Vegetarian and Non-Veg Looking for British fare
I am travelling to London for a conference in September and am bringing along my husband for his first trip to the UK. We will be based out of Westminster, near Oxford Circus, for 10 days, and will be taking some side trips (Bath, Canterbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, and ??). I'm a historical fiction writer and am always looking for a good historically-influenced meal. More than that though, I am looking for any suggestions of outstanding British-style fare in any price bracket, with one meal in a nicer range (£40 - £60/person, alcohol not included).
I don't mind "British takes" on other ethnic cuisines but am really looking for styles that I can't find elsewhere. What is uniquely British? I am vegetarian, which I realize makes things more complicated, but I am also looking for omnivore options for the husband. I have done a search but am a little overwhelmed. If I can give info to help narrow this request, I'm certainly willing, and am grateful for your help!
A CA hound
two historically inspired menus would be found at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Marcus Wareing's Gilbert Scott. neither is cheap but lunches offer good value. you'll need to book asap. Dinner tends to get better reviews.
thinking more widely about vegetarian food, i had a lovely meal at The Modern Pantry last weekend and their menu has some great veggie dishes. if you go, have acocktail at the Zetter Townhouse before/after - it's got an eccentric english vibe.
There are few vegetarian dishes that are "uniquely British", although we have a long tradition of vegetarianism. The Vegetarian Society was formed in my part of the world (north west England) in 1847 and its headquarters are still a few minutes drive away.
You will find restaurants at all levels will have at least one veggie choice on the menu - although these can often be pretty dismal (and certainly wouldnt tempt this omnivore towards them).
By September, we will be in full swing of the game season and this probably holds the "unique British" opportunity for your husband. My knowledge of London restaurants isn't sufficient for me to make a suggestion where good game cookery might also be teamed with a good veggie choice but, hopefully, someone local will be able to have some ideas.
If you're a vegetarian, don't miss Ottolenghi in Islington or its sister restaurant, Nopi, which is very close to Oxford Circus. Westminster is not really all that close to Oxford Circus, but London is actually very easy to navigate, and you can eat anywhere with no problems.
Being from CA, you can probably skip Chinese which is so fantastic where you are. Maybe Lebanese at Ishbilia would be good for both you and the husband or one of the better South Asian restaurants for vegetarian options and/or the 'other.' Woodlands off of Marylebone High St. is very nice, and I like The Cinnamon Club in Westminster... also weekend brunch at Bombay Brasserie.