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

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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

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

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

- Breakfast - Dishoom
- Dinner - Hedone

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

- Breakfast - Hawksmoor Guildhall
- Dinner - Harwood Arms

- Breakfast - ?? (Need to decide)

- 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


      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/...

                          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!

                              14 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.


                                        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: 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.

                                            2. 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.

                                            3. 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