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Apr 10, 2012 02:30 PM

One afternoon in London

I have one day in London. We have reservations for Ducasse for dinner at 9:00 pm. I think I want to go to Kensington Palace to be a bit of a tourist in the afternoon, then have a relaxing lunch. Any suggestions in that area? Looking for something casual and relaxing. Thanks!

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  1. Singapore/Malaysian buffet at the Millennium Hotel (see the posts from klyeoh) near Gloucester Road

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    Daquise for classic Polish food in South Kensington

    Min Jiang for elegant dim sum on Kensington High Street

    7 Replies
    1. re: limster

      Thank you so much for responding, this may sound so "touristy" but I am looking for a place where a local may hang out in if s/he snuck out of work early for a few drinks and a good bite to eat. More English casual pub stuff.

      1. re: spcnj

        The Only Running Footman nearby is good and fits your bill I think. Bit of a posh pub rather than a local boozer but does decent casual food and isn't a tourist spot by any means.

        1. re: spcnj

          A very good pub not to far away is The Windsor Castle on Campden Hill Road. Not certain about the food quality but it is a fine pub with a good outside area - perfect for sneaking away from the office for a few warn-up pints before a grand dinner.

          If food is the main criteria then The Harwood Arms isn't too far in a cab, nor is the Admiral Coddrington (both 2 miles and far better than the Only Running Footman). If you prefer a restaurant Launceston Place is close.

          1. re: PhilD

            Is the food at Launceston Place still good after the chef change?

            1. re: limster

              Yes. Still early days for Tim Allen but looking good so far. Still one of the cosiest restaurants in London - like a French village setting.

              1. re: Lijaha

                Great - thanks for the update. Has the menu/cooking style changed? Any new favourite dishes?

                1. re: limster

                  I've eaten there thrice before the change, once since and, since they have a short, seasonal menu, it's not fair to comment on any change. Impressed on each visit - no change there. ;)

      2. Head over to the Victoria & Albert... free admission and a wonderful cafe, food spot not to mention the great collection of 'things' in the museum. It's full of tourists. :-) It's a very short walk from the Palace.

        1 Reply
        1. re: zuriga1

          The cafe is pretty good (run by Benugo); the tiled rooms are lovely, certainly one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the area.

        2. You want Maggie Jones's:
          It's a very quaint restaurant, furnished with old church pews etc, and serving hearty English fare such as a pie of the day and Spotted Dick with custard. I'd say it is the only consistently decent restaurant around Ken High Street (apart from Launceston Place - - which is too similar to Ducasse to eat at on the same day.) Maggie's is right next to the palace and takes its name from Princess Margaret (ask them for the story). (And Only Running Footman recommended above is off Berkeley Square in Mayfair - about two miles away.)

          1. If you are set on a pub, there are lots of fairly good pubs in the Kensington High Street area. One with a perfect setting is The Scarsdale Tavern, on Edwardes Square, which has good modern pub grub. Not amazing, but why compete with Ducasse? It's a bit of a walk from Kensington Palace (3/4 mile?) but it looks like a pub on a village green - very English. Take a walk around Holland Park and see the Japanese Garden, or look into Marco Pierre White's restaurant there for your next trip. And don't forget Kensington Palace does nice afternoon teas with English champagne.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lijaha

              Grabbing a takeaway pie at Lidgates in Holland Park is also good. Only limitation is that they don't sell that many types of hot pies, most require cooking at home.

            2. Launceston Place is wonderful but... If you are in a walking mood, I would go to Whole Foods and get some takeaway. Might even be nice to have a picnic if the weather holds.