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Visiting London from NYC. Please help critique itinerary (researched)

Hello, I'll be visiting London for the first time at the end of July for work. Based on what I've read on this board, I've come up with a list and was hoping for some feedback. Also, I have a fee meals that I'm still unsure of so any help in figuring that out will be appreciated :)

Arrive on Saturday morning around 7:30 AM:
- Breakfast - ?? (Need to decide)
- Lunch - Will probably graze around so that I don't fill up for dinner
- Dinner - The Ledbury

Sunday
- Lunch - ?? (Need to decide)
- Drink - Nightjar
- Dinner - ?? (Need to decide)

Monday
- Breakfast - Wolseley
- Drink - 69 Colebrooke Row
- Dinner - Clove Club

Tuesday
- Breakfast - Dishoom
- Dinner - Hedone

Wednesday
- Breakfast - Caravan
- Drink - Harp
- Dinner - Barrafina (the Adelaide street branch)

Thursday
- Breakfast - Hawksmoor Guildhall
- Dinner - Harwood Arms

Friday
- Breakfast - ?? (Need to decide)

Saturday
- Lunch - Green Man & French Horn
- Drink - Euston Tap
- Dinner - St. John

Sunday - I leave in the evening
- Lunch - ?? (Need to decide)

* I'd like to visit Master Superfish while I'm there.
* For desserts, I'd like to check out Paul A Young, Konditor & Cook, Gails, Bees of Bloomsbury & Ottolenghi.
* Coffee - I need to figure out how many can I fit but Monmouth, Flat White, Blacksmiths, Tap, Sacred, Taylor Street Baristas, Sacred Cafe, Workshop, Green & White, Kaffeine, Dose, Local Hero, Prufock, Cafe Fratelli, Lanterna, Timberyard, are on my list so far.
* I grew up in India which is why I skipped the likes of Trisna, Gymkhana, etc. Made an exception with Dishoom for breakfast.
* If I find time, I'll try to check out Borough Market some time.

What do you all think about the above?

Thank you!

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  1. If you feel up to it, you might want to head to the Borough Market on the Saturday morning you arrive.

    Yes, it is a bit of a mob scene. But there are snacks you can buy and a Monmouth coffee shop nearby. Over the couple of hours you spend grazing there you can take care of both breakfast & lunch.

    5 Replies
      1. re: DavidT

        Thanks! Looking into it.
        Any suggestions on which paces to hit? Based on what I read - bread ahead (custard donuts), konditor & cook (cakes), monmouth coffee, roast for lunch and neal's yard for some cheese.

        1. re: indiefoodie

          Bread Ahead does one of my favorite brownies, definitely check it out if you're into the fudgy variety. Tons of stalls do cheese, you're spoiled for choice there (although Neal's Yard is excellent). I particularly like one particular stall that does only olive oils and balsamic vinegars/glazes, and a unique one (although it sadly doesn't travel particularly well) is Pâté Moi, a company that makes a really interesting and delicious mushroom pâté.

          1. re: indiefoodie

            Konditor and Cook are my favourite for cakes (which is doubtless why we got our wedding cake from them!). Lovely old fashioned Victoria sponge, and the Curly Whirly cake.

        2. re: DavidT

          If you get to the market go to the Brindisi stall for a Chorizo sandwich. They are wonderful.

        3. Looks great overall. I'd have thought you could combine Nightjar with the Clove Club as they are slightly better fit geographically.

          Euston Tap isn't really worth a special trip I don't think. Maybe put Colebrooke Row to Saturday and then enjoy the walk down St John Street to St John (25 mins walk probably) You can also go to Paul A Young on Camden passage on your way to Colebrooke if you're in time.

          Why not do Sunday lunch at a proper gastropub - Draper's Arms, Anchor and Hope or Bull & Last. The Harwood Arms does a good impression but is essentially a restaurant.

          I quite like the Modern Pantry for breakfast but I wouldn't go miles out of your way for it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ManInTransit

            Thank you! I updated my reservations at Nightjar and Colebrooke Row as per your suggestion.

            Would you happen to have a suggestion to replace Euston Tap with? Cask & Pub Kitchen maybe? NYC has pretty decent beer and cocktails so I was just trying to hit a few places that I may not necessarily find here. I read that cask beer is pretty big in London and it's not here.

