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London reservations june 2013 - opinions?


I\m going to London early in june for 6 days, my reservations is;

The Waterside Inn for dinner.
The Hinds Head - lunch
Cambio de Tercio - late dinner
__________ - lunch
Ledbury - Dinner
Hereford Arms - lunch
___________ - dinner
Brawn - lunch
St:John Smithfield - dinner
____________ - lunch
Alyn Williams - dinner
The Wolsely - Breakfast

As you can see I`ve got two lunches and one dinner open. As you can see I like french/modern european and being in London I`ve like also to eat "british". Do you have any suggestion? I`m also very fond of beer and is considering CASK Pub and Kitchen. Anyone been there? Is there other food things I should do? I`m arriving on a saturday and leaving thursday morning so the markets are closed I belive?


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  1. You've got some very good picks there for modern Euro/Brit. And your dinner at the Waterside will be stunner of a French meal.

    Maybe something more "traditional British", like Rules, would sit well with your selection.

    On the beer side of things, it may be worthwhile doing separate research to find good pubs with good beer - not necessarily trying to combine them with eating. The website of the London branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) will be a good starting point - http://www.camralondon.org.uk/


    1. Any reason you're keen on Cambio de Tercio?

      If I were going for Spanish I'd probably go for Jose or Pizarro (both owned by the same chef Jose Pizarro and likely the best Spanish food in London at the moment).

      You're already hitting Hereford Arms for your pub meal, but Bull & Last is another option for another great pub meal. It's in Highgate Village and very close to Southampton Arms pub (with an excellent selection of all independent ales and ciders -- truly a lovely lovely pub). I love the brew as well, so I would personally have a pint (or however many you're keen on) at lunch at the Bull & Last, and then walk down to the Southampton Arms and continue drinking. It's not too far from central London and is easily accessible by bus or taxi.

      7 Replies
      1. re: brokentelephone

        Doing a trip in June as well. I'll be going to San Sebastian as well, but was thinking of going to Barrafina for the tapas. In SS, I was planning on doing more of the modernist cuisine fine-dining and the pintxos - so not really tapas.

        Do you prefer Jose over Barrafina?

        1. re: deepfry7

          It may be showing my ignorance but aren't Pintxos and Tapas simply different regional names for basically the same thing? OK some dishes vary from region to region but conceptually the same - and lots of dshes are fairly standard across regions. Barafina is good for London but SS bars are in a very different league - even the traditional ones.

          1. re: PhilD

            I'm fairly novice to the native Spanish cuisine. I just always thought pintxos were more like foods you can stick a cocktail stick in and are more like snacks. When I hear tapas, I think more composed dishes, but just on the smaller/appetizer side. Like I didn't think a seared foie gras dish could be considered pintxos, but easily we'd call it tapas-sized in the US, where I'm from.

            If I "don't need" to go to Barafina - all the better. I can try other excellent London restaurants. I just had such a great meal at a place like Cal Pep in Barcelona a few years back that I thought a place like Barafina would mimic that kind of meal.

            1. re: deepfry7

              Phil's right tapas and pintxos are basically the same thing. Historically you would technically say that pintxos was the cocktail stick food but in SS you will eat seared fois gras and it will be termed pintxos.

              If you're going to SS then definitely don't go to Barrafina or any of London's Spanish places including Cambio de Tercio in my view. Wait and go get the real thing at A fuara negro and Mugaritz!

              1. re: ManInTransit

                Thanks, ManInTransit. Happen to be going to Mugaritz as well!

        2. re: brokentelephone

          The reason for Cambio de Tercio is that I``ve ate there before, and liked it very much. It also felt like a good place for a late dinner on a saturday night. But maybe I have to reconsider, Jose and Pizarro looked very nice. But they dont take reservations.. Maybe a problem on saturday night?

          1. re: jorn77

            That could be a problem indeed if you're adverse to waiting and/or not eating. I'm very pro-reservation, in both my support of Native North Americans, and in my preference of booking at restaurants so would probably avoid Jose & Pizarro, if I were you (I'm not you, ok?).

            Deepfry7: London has been on a bit of a Spain bender as of late, and there are quite a few very good Spanish spots, (Barafina being one of the best), but many of the menu's are kind of heavy on chorizo and tortillas and the like. I'm a fan of Iberica which is run by a 2 michelin starred chef from Spain (whose name is Nacho which is also a type of pretty good chip so??). I haven't read much about it here but I believe it's the best Spanish in London, plus it was the first place I tried Alhambra beer and as a guy very keen on beers without labels (akin to Doctors without Borders for a drunkard) I've got a special place in my heart for it.

