Advice for Marble Arch area? [London]
The Olympics has managed to throw off our usual summer London plans, so we're staying at a hotel in an area we've never really frequented (the Marriott Park Lane, which I feel very lucky to have booked on points). We're certain to return to some of our favorites and standbys from past visits, but could use advice on the area in the vicinity of our hotel. I'd appreciate tips on the following:
1)Places for an excellent, memorable, special dinner out. Caveats: no jacket required, comfortable with an 18-year-old who enjoys good food, but has an aversion for the precious. Pollen Street Social was a highlight for us last August.
2)Places for reliable, high quality, low stress dinners and lunches at fair prices. Asian suggestions especially welcome.
3)Places to grab a quick bite to go that are more interesting than Pret.
4)Specialties of the neighborhood. Are there any bakeries or other food focused shops in the area that it would be criminal for us to miss?
You really are so central in Marble Arch that you have the entire west end at your fingertips - I wouldn't say there was any particular need to search out the parochial but...
1) For your big meal, my personal favourite within walking distance would be Roganic on Blandford Street. Incredible restaurant with brilliant service and not an ounce of sniffy pretension. It's less fine-diningy than Pollen Street Social but the food is of equal quality.
The other option close by is Texture. Bit more formal but not stuffy and probably the best Scandanavian food in London. Really good wine list and would certainly fit your description. It's also about 30 seconds from your front door.
2) For your lunches, my instinct would be to head up the Edgware road for some lebanese at least once, it's one of the best concentrations of them in London. That probably covers 4) as well!
A personal favourite (little walk away) would be to go to Yauatcha in Soho which does fantastic dim sum and 3-6pm does a £18.88 menu per person which is stunning value. In Soho there are tonnes of lunch options - Koya the japanese noodle place stands out or search Soho on the board for 10s of options.
I've no idea if it's your thing but you aren't far from MeatLiquor (do a search) which is a sort of pop-up grungy burger joint that does make incredible burgers. Think your 18-year-old would enjoy it.
I can't help so much with 3 and 4 as it's not an area I mooch around very often.
Feel free to ask any further Qs, happy to help.
Re #4 (and #3 I suppose)...head over to Cocomaya on Connaught St. - www.cocomaya.co.uk/ -
They do a terrific afternoon tea...not really traditional in the crowded room surrounded by tourists sense, but plentiful amounts of artisinal versions of all the usual sandwiches and treats with plenty of chocolate goodies on offer. If tea is not something that is of interest, it is still a wonderful bakery and chocolatier worth visiting. As far as Asian suggestions, if Dim Sum is on your agenda, then Royal China on Bayswater is reliable although I personally find Phoenix Palace in Marylebone (also close by) a better option. I also suggest taking a stroll along Marylebone High Street and stopping in to the Ginger Pig (butcher) and La Fromagerie (cheese and sandwiches) at Moxon Street and perhaps the Golden Hind for fish & chips. Have fun.
Marble Arch means you're in the close vicinity of Mayfair, Oxford Street, and Marylebone.
(1) The Cut Steakhouse is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, and was very good when I went for my bday, though it is pricey. It's on Park Lane so very close.
(2)There is a good Chinese in Marylebone called Red Sun -- ask for them to translate the Mandarin menu, unless you happen to speak Mandarin, in which case, don't bother asking them to translate, unless you are illiterate, in which case, definitely have them translate or probably, just read aloud.
Meat Liquor is nearby and is relatively low-stress for lunch, ie., no waiting. It's a great hamburger place with a bit of hipsterism influence.
3) Brass Rail at Selfridges, or Reubens for a salt-beef on the go.
Food hall in Selfridges has great to-go options. I like getting a lox'n'bagel from the kosher section.
4) There is a cheese place in Marylebone called La Fromagerie which is great.
Also, there is a spot that sells thousands of different types of jams and whatnot called Paul Rothe & Son. It's basically an old English caf but its quite cool.
If you like Whisky there is a place on Chiltern Street called Cadenheads which has a terrific selection, and the dudes who run it are massively knowledgeable. If you're American it'd be fun for your child to drink legally in a "european way" whatever that means.