            The gastropubs that you mentioned are the ones that I considered with Harwood. I understand that in terms of atmosphere, Harwood leans towards a restaurant but purely in terms of food, is Harwood and one of the others very different?

            Thank you for your help!

            1. re: indiefoodie

              The Cask in Pimlico is fantastic and the Craft Beer Co on Leather Lane is also great (there are other branches of CBC as well).

              Harwood has excellent food and purely on that you've probably made the right choice, on a trip in from NYC I'd be slightly tempted to go to a slightly more pubby pub but you can't really go wrong.

              1. re: ManInTransit

                Agree on the Harwood vs the Bull & Last. Both great, but the Harwood has the better food, the Bull & Last has really good food but is more pubby . Both worth a visit depends on what you want.

                Second the Craft Beer Company recommendation on Leather Lane and it's not too far to then walk to St John.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Thank you! I noticed that Craft Beer Co. has multiple locations. Is the Leather Lane location better then the others?

                  1. re: indiefoodie

                    To be honest on been to the Leather Lane one - but my beer monster friend speaks highly of all of them - I recommend trying one of their pork pies as a snack with the beer.

          2. I wouldn't bother with Bea's for dessert. Ever since it expanded into a mini chain I feel the quality has declined. If you're not coming from a place which does good French patisserie, I'd go to Patisserie des Reves in Marylebone instead.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tavegyl

              Thank you! NYC has decent pastry (not in the same league as Paris or Tokyo I guess but OK) so I'll skip these places. Would you happen to have some dessert spots in London that you think are must-do's? Thanks!

            2. I don't know if you are into chocolates, but besides the usual places mentioned, the selection at Selfridge's is newly expanded and pretty terrific.

              You might like a breakfast at Kopapa (Seven Dials area). The food is very good and it's a nice, central location.

              1 Reply
              1. re: zuriga1

                Thank you. I'll keep this in mind.

              2. Are you missing an afternoon tea experience?

                5 Replies
                1. re: Foxeyblue

                  I was considering afternoon tea (Brown's, Montcalm) but when I looked at their menus, they did not seem like they fell under the "must have" category. Is that not true? I understand that the tea experience is very local but I did not want to do it only for the experience if the food wasn't special. Thanks.

                  1. re: indiefoodie

                    I'm not a huge fan of the full fledged afternoon tea, but I do like just a cream tea, with scones and clotted cream. Dean Street Townhouse has a well-regarded one, but my personal favourite is at Orange Pekoe in Barnes, where you get the bonus of some very pretty walks in the vicinity (including across the river to Hedone - one ugly bit along the way, but a pleasant stroll otherwise). I am also very fond of Orange Pekoe's teas. Both places also do afternoon tea, but I've never tried it.

                    1. re: indiefoodie

                      The afternoon teas here can be very good... not to mention filling. They're better than anything I ever had in NYC. I did like the one at the Montcalm.. lots and lots to eat and beautiful service.

                      1. re: indiefoodie

                        Fortnums for tea is pretty amazing, but really very filling!

                        1. re: indiefoodie

                          I quite like the themed ones. A bit more fun. Like this for example: http://www.onealdwych.com/food-drink/...

                          http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaura...
                          But it really does depend what floats your digestive biscuit, so to speak.

                      2. I found Masters Superfish to be not that great, and certainly not worth all its hype, the one time I went. YMMV. Paul A Young, on the other hand, is FABULOUS.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: kooshball5

                          Thanks. Is there a fish n chips place that you think is very good?

                          1. re: indiefoodie

                            Given how much of a staple/stereotype it is here, it's surprisingly difficult to find a place that's really on-point. The Golden Hind in Marylebone was good, and I've heard Poppies in Spitalfields is as well.

                            1. re: kooshball5

                              That's the problem with stereotypes. Visitors to our country expect to find the fish & chips will be amazing and awesome. I'm really not sure why. Most fish and chips are awful - fish batch fried and kept warm on the steamer shelf (getting soggier by the minute); chips peeled hours in advance and kept white by the use of chemicals before being fried at too low a temperature to give even a hint of crispness.

                              It really is a rare occurance to come across f & c done really well. Even in the north. The poorness of f & c in the south is the stuff of legends (albeit probably legends created by northerners - but then we did invent f & c, so have an historical claim on it).

                              Of course, the absolute best fish & chips (where the soggy fish and underfried potato come into their own) are eaten walking home after too many pints of bitter at the pub.

