First trip to London - Hotel and Restaurant Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by TC (Houston), Sep 20, 2011.

  1. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Senior member

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    I'm taking my wife to London for our anniversary in a few weeks, and I would love some input from some of you well-traveled gents. We will be there Thurs am through Sunday am.

    First, any suggestions on an area to stay and a good hotel? Our primary goals will be shopping, dining and site-seeing, with more emphasis on the first two. Hotel budget would be $500-700/night.

    Also, restaurant recommendations? Nothing too stuffy, but some more casual fine dining suggestions or notable/landmark restaurant suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011


  2. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I really love The River Cafe, and I imagine it would fit in quite well with your preference.
     


  3. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Senior member

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    Thanks!

    Also, my wife is a big fan of Gordon Ramsay, so I was thinking of taking her to one of his restaurants on Fri night (our actual anniversary). If anyone has any feedback or suggestions on any of his restaurants that would be great.
     


  4. juniper

    juniper Senior member

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    Excuse my stuck record, but go to St John's (whichever branch).

    And, for getting out.....

    Paris is only being two-and-a-quarter hours away on the train, no excuse really. Practically a day trip.

    Scotland on the sleeper train? The Lake District?

    Anywhere in Europe is a cheap flight away. London City Airport has 10-mins-before-departure check in times (15 mins if you're checking bags). Madrid? Venice? Oslo?

    Go to Athens and bail the poor buggers out?

    (Whoops: saw your short time span. Never mind. But you should go to St John's.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011


  5. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    St. John is great, but look at the menu first to make sure it's something you're interested in.
     


  6. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    depending on how many times you have been to london, and what the chances of getting back are, I'd go for a couple of things:

    1. old school english food - like the savoy grill http://www.gordonramsay.com/thesavoygrill/menus/Sundayroast/

    2. sometihng like this - http://www.citypubs.co.uk/pubs/yeoldcheshirecheese.html a traditional pub for pub lunch.

    3. chinese food - I like english chinese food better than other ethnic foods in england. this is my favorite http://ukfourseasons.com/index_1ct.html

    I don't really like english indian food, but a lot of people would say that you have to try it. if you never get to india, you should.
     


  7. Not Ed Harris

    Not Ed Harris Senior member

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    As you're not staying for that long, you probably want to stay somewhere relatively central, probably West End, not the City. You've got budget enough to go for somewhere nice. Maybe the Westbury Mayfair (which is where my firm's bankers stay) or the May Fair (where I'll be on Friday night since my wife won a competition).

    Restaurants:
    Anchor & Hope (Southwark) and 32 Great Queen Street (Holborn) - really nice and not too expensive gastropub food. Can get a bit noisy and the Anchor & Hope doesn't take bookings.
    Harwood Arms (Fulham) - another gastropub that got a Michelin star a couple of years ago.
    Viajante is meant to be very good but it's a little bit out of the way.
    Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
    Bistrot Bruno Loubet
    Bocca di Lupo
    Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley

    As for Gordon Ramsay, I've been to two of his restaurants, La Noisette which closed a few years ago and Maze where I went for my birthday last year which was excellent and I think possibly a bit easier to get a table at than some of his other restaurants.

    A lot of the higher end places (like Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, though I think they keep some tables for guests at the hotel) will probably be booked up so you should look at booking soon. Other than that you can look at various places and book online at or .

    Bars and Pubs:
    - Ye Olde Mitre, which is hidden in a little sidestreet just off Hatton Garden
    - Any of the Sam Smith's pubs are generally good value
    - Mark's Bar in the basement of the Mark Hix restaurant in Soho (which is also quite a nice restaurant, although I've only had the pre-theatre menu there)
    - Purl in Marylebone, which is nice if you like your cocktails and a bit of fun with all the dry ice cooling and wax sealed bottles you get your drinks in. I'd recommend Mr Hyde's No.2.
    - The bar at The Connaught
    - Lounge Bohemia if you can forgive them the terrible service
     


  8. Jdeansmith11

    Jdeansmith11 Well-Known Member

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    try the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge or Marriot Courtyard in that area for great views.

    Restaurants: not sure what you like to eat but try looking around in Chinatown in Leicester Square if you're adventurous

     


  9. Not Ed Harris

    Not Ed Harris Senior member

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    I forgot Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden. Good food, a massive wine list and extremely romantic setting.
     


  10. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Senior member

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    Wow, thanks for all the recs guys! Keep them coming!


    Wow, this is really a strange coincidence. Without knowing anything about any of the hotels, my wife was poking around on the internet last night and settled on the May Fair. So along with your recommendation, I went ahead and booked a suite there. Let me know how you enjoy your stay!

    Thanks also for the specific food recommendations, I will start researching some of them and putting together a loose agenda.
     


  11. caxt

    caxt Well-Known Member

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    My Recs:

    J Sheeky
    The Ivy
    L’Escargot

    All excellent. The Dover sole from Sheeky is one of the best things that has ever entered my mouth.
     


  12. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    ...
     


  13. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Sheekey's fish pie is awesome! Too bad I didn't get a chance to try the sole.
     


  14. Not Ed Harris

    Not Ed Harris Senior member

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    Well, there seems to have been some sort of screw up with the competition people so we're not staying at the May Fair after all. We were supposed to be having cocktails there tomorrow afternoon as well, but it seems that we're staying at the Radisson in Covent Garden instead.

    The May Fair should be nice though. The bar isn't fantastic but I assume that celebrities often stay there as there always seem to be paparazzi outside..
     


  15. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Senior member

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    Anyone eaten at Gordon Ramsay's Petrus? I got a reservation there but my wife saw some reviews that were not so great.
     


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