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May 25, 2012 03:02 PM

Help with meals in Chelsea and around St Paul's or other tourist areas [London]

Our daughter is in the Olympics ( USA 2012 Olympic Sailing Team) this year so we are headed to London July 24. We have to go south of London for the actual sailing events so will only be in London for 4 nights. Some friends are letting us stay in their house in Chelsea so we need places to eat around there. With all the tickets etc the whole trip is quite costly so we don't need Michelin experience places. I mean I am from NY and can get fancy anytime and with our dollar so weak I want good places but not too expensive. For dinner I noted Le Colombier which is very close to where we will be staying. After walking all day we don't want to stray too far from our place, although a mile or two is ok. I also noted Bumpkin, Bangkok, Bistro 15, and The Pig's Ear. Again all of these are close to where we are staying. All have some good ratings and some bad. So I am at a loss. We like all kinds of food except Indian.

We have to go one night near to the South Kensington Tube station so a few choices in this area would be good too.

For one lunch I need a place in the tourist area where we will be seeing the sights.We will be finishing the Tower of London and will be in the ST Paul's area around lunch one day and would like a place near there. Or since we will be walking back toward Westmister and Parliament area we could eat any place for lunch between there and St Paul area.I made a quick reservation for 28-50 based on my Michelin Guide. But really I am wide open. I have looked at so many restaurants I am going crazy and so ask for help here as I always get great advice.

The only meal I have planned is a Afternoon TEa for our first night as we can eat at 5:30 and then crash. Lastly we will be going to many classic pubs as we head south to Weymouth where the sailing is taking place. But if you guys think a good London pub is a choice then that is ok too.

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  1. You might be our first Olympic Hound. Welcome.

    I expect that you already know, but Chelsea is not famed for cheapness! However, value can be found.

    Try The Admiral Cod:

    Or the Noor Jahan (some Hounds not keen, but I like it):

    You've already clocked Bangkok, which is not expensive, and very close to Sth. Ken. tube.

    The St Paul's to Westminster walk takes you right past the Fleet Street branch of El Vino wine bars, which is where I would go:

    I had their excellent 5 cheese ploughman's lunch with a shared bowl of chips in another branch for lunch yesterday. It's NOT on any diet you'll ever see|

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robin Joy

      Bangkok gross -- don't bother (NYC Thai is much better than London I think).

      Do a search South Kensington -- lots of options.

      1. there are plenty of not-so expensive choices in the area! i'd try and go for stuff you can't score that easily in nyc.

        a) al-dar, kings road or beirut express, old brompton road. both good lebanese counters, inexpensive. i prefer al-dar.

        b) bosphorous kebab house, old brompton road. good turkish kebab grill. a meal for 6 quid.

        c) rocca di pappa, old brompton road pizza made by the owners of franco manca. personally, i'd consider the car service costs to chiswick high street and back worth it to go to franco manca.

        d) brindisa, around the corner from south ken tube for spanish tapas

        e) le pescalou, fulham road. fruit, veg, cheese etc sourced from france. a nice selection of pre cooked things made fresh daily.

        f) gessler at daquise, thurloe street. legendary polish restaurant. excellent (see limsters review)

        g) polish hearth club, 55 princes gate. if you have any curiosity re: ww2, this place is a must. its where teh poles met when fighting ww2, and the the room is steeped in that history. it also has al fresco dining overlooking a lovely garden square. food is ok, but thats not really the point.

        h) la cave a fromage, cromwell place. outstanding french cheese shop. buy some baguette, some cheese, some wine from handford wines on old brompton road and you are in business. or sit at the (small) seating section in the shop, same idea.

        2 Replies
        1. re: howler

          Al-Dar on Kings Rd being renovated right now, and is thus closed.

          Sampler is a great wine shop with machines which dispense wines to sample -- cheese and charcuterie plates are good way to snack and drink!

          1. re: brokentelephone

            Thanks for letting me know and for the information about Sampler

        2. Just over a block from the South Kensington station is Bosphorus Kebabs, my favorite kebab shop in London. It is not really a sit down restaurant, but it has a few cramped tables inside, and two tables outside. We've been eating there for nearly thirty years, and I am always disappointed any time we go to London and do not get there. The food is excellent and very cheap. Last summer, our family of three ate a filling lunch at Bosphorus for under 20 GBP.

          Unlike the stereotype, this food is very fresh and there is no mystery meat involved. The hot sauce is especially tasty, so do not skip it. Kebabs are nearly as central to the British take-away experience as fish and chips, so don't miss this. There is a good chance it will be your favorite meal of your visit.

          8 Replies
          1. re: lexdevil

            Why is bospherous so different than other kebab stands?

            1. re: brokentelephone

              at the bosph kebab price point, kebabs are almost always over cooked, dry and probably inferior meat.

              but bosph kebab house has good quality meat, the kebabs are succulent and the chilli sauce is moreish.


              1. re: howler

                Yes! I was ruined for kebabs because Bosphorus was the first place I had them, back when I was a college student visiting London on an extremely limited budget. South Kensington is usually quite out of the way for us when we're staying in London these days, but we make the trek because I have not found any place else that can touch Bosphorus.

                1. re: lexdevil

                  lexdevil This place sounds great, thanks. Is the hot sauce really really hot? We aren't into flaming hot and it would be good to know in advance.LOL

                  1. re: clarkgranny

                    Spicy, but not deadly. Get at least a bit of it because the flavor is so good. The bread and veggies will help cool you down.

                2. re: howler

                  I only ask because Bospherous is my local and I've never really ever had kebabs from anywhere else.

                  My only qualm is that they don't make pita wrap sandwiches, and they don't have chips.

              2. re: lexdevil

                One more question: do they serve alcohol? Probably not but thought I would ask. I checked out web site but couldn't tell.We are definitely going there at least once. Thanks again

                1. re: clarkgranny

                  I don't recall any alcohol. This is, basically, a take-away place. As casual as it gets, but very tasty. There is an Oddbins wine shop just down the street and a couple of convenience stores right by the Tube station if you want to try the DIY approach. Consider it an urban picnic.

              3. st pauls - westminster: you aren't really walking back are you? it is a good 2 miles or thereabouts. anyhow, if you finish up at st. pauls, try and take in postmans park about 5 minutes away. then walk over to charterhouse square and eat at cafe du marche. if time permits, take in smithfields and st. bartholomews church, which has a bit left over pre-the great fire. wonderful stuff.

                2 Replies
                1. re: howler

                  If I was to do Postman's Park and St Barts, I would probably opt for Vinoteca over Cafe du Marche for the lower price point. Although I do like both.

                  1. re: seddon

                    yep, thats a good alternative. come to think of it, so is st. john.