                              1. re: Harters

                                Soggy chips smothered in curry sauce whilst walking home on a freezing winters night after a many beers is the stuff of memories. We couldn't afford fish in them days so if we we're flush we had the deep fried saveloy.

                                1. re: PhilD

                                  I first came to live where I am now in about 1962 (moved away after I got married, then returned). The chippy was well known for selling fish & chips. Just fish, chips & peas. No curry sauce - the guy used to get quite stroppy if anyone asked for it - "we don't sell that foreign muck" sort of response. Not even Hollands pies. He must be turning in his grave ever since it became a Chinese takeaway.

                            2. re: indiefoodie

                              I would also recommend The Golden Hind. It's high on many lists and you won't go wrong.

                              1. re: zuriga1

                                Poppies won the "Independent F & C Shop" of the year award for 2014. It didnt actually win the regional final for London and the South East so I assume this was somethng of a consolation prize as it's so long since any London outlet won anything in the Awards.

                                Gotta be worth a try?

                              2. re: indiefoodie

                                Geall's on Farmer Street near Notting Hill Gate tube station.

                            3. Thank you everyone for the helpful advice. I still have a few spots that I need to fill up:

                              1. Sunday lunch
                              2. Sunday dinner
                              3. Sunday lunch 2

                              Any recommendations for these places? Also, I know that London does Indian food way better then NYC. Are there any more cuisines like this? Thanks!

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: indiefoodie

                                Sedap is open Sunday evening and does great nyonya cuisine - not sure how good that is in NY.

                                Sunday lunch it's very tempting to say you should do a proper pub in addition to the Harwood on Thursday.

                                Persian food you can get at both ends of London either Mohsen in West London or Gilak in Holloway. We were once the only diners at Sunday lunch in the latter but the food is incredible, try the lamb meatballs with sour pomegranate. There was a chowdown there once as well I believe.

                                1. re: ManInTransit

                                  I'm open to another pub but I was just a little concerned that the food at Harwood and the other place may be very similar.

                                  1. re: indiefoodie

                                    I wouldn't worry too much about the B&L and the Harwood being similar. Yes they are pubs but the cooking style and execution is quite different as is the atmosphere.

                                    1. re: indiefoodie

                                      Yes I agree with Phil - Harwood Thursday night and Bull & Last for Sunday lunch with a walk across Hampstead Heath definitely isn't overkill.

                                  2. re: indiefoodie

                                    Sunday lunch - the Bull & Last with a walk on the Heath that is in the area. It's nice to get into some London parkland and finish with a big traditional Sunday roast.m

                                    1. re: indiefoodie

                                      Thank you everyone! I made a reservation for a Sunday lunch at B&L.
                                      @ManInTransit - thanks for the Sedap recommendation. Not sure how good is NYC but there are some places that do it.
                                      2 more to go :) Saturday dinner (and a bar) + a Sunday lunch before my evening flight.

                                      1. re: indiefoodie

                                        I know this will sound silly, but for your last lunch maybe you'd like to see how Balthazar looks and tastes in London. You can stroll around Covent Garden and then eat there. Despite my many meals at the NYC branch, I still get a kick eating at the one that's now closer to where I live.

                                        I recently read about a new Asian-fusion place that's just opened.. menu by a Michelin star, Japanese chef. I like the sound of their soft-shelled crab with chili mayonnaise sandwich. Kopapa makes one that's very good.

                                        http://pacata.co.uk/

                                        Saturday dinner... splash out at Locanda Locatelli - good service and very nice Italian food.

                                        1. re: indiefoodie

                                          Saturday dinner - you could go somewhere that offers a nice view of London, most places you have picked are ground level. Galvin Windows, Duck & Waffle and Pont de la Tour are all worth looking into.

                                          Bars - Nightjar and Coalbrooke are so-so - really I'd add a bit of London glamour instead and go to the Rivoli Bar at the Ritz and if you want really good cocktails (like what you are looking for at Nightjar and CR) go to Lounge Bohemia and call ahead to book their cocktail tasting menu. It's amazing and the best cocktails (served with nibbles) you will find in London in an interesting venue. I also like The Gilbert Scott in St Pancras Hotel and The Savoy's American Bar has never changed (just replaced) their decor and the cocktails are brilliant and made with real skill. Also for something very British go and have a martini at Dukes Hotel (and a wander down nearby Jermyn Street for some true British tailoring history and lovely arcades).

