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Looking for two London Restaurant suggestions - near the Tower of London and in West End

My family of 4 (two teenagers) have reservations on a Friday night in June for the Ceremony of Keys at the Tower of London (9:30 PM). I am looking for suggestions for a restaurant in the general area to have dinner prior to the ceremony.

The next night (Sat) we will be reserving tickets to a show in the West End. Looking for recommendations for a pub or other restaurant in the Covent Garden/SOHO area to eat prior to the show. I've seen good reviews for the Covent Garden pubs of Wellington, Chandos and White Swan....has anyone tried these before?

Just looking for good, authentic British fare with a good variety....nothing fancy.

Do we need to make reservations for these dinners or will walk-ins be possible on a Friday and Saturday night in June?

Thank you for your suggestions!

Posted by
28141 posts

I can't do you "good authentic British fare" because I had enough faggots and peas, boiled until they were dead veggies, and instant mashed potato out of a packet covered in gravy made from Bisto as a child I have no further need for them, so don't frequent such places.

I can do you a British version of a BBQ place/sports bar if you like, across the street from the Tower of London. Follow the link to Bodean's BBQ and do realise that while it is very tasty, it is Britain's take on it...

I don't think you'd reservations, or could even get them, for the room with the stools, but you can book a restaurant table (higher prices but more extensive menu - I always eat in the sports bar area and the choices are plenty for me, if you don't mind sitting on a high stool at a long table) on the website link above...

Posted by
5542 posts

When we went to the Ceremony of the Keys (really enjoyed it-I'm glad you're going!), we had dinner at a nearby Wagamama restaurant. I think you might find this fun with your teenagers. You get seated at large tables next to other diners and the price is quite reasonable. Lots of activity and fairly informal.
There are many restaurants in this chain. If you are interested, just "google" them and find the one closest to the Tower.

Posted by
1000 posts

Another vote for Wagamama! It's conveniently located right outside the entrance to the Tower and has great noodle or rice dishes. They also offer free wifi. My kids and I went there and we had fun facetiming my son's girlfriend back home while we were waiting for our food. If you decide not to eat there that night, there are several Wagamama locations around town so I recommend it as a place to try another time. As for the Covent Garden area, we had great fish and chips at Rock and Sole Plaice.

Posted by
135 posts


in a huge coincidence, I'm actually going to the Ceremony of the Keys this evening (Sunday 22 Feb) - it's a Christmas present for my dad, but to be honest I've never seen it either, and, as a Londoner with an interest in history, I want to...and we are going to eat directly before.

I have worked at Tower Hill and know the area. If you don't mind chain restaurants, there are a number right opposite the Tower, each of which can be found on google. Bodean's has already been mentioned (I've eaten there - it's nice, and filling) - along the same side of the street (Byward Street) there is also Pizza Express, All Bar One (pub restaurant), and 'The Liberty Bounds', another pub/restaurant. Across the street is Gourmet Burger Kitchen ('GBK'); Zizzi (Italian); and Wagamama (also already mentioned). There's also a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a place selling (quite expensive) Fish and Chips, next to the Tower of London ticket office.
In Trinity Square (next to Tower Green, opposite the Tower) is Brasserie Blanc and in Seething Lane is the Draft House, also a pub/restaurant, selling a huge range of Belgian beers etc and good pub food (I've eaten there).
Finally, If you're prepared to be a little farther away (7 or 8 minute walk from the Tower's West Entrance), you could also investigate the number of restaurants at St Katherine's Dock, to the East of the Tower. It's a very attractive historic area (London's oldest dock warehouses, now trendy apartments and offices). It's a pleasant walk along the riverside right in front of the Tower.

Posted by
73 posts

Thanks everyone for the many great suggestions! Wagamama's sounds fun, as to many of the others. I will check out these places for our trip.

Mark G - let me know how the Ceremony of the Keys goes tonight! Have fun!

Posted by
796 posts

If it is pub grub you want, here are two suggestions.

(1) The Minories is at 67-73 Minories within walking distance to the Tower of London. It has good service and good food. Huge servings to fill up hungry teens. It is across from the Tower Gateway, tucked under the railway arches near the Tower Hill tube station. Here is their menu- They serve a variety of foods so you can find something for everyone here- great meals!

(2) As for Covent Garden, there is Lowlander Grand Cafe. It is at 36 Drury Lane (Covent Garden). Here is their site-
It is a nice place with good British food and other foods. Loads of good choices. You can see their menus at the link provided.

Posted by
73 posts

Thanks, Bill and Terri for the additional suggestions! This forum is very helpful!