        3. I've been to the Hinds Head quite a few times - you won't be disappointed. Be sure to order the chips and the pea soup is usually very special, too.

          I like Bistrot Bruno Loubet for modern/French. The beetroot ravioli is a winner, and the rest of the menu is cooked to perfection and interesting.. and good service.

          1. Hedone is really good and modern. Not alt about it on Chowhound but very well liked by many respected food writers.

            3 Replies
            1. re: PhilD

              Sounds very promising. I read your report as well. Very nice.

              1. re: PhilD

                Would totally back Phil up on that. Hedone is the best meal that I've had in a long time (probably since The Ledbury which you're going to and just beating Alyn Williams which you're also going to!). It's not overly fussy, just stunningly good food where the ingredient is allowed to sing.

                1. re: AWaiting

                  Just had to listen to you guys. I now got a reservation for dinner at Hedone. His sourcing for ingredients sounds feels very assuring.

              2. The cask is a great pub, I'd also recommend one of the craft beer co pubs as well. There's 3 around London. The best pubs are to be found around islington, clerkenwell and east London. But plenty of other areas are starting to catch up and offer a good beer pub or two.

                1. If you are interested in British seafood, I suggest J. Sheekey, between the National Gallery and Covent Garden.


                  1. If you're thinking of the Wolseley, maybe you can consider its newer, (much) more spacious sibling, The Delaunay.

                    Some of the breakfast options we tried (pics below). I had the black-and-white pudding, blanketed with fried duck's eggs on toast. Absolutely delicious.

                    Address details
                    The Delaunay
                    55 Aldwych
                    London WC2B 4BB
                    Tel:+44 20 7499 8558

                    1. All these options are great - Hedone and perhaps Texture would be great additions to that itinerary.

                      A dinner at the Delaunay is also a great idea.

                      1. Thanks so much for all recommendations. so many options, so little time. decisions, decisions..

                        1. If someone said to me that they were picking my restaurants for the next 6 days and gave me your list I'd be a happy boy.

                          I agree with Harters that if you like to eat British you should think about Rules.
                          Also echo MIT's advice Hedone, Texture or Roganic would be a good counterpoint to what's already on the list.

                          For beer I would suggest The Harp in Covent Garden, The Blackfriar near Blackfriars station and Euston Tap and the Cider Tap outside Euston Station or the Draft House near Tower Bridge.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Paprikaboy

                            Isnt the Euston Tap the place that used to be run by the American bloke who won Masterchef a year or so back?

                            1. re: Harters

                              He's left the Tap to open a Southern Japanese place in Shoreditch.


                              1. re: Paprikaboy

                                Sadly, I believe the building he we going to move into fell through. He's doing plenty of popups though, recently did one at Dukes.

                                I agree about the Taps and Harp being great pubs. Don't know the last time you went to the Draft House on Tower Bridge, but it's gone downhill recently and there's much better pubs in the area (the Dean Swift, Simon the Tanner or the Rake)

                                Basically, the best way to find decent pubs in London is to download the Craft Beer London app http://craftbeerlondon.bluecrowmedia.com

                          2. Definitely try the Magdalen near London Bridge. Superb ingredients, excellent technique.

                            1. Have anyone tried the tasting menu with matching beers at Alyn Williams? I`m very fond of beers, but AW feels like a restaurant you would like to drink french wines...

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: jorn77

                                They do beer matching for the tasting menu, so why not?
                                I was at the Jugged Hare last week and went up to the bar after I saw the menu and devised my own beer matches and had a different one for each course. A very different feel to AW but hey who cares?
                                Looking at the AW menu the technique may be French but a lot of the ingredients are classically British. Britain is a brewing nation not a wine nation and I'm a big advocate of beer with food.

                                1. re: jorn77

                                  Although, the room at AW is grand I found the staff to be really relaxed and friendly if you wanted to engage with them. I actually ended up spending 10 mins in the kitchen by the pass at the invite of the MD, chatting away to him and Alyn. I certainly wouldn't be ashamed of ordering the beer tasting; they seem very proud of it. The MD explained to me how they'd formed a bit of a partnership with Sharps brewery to try and come up with some food matched beers. I actually mixed in a few beers with my wine flight and they went very well. They aren't just your standard run of the mill British beers. For example there was a Belgium style coriander infused Tripel which was served with the Foie Gras and I thought that it went extremely well.

                                  1. re: AWaiting

                                    Sounds like a very nice experience, think I will go for it. Im becoming more and more interested in beer&food matching.