                                          Sunday lunch - look at Medlar in Chelsea or pre-order the foie gras stuffed black leg chicken from La Petite Maison - it feels like an indulgent Sunday lunch and better than the usual combo of meat, veg and Yorkshire puts (yawn). Ottolenghi is popular in London and could offer you Persian for breakfast at his restaurant NOPI.

                                          I'll also second not to bother with Masters Superfish (and I don't like Poppies) but try Geale's in Chelsea and also agree with The Golden Hind.

                                          Other suggestions: One place you might like to consider is Palomar - probably the most interesting "foodie" restaurant in London right now that shows exactly what we are all interested in eating. The papers are full of Balzac's Chiltern Firehouse and while the food is good it is just like being in NY so don't be sucked in by the hype. If you are going to Clove Club also look at Lyle's.

                                          I dont agree with Balthazar but Locanda Locatelli is very good and don't forget Gordon Ramsey Hospital Road.

                                          Have a great trip!

                                          1. re: kristaneon

                                            Thank you. How would you compare Palomar to The Green Man & French Horn in terms of food? I was originally planning to go to the latter but after your suggestion, I looked at the former's menu. To me it looks a little more exciting and harder to find (if at all) in NYC than GM&FH. But, I haven't read a lot about Palomar, probably because it's new. Thanks.

                                            1. re: indiefoodie

                                              Sorry I didn't see this in time to reply… how was your stay? What did you decide on and what are your verdicts?

                                            2. re: kristaneon

                                              Medlar and Lyle's are great suggestions - opposites in some ways. I've not been to Lyle's but have eaten James Lowe's cooking many times over the years and he is incredibly talented.

                                              I would have to question the suggestions of an array of hotel bars. All perfectly nice but it seems to me the OP has done his research and clearly hasn't gone for the Savoy/Dukes/Connaught/Ritz bars for a reason.

                                              For a bit of old world London glamour I really like the bar upstairs at Rules.

                                              1. re: ManInTransit

                                                Oh yes Rules, good thinking! All this "helping" is making me want a drink :)

                                            3. re: indiefoodie

                                              Oh one more thing! Pie & Mash! You'd like that and plenty of places to try the most popular being M Manze (oldest one in london), L Manze, and G Kelly. Don't be confused and ask for a knife as they just use spoons! You don't have to have jellied eels with it too. It's a typical staple from the east end, pearly queens etc.. very tasty and a nice antidote to all the finer dining you will be doing.

                                            4. re: indiefoodie

                                              I am in London right now. Boroughs market is a must for a foodie. You can have lunch there. We had dinner last night at Andover Arms. This was probably the best modern British food I have had. It a small place tucked away in Hammersmith. It's about 5 blocks from the Hammersmith Station. Everyone one there is lovely. We started with the scallop and calamari appetizer. This is what we got (see 1st photo). Very elegant and tasty. It was a surprising dish from a pub. I had the steak and Guinness pie, and my partner had the lamb shoulder. The pie was amazing, and the lamb was not heavy and surprisingly tasty. See images. My partner lets call him the Weasel, he devoured the lamb. I also added before and after the weasel got to the lamb. I wish I had room for dessert because they looked divine. I also need to add each main course had unbelievable vegetables under the main course. Going to Texture tonight, will give you follow up on that.

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              1. re: anotherfatcow

                                                I reckon shoulder is the tastiest cut on the sheep. It's the fat, of course. It's what I would generally use for roasts & casseroles.

                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  Well then try Texture. Very modern and elegant

                                                   
                                                   
                                            5. How was your experience at Clove Club. I plan on eating there in September.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: stephlovestoeat

                                                I'll post a detailed review later on but Clove by far was the worst from a food perspective. Either they were having a completely off night or I didn't understand what they were attempting to do or for some reason, they reserved their worst for me :) I guess it goes without saying, I would recommend against it.

                                                1. re: indiefoodie

                                                  REPOSTED FROM ELSEWHERE BECAUSE IT FITS:

                                                  I went to the Clove Club for the first time this week and left very deflated. Also considerably poorer. And still hungry. But mostly deflated.

