    Large suitcases may be an issue though (and maybe at other places too).

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robin Joy

      If you take the (expensive) Heathrow Express to Paddington Station you will extend your window by being in central London in 15 minutes rather than the hour plus that the tube can take.

      1. re: Robin Joy

        Has that trip ever really taken just 15 minutes????

        1. re: zuriga1

          I thought about HE also. However you are right in real travel terms. The actual 'trip' from departure point to arrival is 15 minutes...but it's the inexorably long expedition to get down into the bowels of Heathrow to catch the train, plus for this intrepid traveller, he'd face another trek getting to Covent Garden that might actually exceed the ever-so tasteful Piccadilly line. I thought of suggesting that he ride from Paddington to Charing Cross then walking up to Covent Garden but my daughter mentioned she thought the entire trip might actually be longer than running along Piccadilly.

          Given all this though, perhaps he has mentioned it and I'm just too thick to find it, I'm not certain which terminal he's arriving...If it's T-5 then he's in for a surprise when it comes to Piccadilly Line....

          So, Mr DbLevitan...if you can enlighten us please? Are you flying on a 'real' airline or one of those that are still eking out a stake at Heathrow to get a foothold?

          Mazel Tov

          Fr B+

          1. re: FrBill

            Well, Covent Garden isn't necessarily the goal - any place is fine with me as long as it fits my schedule. I'm flying into T1 and haven't had problems with the Piccadilly line when I've been in London before. Heathrow Express might work, but I don't think it'll actually save much time given I'm not going to the area around Paddington.

          2. re: zuriga1

            Yes. A couple of years ago I arrived at my London toehold exactly 1 hour after landing in from Zagreb via the HE and a taxi. Hand luggage only, but I was still quite impressed.

            1. re: Robin Joy

              That's good news. I used to write about airports and often heard complaints about the advertised vs the real travel time. Luckily, we always drive to the airport or are driven.

      2. If your plane lands at noon at Heathrow and your train leaves Euston at 4:00pm, you are on a tight schedule. It will likely take you at least 30 minutes to claim your bags and go thru passport control. It will take 45 minutes on the Piccadilly tube line to get from Heathrow to central London.

        One option would be to have lunch at the Cafe Rouge in Terminal 1 at Heathrow. It is located above the check-in area, before security control. Next to Cafe Rouge is Caffe Italia, which serves good food. I have eaten at both.

        Another option might be to stop in a Pret a Manger to pick up some sandwiches and/or a salad.

        1. Given your time constraint, the best place I can suggest is Raavi Kebab on Drummond Street, which is around the corner from Euston. It's Pakistani, not British, but if you order something that they're likely to have ready, eg their usually good nihari, you should be in and out reasonably fast. It'll be filling and inexpensive. They serve all day. As for groceries, either the desi shop next door, or the Marks and Spencer or Sainsbury's in Euston itself will have to do.

          If you arrive with time to spare, you could get off the tube at Russell Square and walk to the People's Supermarket on Lamb's Conduit Street - London's new, and somewhat straggling, co-op, where they sell own-made packed meals (I don't know if they do Sundays). Or Waitrose supermarket, which is in the Brunswick Centre nearly opposite the tube. From Russell Square I'd allocate a generous 15-20 minutes to walk straight up the road to Euston.

          45 minutes on the tube from Heathrow to Euston is doable but optimistic. I'd allocate an hour.

          1. Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm traveling fairly light - one backpack and a shoulder bag as a carry-on. Its definitely not a problem for restaurants but I'm more skeptical of large stores. I've certainly gone through some in the past while carrying it, but I prefer not to. Harrod's is thus a possibility

            I'm comfortable estimating 2 hours to make it to Euston if I was not stopping elsewhere. I'd like to have a plan A where I can have a nice, hour-long lunch (should be plenty of time for anywhere not completely full). Grocery-wise I'd just like to pick up some fruit and maybe some small snacks - I'd be happy with a fruit stand of some sort, M&S, or even Tesco. Plan B is going to be something like Pret a Manger (thanks for suggesting that) at Euston.

            Raavi Kebab looks like a good option. What about Rock & Sole for fish and chips or (if I have more time than I expect) J. Sheekey Oyster Bar? Both are open on Sunday, roughly on the way and the first should be particularly fast.

            1. Jump out at Covent Garden and do Great Queen Street or Opera Tavern ( very good Tapas in A pub)

              12 Replies
              1. re: PhilD

                I too am concerned about your journey time. But with diligence you can just about do it...keeping this in perspective imagining that you are resolute in your decision to take the Piccadilly Line, I'd take it to Covent Garden, walk up Great Queen Street 4 blocks to Wolfe's Grille. I've been dining there since 1975. You can have brilliant F&C, or my favourite is a Wolfe Burger (open face, no Bap), with Mashed potato and onion rings...from there just grab a cab to take you to Euston...about £5-6 at the latest rates...not that far..

                Alternatively, you can go from Heathrow by Mini-Cab to the Water Palace restaurant in West Drayton. Cassie and Oliver own the place and over the past 15 years they've been open it has become the place to go by the local Asian Community. It's a bright, happy warm environment with creative dishes.
                When you've finished dining go to West Drayton Station and buy an all-zone London travel card and take the train into Paddington and connect to the Hammersmith & City line to Euston Square. Brief walk into Euston.

                The best F&C for 40 years in Central London has been an Aussie hole in the wall at Earls Court (Piccadilly Line) so if you're still using that you can hop off and on again.. Come out of Earls Court Station, onto Earls Court Road...Turn LEFT, walk 1.5 blocks, cross Earls Court and go down Kenway Road. You'll pass a loud Aussie Pub on the left (Earls Court is often called 'Roo Valley' due to all the Aussies there, and the High Tide is on your left. It's a grubby little hole in the wall with about 12 seats, but people queue up and down the street at night for their Cod & Chips!


