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6 Days, 6 Nights in London

Hi All,

I am travelling to London with my girlfriend in October and am hoping for some restaurant advice. We are both in our mid-20s and love food, and are looking for a mix of the highbrow and lowbrow. I already have reservations at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and St. John, and am trying to get into The Fat Duck (I woke up twice at 5AM EDT but am only on the waiting list).

To make this somewhat easier on everyone here - and provide a change from blind recommendations - I'll sort of map out categories and you can make suggestions. Also, any advice for improving our chances at The Fat Duck is greatly appreciated...

Cutting Edge (Expensive) - Trying for The Fat Duck, have The Square booked as a backup but other ideas welcome
Cutting Edge (Inexpensive)
Fish and Chips
Indian/Pakistani Food (Inexpensive)
Steak - Would like to try British beef; have heard Hawksmoor is a safe bet
Can't Miss (somewhere I *have* to go, for whatever reason - historical, unique, quintessentially "British", etc...)

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  1. For the expensive backup I would also look at the Ledbury.
    The general consensus about Steak seems to be either Goodman or Hawksmoor. I prefer Hawksmoor, but both are pretty safe bets in my opinion.

    5 Replies
    1. re: germanchris

      Or look wider than simply "steak" to try our beef.

      Say, the Beef Wellington at Simpsons (or their steak & kidney pudding). Or the braised beef at Rules. Or the roast sirloin at Wiltons. All three definite "London destinations".

      1. re: Harters

        Thanks, these are good suggestions. I definitely do intend on trying some steak & kidney pudding as well.

        1. re: rrems

          Unfortunately the Ledbury is booked but I can probably have my hotel's concierge make me a reservation there instead of The Square.

          1. re: leftover_salmon

            The Square is a fantastic restaurant, if your concierge can't get you into the Ledbury then I'd have no hesitation going to the Square.

      2. Cutting edge - Hedone.

        1. Here is a past thread on fish & chips in London:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884544

          You can use the search feature in the upper right-hand corner to search for past threads on specific dining topics, such as steak.

          1. Indian/Pakistani Food (Inexpensive)
            =====================================
            Lahori Nihari
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852978

            Tayyabs or its clone, Needoo Grill
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878427

            For a slightly more "central" location, Raavi Kebab
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/902445

            1 Reply
            1. re: klyeoh

              I love Needoo. My favourite for a curry and cheaper than Needo is Meraz, which is on Hanbury St, off Brick Lane. Stay away from the formulaic curry houses along the Lane itself.

            2. Here are some other options for central London, all of which we have been to a lot of times ( perhaps that is why the scales keep going up!). You are right to ask advise as there are some appalling tourist traps, especially in London. Personally, I dont like the Fat Duck but Hawksmoor is very good.

              Another expensive option is a small restaurant that opened a cople of months ago and is fabuluous. It is the five fields in chelsea http://www.fivefieldsrestaurant.com - proper fine dining and still under the main London restaurant radar. Tipped to get a michelin star so the prices will probably rocket then,unfortunately.
              Other less expensive options are
              Bedford and strand, proper wine bar with good food.
              http://www.bedford-strand.com/
              Terroirs - very french and informal with a lot of meat on the menu! http://terroirswinebar.com
              The Opera Tavern is also informal Tapas and excellent http://www.operatavern.co.uk/
              Clos Maggiore is a bit more upmarket and seriously romantic (if that is what you want) http://www.closmaggiore.com/
              The Delaunay is probably mid range price wise and has a great menu http://www.thedelaunay.com/

              I would stress that you will need to book all of these in advance!

              Enjoy.

              2 Replies
              1. re: WendyPhillips

                Wendy is right. Seriously bad food in the tourist traps. Stay away from the main road to eat and away from the sights but then this is true of every city. Where are you staying?

                1. re: Calam1ty

                  We are staying at the Baglioni in Kensington. Tourist-trap central, I'm sure!

                  Right now I have Hedone, The Square, Dinner and St. John booked. I'd like to reserve the last two nights for more casual/ad hoc dining.