                                                  I really wanted to enjoy it. I tried to enjoy it. And everyone is making an enthusiastic effort including the Chef who clearly cares, serves and engages. And yet:

                                                  Amuses were excellent. Including the much-raved about buttermilk chicken. But to be honest there's a limit to how good (or bad) you could make a buttermilk fried chicken nugget.

                                                  Red Mullet sashimi was seriously disappointing. The turnip and lime combined to tip the astringency too far (rather than ingredients being a counterpoint) and it wasn't sashimi. It was scraps. There comes a point when it is cut so thin it has no point. And this was beyond than 4 or 5 (max) tiny off cuts too thin to have distinctive personality.

                                                  Mackerel with cucumber. Delightful: a really elegant little dish. Crisp skin and almost savory baby cucumbers. Really enjoyed this...but my appetite could probably have stretched to a whole single mackerel fillet! I understand cutting tranches of turbot and halibut, but mackerel?!

                                                  Venison with White Beetroot. Excellently cooked and tender piece of venison with beetroot that I divided opinion (i found it a bit "muddy" in flavour, others genuinely raved about the earthiness and the dish overall). Nice venison sausage too.

                                                  Amalfi Lemonade Foam with Sarawak Pepper ice cream. A really impressive combination of flavours With the sharp effervescence of the foam complemented,extended and then nudged in a different direction by the dry spice of the pepper. Excellent.

                                                  Blackcurrant leaf ice cream with blackcurrant (?) jam. A disappointment. Mainly because I loved the idea. I had visions of the ice cream capturing that amazing vegitative aroma you get when you step into the fruit cage to pick the blackcurrants...but it just didn't deliver. The ice cream was a lovely consistency but tasted mostly of cream with a frustrating hint in the background of the flavour there might have been. So it just became a failed attempt to make ice cream with the least exciting bit of the blackcurrant.

                                                  So, there you have it. A couple of really pleasing little dishes. The rest of it nice. But - including a largely forgettable wine flight (the red barbera with the venison being comfortably the pick of the bunch)this was over 100 a head. And I left hungry. Which is unforgivable. Trust me, I am not Man vs Food. But I was left wondering whether they were serving the 9 course portion sizes with their 5 course menu.

                                                  If you are going to do a no-choice menu, it has to really excel. And I was left feeling that these were nice little dishes that fell short because they have to tick at least one of the generosity of hospitality, or impressiveness of concept or execution and they didn't.

                                                  If I'm being honest, I much preferred the simple good cooking of Magdalen in Tooley St a couple of nights earlier (A decent tranche of turbot in a well-executed butter sauce with, nicely cooked samphire and a perfect boiled potato to soak it all up. Yum). And for innovative execution the last couple of meals I've had at my local in Brixton (Upstairs) have been better than the Clove Club. More on Upstairs soon...

                                                  Gareth

                                              2. Any updates on your eating experiences? I'm heading there in Oct and would appreciate any thoughts!

                                                1. My trip got postponed by a couple of weeks, hence the delay in reporting back. I had a great time eating my way around London! A lot of my co-workers smiled when I told them that I wasn't going to spend any time sightseeing and that food and drink were the top priorities during my time there :)

                                                  Here goes....

                                                  * Konditor and Cook: I tried a slice of the lemon chiffon cake. It was good but nothing that made me go wow. The lemon flavor was not over the top which I appreciated but it was a little too sweet IMO. And, the cake itself could have been a little more moist. Not sure if I ordered the wrong this here but I wasn't super impressed.

                                                  * Taylor St. Baristas: The ambiance brought a smile to my face. Casual, baristas jiving to deep house streaming on the speakers. I tried a long black. I liked it. Was it one of the best coffees I've ever tasted, no but it was good.

                                                  * Nightjar: I liked this a lot. I sat at the bar and the bartender, Tony was friendly, gave great recommendations and the drinks were very good. The presentation is completely over the top. I've never seen so much attention being given to how a glass looks. Purely from a taste perspective, I'll give Dead Rabbit in NYC a slight edge but that may have to do with the fact that I've been there a lot and have tried more than half of their exhaustive menu so a few more visits to The Nightjar may change my opinion.