                LHR car service 01895 444333 (I've used them for 30 years including a rush to hospital for my son's birth!) Nice dependable people! They'll take you to the restaurant and collect you when you've finished. Trains from West Drayton to Paddington are two-three per hour and more during rush hours.

                Sadly, I still have yet to find a restaurant adjacent to Euston that I like....I'm a stickler for GOOD food, hence why I love Wolfe's so much! I've recommended it to others and they've responded in here as to how much they liked it. Jolly Good Place!

                Enjoy our community!

                Fr Bill+

                Water Palace

                High Tide F&C...

                1. re: FrBill

                  Not entirely certain a American burger restaurant, Aussie F&C, or a Chinese meets the OP's request for good British food.

                  If he wants to grab a cab, maybe best to get off at West Kensington and head to the Harwood Arms which I a few minutes away by cab and does very good british food. You could change at Earls Court but it is a slow change of tube. From memory the Harwood serves pretty late on Sunday afternoon.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    I also like Harwood. Good suggestion. Must say, I never knew Wolfe's was an american restaurant...this confuses me a bit... He asked about good F&C and I considered the route and the feedback. Have eaten there many times over the years it has been there - over fifty to my recollection...

                    Happy EasterFr B+

                  2. re: FrBill

                    Have you been to High Tide recently, can you confirm it's still open?

                    From checking the web it seems like it may be long-closed.

                    1. re: deansa

                      I was there just before Christmas. I do know that over all the years it has gone through a number of owners. I'll stop by there next week and confirm one way or another...

                      I do know they gave up their one ever bothered coming to it...


                      Fr B+

                    2. re: FrBill

                      Thanks for all the suggestions. Actually, Aussie might just be good - that's something that's poorly represented here in Los Angeles (as far as I know) and would be good to try. I tried finding High Tide on Google Street View but I don't see anything like it on Kenway. Are you sure it's still there and open on Sundays?

                      PhilD is right about Wolfe's - it's not quite British, and I can definitely get very similar here. Harwood Arms looks very good, but the amount of time may preclude it. I wish I had a few weeks and an unlimited budget just to sample London's restaurants! As for taxis, I'd prefer to avoid them, for a number of reasons.

                      In any case, I think Covent Garden is probably going to be my best option. It sounds like there's a number of options there and I'll probably end up choosing one based on how much time I have.

                      1. re: dblevitan

                        Well, let's do two birds with your time-limited stone. Stop by the Aussie Shop on Maiden Lane and pick up all things Australian. The shop also happens to be the Canadian Shop and the South African Shop as well. You can grab a handful of biltong, boxes galore of arguably the best biscuits (cookies) in the world - Arnott's and if you've forgotten something from home you can pick up the Canadian version..

                        Next Door is the Walkabout Pub, formerly the Outback...I've been in there in the daytime and had a ploughmans but I understand that at night it's over-heaving with Aussies whose demonstrable love for life is ...well...rather unique and difficult to other words - it's a mob and supposedly the place to be if you're on the pull.

                        But across the street is the Mongolian Barbeque. It's part of an international chain now. I've eaten at several - I have mixed feelings about them. Some are rather nice, some are not. The last time I ate at this one was over five years ago so I can't offer any updated thought, perhaps someone else can. It's clear that at night the Aussies and anyone else who is er, of the it as well.. and I realise it's not on your list, but two blocks away is the Thai Pot - a place I've enjoyed since they opened 15 years ago. Like the food and the staff and owners. It's economical and easy on the limited time and route you're following.

                        I hope you enjoy your brief stay in our small community :-)

                        Fr B+






                        1. re: FrBill

                          Apologies...I forgot to add the link for Walkabout at Covent Garden...I see they have a promotional for F&C (Aussie Style) as well for £5.50!

                          Apologies abound....

                          Dumb priest...dumb..


                          Fr. Bill+

                          1. re: FrBill

                            As an Australian I would avoid a Walkabout pub, I suspect backpacking Aussies head there because it is loud and sells alcohol. I would also avoid any chain when there are good options like GQS, Opera Tavern and if you want French try Les Deux Salons.

                            Also will a F&C shop in Earls Court really be open on a Sunday afternoon?

                            1. re: PhilD

                              Can't speak for GQS, but as for the Chippy at Earls COurt - absolutely! It caters to a large local community. However, as I think I may have mentioned...can't remember, I plan to go there tomorrow just to make sure it's open and I'll confirm the hours. Many chippies do close after lunch hours circa 1500 and open back up at 1700, but I don't recall that being the case at High Tide. Nevertheless, I recognise that things change. So I'll get the skinny and also have a small cod & chips just to make sure it still lives up to its standards. The Walkabout is without a doubt an absolute pit at night... but daytime it's at the very least accessible without having to wedge your way inside..

                              Fr B+

                            2. re: FrBill

                              The Mongolian Barbeque website says the Covent Garden branch is closed for refurb.

                              1. re: zuriga1

                                Sad to hear that. Just an update from my promise to go see if Hi Tide were still there. I'm glad I went. Sadly High Tide has done to Davies Locker. However, it has been replaced by 'Mai Food,' essentially a sushi bar. However, I couldn't resist. I had a wonderful Prawn Tempura as a starter and a Bento Box. Total bill including a coke was £12. 80. Sorry to see that bastion of local history disappear after so many years. But as they say - change is good. :-)

                                Fr B+