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6 Days, 6 Nights in London

leftover_salmon Aug 20, 2013 11:25 AM

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. g
    germanchris RE: leftover_salmon Aug 20, 2013 01:08 PM

    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
      Harters RE: germanchris Aug 20, 2013 01:32 PM

      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
        leftover_salmon RE: Harters Aug 21, 2013 08:32 AM

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

      2. re: germanchris
        rrems RE: germanchris Aug 21, 2013 08:30 PM

        The Ledbury, absolutely.

        1. re: rrems
          leftover_salmon RE: rrems Aug 22, 2013 06:53 AM

          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
            ManInTransit RE: leftover_salmon Aug 22, 2013 07:02 AM

            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.

      3. PhilD RE: leftover_salmon Aug 20, 2013 03:06 PM

        Cutting edge - Hedone.

        1. d
          DavidT RE: leftover_salmon Aug 21, 2013 10:32 AM

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


          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. k
            klyeoh RE: leftover_salmon Aug 21, 2013 08:45 PM

            Indian/Pakistani Food (Inexpensive)
            Lahori Nihari

            Tayyabs or its clone, Needoo Grill

            For a slightly more "central" location, Raavi Kebab

            1 Reply
            1. re: klyeoh
              Calam1ty RE: klyeoh Aug 25, 2013 03:58 PM

              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. w
              WendyPhillips RE: leftover_salmon Aug 22, 2013 12:08 AM

              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.
              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!


              2 Replies
              1. re: WendyPhillips
                Calam1ty RE: WendyPhillips Aug 25, 2013 04:09 PM

                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
                  leftover_salmon RE: Calam1ty Aug 26, 2013 12:57 PM

                  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.

              2. c
                Calam1ty RE: leftover_salmon Aug 25, 2013 04:07 PM

                I book through toptable.com for deals. The Chancery usually has good deals. I like Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Grand. The Corner Room or Viajante - Michel Bib and star respectively at the Town Hall Hotel, Bethnal Green tube. See my other answer re curry if you want inexpensive. Borough Market - check the hours at http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk and eat at the roadside. Coffee at Monmouth just outside the Market on Park St. and explore the whole area between here and The TateModern. Hawksmoor - expensive but supposedly great. Lots of steak in London, lots of bad steak in London ;) Agreed re Simpsons on the Strand for a traditional roast but expect to PAY! www.afternoontea.co.uk and quite honestly Fortnum & Mason tea isn't as good as many of these places.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Calam1ty
                  brokentelephone RE: Calam1ty Aug 26, 2013 04:37 AM

                  Viajante great for cheapish michelin star, though I'd go there rather than Corner Room, solely due to the relatively minimal price disparity, but huge enjoyment gap (same chef, same building, one kind of a living room the other, Viajante, the main restaurant).

                  Simpson's on the Strand isn't crazy expensive at all, or even that great, though historic. If it were me I'd head to Rules for very old British, or Wiltons, though these can actually get rather £££. Rules top choice of 3.

                  Fish Chips - Fish Central, or Golden Hind depending on where you'll be (Fish Central being in East Endish, Golden Hind in lovely Marylebone Village and very central).

                2. Spiritchaser RE: leftover_salmon Sep 12, 2013 11:03 AM

                  Did you only try for dinner at The Fat Duck? If so, see if lunch has any availability, it's the exact same menu and you can get back to London and have the evening free.

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