                                                  * Clove Club: I really wanted to like this place and the first thing that I had was a clear winner (A chicken foot chip with some mousse) but after that, I thought it was just OK. I had the 5 course tasting menu but added 2 dishes from the extended menu that I wanted to try. The flavors on the Mackerel dish were good but texture was very one dimensional, a fish dish was too salty, the deer was OK, the blood sausage was probably the best I've had, the duck broth was good and the desserts were a let down. There were 2 dessert courses and both were ice creams (?!?). Although, the flavors were very different, why would you do that? No chocolate, nothing baked. I was very surprised. Another thing that I noticed was the service. At the beginning, there were a few empty seats and the service was excellent but as time passed and the place started filling up, it took more and more time between courses. My meal lasted more than 2 hours and it definitely shouldn't have. There was one large group that I identified (9 people) and that seemed to throw them off. All in all, a disappointment.

                                                  * Dishoom: I went here for breakfast and liked it a lot! Tried the bacon naan, the masala beans the house chai. The flavors were very good. If I were to nitpick, it would be the fact that the chai was a little weak on the tea flavor. The spices seemed to be a little more assertive than what I've experienced in India. Also, does anyone know if they bake the naan to order? I wasn't sure.

                                                  * Harp: This was very good. Great selection and very helpful bartenders. I tried an ale and a cider and liked them both (and I don't even like ciders that much). I love how you can get a pint and enjoy it on the sidewalk instead of having to squeeze into the bar like we have to in NYC.

                                                  * Barrafina: Tried the Carabineros prawn, lamb brains, pig ears and the lamb kidneys. Liked everything. The prawn was delicious but at 17 pounds, a little too expensive. I probably won't be ordering that again.

                                                  * The Wolseley: Went here for breakfast. Lovely ambiance. Opted for the traditional English breakfast. It was very good. Nothing that made me go wow but I'm not sure if that was the intention here.
                                                  Since, I'm not very experienced when it comes to English breakfasts, a question - there are probably 100s of places in London serving this. What makes Wolseley stand out? Are the flavors better than most places? I did feel that my blood sausage at The Clove Club was way better than what I had here.

                                                  * Paul A Young Fine Chocolates: Tried a couple of chocolates - the sea salted caramel and one with a hazelnut filling. I liked both of them.

                                                  * Ottolenghi: I wanted to try a dessert here. They recommended a chocolate something so I went with that. It was good but the real genius was the vanilla custard that they served with the dessert. The chocolate paired extremely well with the custard. Not the best dessert I've had but a winner.

                                                  * 69 Colebrooke Row: The Prairie Oyster was very innovative and I liked it. I also enjoyed the Soy Cubano and another rum and cirus based drink that I tried. However, I did not find this to be better than a lot of other good cocktail places. With the exception of the Prairie Oyster, it didn't strike me as a go to place. Personally, I liked Nightjar much more.

                                                  * St. John: I liked the casual atmosphere. I tried the much written about bone marrow, welsh rarebit, venison offal and the madelines. I've always had a mixed reaction to bone marrow. I love the texture but I never really get any solid flavor. That was true here as well. Although, the salad is a wonderful idea. It's very acidic and cuts through the heaviness of the marrow wonderfully. The only thing that I did not enjoy was the welsh rarebit. I found to be too salty for my palate. I love cheese but this was just too much salt for me. No complaints on the offal and the madelines were divine. They may have taken over from Dominique Ansel's madelines as my favorite :)

                                                  * Hawksmoor (Guildhall): My first time trying bubble and squeak. I thought it was very good; the very definition of comfort food. Greasy potatoes, eggs, meat, gravy. Hangover heaven :)

                                                  * Harwood Arms: I had the scotch egg, the snails, a deer special and their take on strawberries and cream. I liked this place. My least favorite dish was the egg (it was good, just not as good as the others IMO); I thought it needed more salt. The other dishes were better. I really liked the deer and the dessert.

                                                  * St. John Bread & Wine: Tried the porridge and prunes. I thought it was good porridge but nothing special. I would have tried the bacon sandwich if it weren't for the fact that I was planning to go to Borough Market an hour after this.

