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Lunch recommendations by museums & critique my dinner reservations

After lenghty consultation of these boards and all your very good advice, I have dinners pretty much set, but open to changes. Before we get into that, a few last minute recommendations:

1 - Going to take our time vising Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament/ Whitehall, and the National Gallery/ National Portrait Gallery. Any good casual recommendations along the way?

2 - Plan on checking out Bombay Brasserie. The day that works best in the schedule is Sunday, when they seem to have a lunch buffet. How does this rate in terms of quality? Is it vastly different than their usual offerings? Are reservations required?

3 - I'm going to the Royal Opera House on Tuesday evening. I've read a few posts on Scott's in Mayfair, which makes it sounds appealing. I'm thinking of either a late lunch or early dinner here before the opera (with plenty of time to get from Mayfair to CG). How does that sound? Any other recommendations?

4 - Any great locales for pre- or post-opera drinks?

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Here's what I've reserved for dinner. Interested in your thoughts:

St. John
The Square
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Gymkhanna

Many thanks!

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  1. Dinners look great. Opera Tavern near ROH maybe more convenient than Scotts - they serve very good tapas. Bombay Brasserie does a good buffet (probably better than their ALC) but as you have Gymkhanna in the mix it may not be as good.

    Terroirs near Charing Cross isn't too far from many of the sights.

    1. Dinners;
      St:John, Go for it. You can have Bread or Wine for a more informal setting, or Harwood Arms(the chefs from St John), havent been but looks pretty good. But I would go for the St John Restaurant. Check out their menus online, they are changing. They also have specials for the day.

      Im sure Dinner is nice, but its not The Fat Duck. Just check out how many seatings their got. Im sure there are other "big" meals in London someone can suggest.

      I would have changed the Square. Go for Ledbury. Had a great meal last year in any sense of the word. Almost perfect, its my opinion.But from what I have read they are a safer choise to modern french.

      To add something I would recommend Hedone, its in Chiswick, but really worth it. My top priority for a trip to London.

      For Gymkhana I dont know, so hope somebody can help us through the jungle of all those indians..

      7 Replies
      1. re: jorn77

        "Harwood Arms(the chefs from St John)"

        Is that correct. Brett Graham is co-owner of the Harwood and Brett is chef at the Ledbury (prior to that band in Sydney). The current chef at the Harwood is Anthony Hill is he ex-St John?

        It is a really good food pub especially in game season (August onwards) as one of the other co-owners, Mike Robinson, is runs a game business (and pub) in Berkshire.

        1. re: PhilD

          Im sorry, Im sure you are right. Do I mix up with some other London gastropub?

          1. re: PhilD

            Hereford Road, Tom Pemberton, formerly head cheaf for Bread and Wine My mistake..

            1. re: jorn77

              I think Tom was one of the first of the alumni to branch out - I didn't realise he was at B&W rather than the mothership.

              1. re: PhilD

                <It says so at their website, but my point was that there is some good alternatives to St John.,

                1. re: jorn77

                  Agree - its amazing to think St John has been going for 20 years. I enjoyed in its early days and it was pretty novel, but now the style is much more common (thankfully) due to the renaissance of classic British cooking) so I feel other places are often better options.

                  In some ways it reminds me of Chez Panisse, which is another place that was fantastiically groundbreaking in its day but now seems like a national monument that you must visit on a trip to San Francisco in order to wallow in foodie history (really glad I went but its now ticked off the list).

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Just read this Phil and think it's absolutely accurate - chimes with my meal at Chez Panisse and recent experiences at St John.

        2. Re museum lunches: both the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery have pretty good restaurants. Terroirs - excellent French charcuterie and 'tapas' plus interesting wines - is near Whitehall/Trafalgar Square.