Reporting back - 3 days in London
Thanks to all who offered advice for this itinerary. I am so glad I didn't miss out on either Hedone or Ledbury in favor of Dinner! I can't wait to come back.
Hit the ground running with a quick bite at Masters Superfish. Got the cod and chips: quite tasty, both well fried. Enormous amount of fresh food for 5 pounds, I'd return if I was a local!
Borough Market - as everyone says, come EARLY. I had no option but to come mid afternoon because of my schedule, so it was a cluster fudge and very unpleasant. I'm actually not sure that I even saw anything very appealing...
Dinner at Hedone - A very nice meal overall. This night was seafood-centric which was fine with me! Don't want to lengthen this post with too many details, I've pictures of most dishes on my Instagram. Bread is amazing.
Doughnut from St John Bread and Wine for breakfast - custard filling is lovely though the dough itself is not as amazing as I was expecting. A tad dry and bland, maybe it was my batch?
Lunch at Rules - Meh experience. Service was (mostly) snooty and the food just average. Smoked haddock soup to start was decent, pheasant and leek pie special was better, though small for the price and stingy with the pheasant. The mushrooms in the pie were of the boring white button supermarket variety. Apple crumble for dessert was good, especially with the custard. Kinda wish I had made the trek out to Bull and Last instead.
Dinner at the Ledbury - Fantastic rebound! Don't think there was a dud course and several standouts(St Nectaire toast with truffles!! Mackerel dish also lives up to the hype). Lovely service. I also slightly preferred the atmosphere here to Hedone.
Breakfast - Wanted to hit a few coffee shops and baked goods from Honey and Co. First up was a decent macchiato from Nude espresso. In hindsight, I realize it was the best out of all coffees I've had on my trip thus far(which is not saying much, coffee in Rome is not great). Honey and Co has lovely lovely people working there and I have high hopes for the jams I bought as gifts. Unfortunately the fig loaf and peanut butter cheesecake were disappointing. Dense, flavorless loaf with no discernible fig flavor and soggy untoasty walnuts. The cheesecakes texture was ok but again, no PB flavor. I took these to eat with at TAP, which had a drinkable macchiato. But the space is cute and the food looked pretty good; seemed popular.
Lunch at Nopi - I wasn't terribly hungry and wanted to save room for dinner at St John so I decided on small bites at Nopi over Trishna. I regret my decision. Service was amateurish and too cool for school. The highly recommended eggplant was so boring, I can't believe they charge people for that. The twice cooked chicken was uninteresting as well, needing the too sweet chili sauce to have any flavor. The only nice item was the truffled polenta chips, but that's something you can get done well pretty much anywhere. Would not return.
Dinner at St John - At least I chose my dinners well. Great meal here, loved the service. Started with the bone marrow(as everyone should) followed by the grilled ox heart with delicious sunchokes then Eccles cake for dessert with nice coffee from Caravan. They even steamed the milk for my coffee, and WELL! Perfect way to end the trip.
Have had the St John's donuts from their bakery on Druid Street, and there's definitely batch-to-batch variation. The bun can be stiff one day and fluffy another.
Had a pretty meh experience at Rules too. Venison was bland in the venison tartare, a decent quail but nothing special, grouse was moist but the potato chips that came with it was inert, duck breast was ordinary. Excellent sticky toffee pudding though. Could get better elsewhere and pay less -- Trinity comes to mind for game.
re: St Johns. Just had the Eccles cake with the crumbly Lancashire cheese -- a great match! The madeleines weren't as good as I remember (this time they were slightly darker than usual and not as light). Welsh rarebit and bone marrow were good and reliable.