                                                  * Borough Market:
                                                  - Bread Ahead: Damn those custard donuts are delicious! I tried a lemon one. It's messy but I am definitely going to miss this.
                                                  - Monmouth: My first flat white. I liked it but I guess I prefer my coffee without milk. The next day, I went to another location and tried their Americano. I liked it better but I did not feel that it was something special.
                                                  - Neals Dairy: Excellent cheeses and very helpful staff. I told them that I was visiting and wanted to try a few local cheeses (with the objective of buying some of course) and ones that I liked a lot include Stawley, Ragstone, Montgomery Cheddar and the Colston Bassett Stilton. I brought some back with me to the U.S. and all my friends liked them.
                                                  - Brindisi: Sampled some jamón ibérico de bellota for the first time. Holy crap! This is good. Now I understand why it costs an arm and a leg.
                                                  - Roast: Tried the roast beef (weekend special). Thought it was OK. The horseradish gives it a nice kick and I probably would have disliked it if it weren't for that.

                                                  All in all, I'm glad that I was able to make some time to visit the market.

                                                  * Tayyabs: For reasons beyond my control, I ended up here for a late dinner. What a mistake! Definitely the worst meal of the trip. I asked them for a recommendation and they got me the lamb chops. Tough, chewy, just terrible. I also tried a curry dish with chicken and that too was sub-par.

                                                  * M. Manze: I had to try the famous Pie & Mash. I also got the jellied eels. The pie & mash was alright. It reminded me of something I used to eat as a kid - https://mealbucket.com/images/TA04Y53... except that in India the stuffing is made with potatoes instead of meat. I'm usually not bothered by how food looks but the jelly made me think twice about eating it :) Nevertheless, I tried it. By itself, it was a little too salty for me. Paired with the mash, it was better (although, I'm not sure if you're supposed to do that).

                                                  * Green Man & French Horn: I went here with a few friends and we tried the rabbit terrine, the mussels, a pasta, the lamb neck and the white chocolate mousse. Good, solid food. It's probably not something very exclusive but the hearty, rustic flavors were well appreciated. Our waitress suggested a Sauvignon Blanc that was very good.

                                                  * Churchill Arms: Stopped by for a quick beer. The beer was your average pub beer but the exterior of this pub was just magnificent. The walls were completely covered with flowers. A delight to look at.

                                                  * The Ledbury: Brilliant. Easily my favorite meal of the trip. I got the extended menu and loved almost ever single dish. If I had to find something to complain about, it'd be the desserts. Not that they were bad or anything. In fact, they were pretty good but I thought they were a little too safe, especially taking into consideration that some of the food was pretty imaginative.

                                                  * Bull & Last: My first Sunday roast. I liked it a lot. I did come across some fat on my meat that probably should have been trimmed but on the whole, a very tasty meal. I got the chocolate mousse for dessert and thought that it was very good.

                                                  On the whole, a successful trip. 2 things that I could not try were Hedone (it was closed) and Golden Hind (I wasn't able to find time for it). Something for next time :) Thank you so much for helping me plan a delicious trip!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: indiefoodie

                                                    Thanks for the detailed write up - interesting reading.

                                                    I know this maybe herassy to some but I don't find the St John Rarebit to be that good,it's lovely to see such a traditional dish on the menu but to me it seems a bit overworked and thus tends to lose the essence of the simplicity of the dish.

                                                    My answer to the breakfast question is the ingredients and the cooking. First, ingredients are pretty key, cheap watery bacon versus expertly cured single breed, or fresh free range eggs against supermarket, cheap industrial black pudding versus a good artisan one, and even cheap no name baked beans versus Heinz. Second, a lot depends how it's cooked, cheap breakfasts are slapped together, but good bacon needs careful, delicate cooking so as not to ruin its flavour, mass produced ones cook it in big trays in the oven. So a good quality breakfast will have every element cooked to order, a cheap one will have everything pre-cooked on trays.

                                                    The price often depends on the venue, so the Wolsey is refined, but a good cheap one in a steamy cafe is also perfect, especially with a hangover. In fact as a hangover cure you want a good cheap one with low quality ingredients - it's about the volume, the carbs and the grease.

                                                    The other thing about the "full English" is the outrageous price people charge and get away with. The price has little to do with the quality.....it's just many are served to business travellers on expenses.

                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                      I suppose the greasy spoon caff is the "full experience" for the "Full English". I resent paying the fifteen quid and up that hotels and upmarket restaurants charge - but then I'm not on expenses.

                                                      The fullest of Full English's that I know is at the Bridge Cafe, near Kew Gardens, which I use on my annual trips to research at the National Archives. Around £6 gets you bacon, black pudding, white pudding, sausage, beans, mushrooms, tomato, fried bread, fried egg, bubble & squeak, toast and coffee.