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dining in london

hello, i Checked out forum and did not see any info on dining in London.any reccomendations ? we are staying near earls court and plan to visit kensington and high street one day , westminster abbey and area and then Tower of London another day. interested in local pubs ( not tourist spots} . some one mentioned Fortnum and Mason or Seymours for afternoon tea, are any of these near the areas we will be visiting. Any tips for helping to keep cost in moderate to low range would be helpful. should i make reservations now for June. thanks Susan

Posted by
8810 posts

Near Westminster Abbey is the Two Chairman pub. Been going there for years or the Buckingham which is closer to The Palace….

If you want a “ locals “ pub go away from where you are staying which is a heavily touristed area…. I like The Pineapple. Not far from the Lambeth North station…. But if you truly want a locals pub experience… head via the tube to Putney Bridge station and the Eight Bells. If still open stop in the teeny Hurlingham books….OR go To Tower Hill for a pint and a nosh at The Princess of Prussia.

EDIT: as far as keeping meal costs down look for sign boards on sidewalks outside pub advertising pub lunches or look for Wagamama’s or Nandos or pop into an ethnic restaurant: iranian, ethopian, chinese, thai….in fact Addi’s Thai in the Earls Court neighborhood is an option. Also look for pop ups, food trucks, etc.

Trust me you won’t starve in London.

Posted by
15545 posts

On Old Brompton Road, just east of Earls Court Road is the Pembroke pub. It's not part of a chain so you won't see the same beers on tap. They also have a rooftop dining area if the weather is nice.

Just north of Cromwell Road on Marloes Road is the Devonshire Arms pub. It caters more to the local residents than tourists.

All but one of the other pubs on Earls Court Road between Cromwell Road and Old Brompton road are owned by the same brewery.

If you're asking making hotel reservations for June, it depends on the hotel. That area is my home away from home and have spent a few hundred nights there. It can get very busy.

Posted by
7651 posts

For Pubs, just stay away from the heavily touristed areas, and you will be fine. Locals go to most any pub, and even those people consider "tourist pubs" are still mostly Londoners. Do be aware that even old historic pubs may be part of a chain or operating group. Not necessarily a bad thing, JD Wetherspoons and Nicholson's are two you will see, the name won't be on the sign outside, but mentioned on the menu. They have ok beer lists, food is plenty good for the American palate, some locations are pretty spectacular to look at, just you will notice the menus are the same, and so number of dishes "heat and eat" (like many other pubs).

There are also some pubs that are tied to a brewery, Samuel Smiths and Fullers are probably two of the most common. Basically, nearly all of the beer will be from that brewery, not bad, but limited in variety. I will say though, I find Fuller's pubs to have excellent food. Usually a professional kitchen, putting out traditional dishes, as well as some innovative ones. Of course there are also independent pubs with decent kitchens as well. Pub food is good a few times, comfort food, but heavy. Many do a decent Sunday Roast, a mid-day meal.

Fish and Chips is a must at least one time, but go to a dedicated shop. A couple of my favorites closed down (Hook and Kerbisher & Malt), but Poppies is good, and most any corner shop will be passable.

Indian food, and especially curry is huge, many argue London is the place for Indian food, so do at least one night.

SoHo is worth an evening stroll, packed with Asian and other ethnic restaurants, as well as startup places, and trendy chains.

Afternoon Tea places are for tourists, people taking out grandmum, and polite hen parties/ baby fetes.

Markets can offer interesting options and tastes of delicacies. Borough Market is the grandaddy, Camden Locks and the Stables offer some great options, plus quirky shopping. Camden Town itself, and the canal are interesting.

Posted by
2339 posts

hey hey susan
check out
sign up with email, many things available there 2 for 1 afternoon teas, dinners at reduced rates, overnight stays, day trips, theatre,
look under london, travel, more+ does anything interest you? markets
london has so much to see and do, is an expensive city, like many others and nowdays prices have sky rocketed all over the world. do your best and have a great time, you'll love it.
go to many of the squares for "free" entertainment and enjoy it all
with london
many different tours/activities. maybe treasures of london: the royal family tour with tom london

Posted by
33124 posts

Fortnum and Mason is unlikely to fit either your requirement of "not tourist spots" or "moderate to low range" although I don't know what that means in Pounds Sterling?

Posted by
237 posts

Agree with Nigel it would be helpful to have more of a sense of the price point you’re looking for. In the Kensington area, the very atmospheric Maggie Jones has quite a reasonably priced set menu, and I like the Queen’s Arms pub on Queen’s Gate Mews. I wouldn’t dine in the immediate vicinity of Westminster Abbey or Trafalgar Square but would instead make my way up or over to Soho or Covent Garden, tons of options there. At Tower of London, I’d cross Tower Bridge and head a short ways west to Borough Market where you will have your pick of options (many like the duck confit wrap at Le Marche du Quartier; the raclette at Kappacasein is delicious; salt beef sandwiches are a good British option; Ginger Pig makes, IMO, the best sausage roll in London; etc etc).

I was the one who recommended Seymour’s Parlour for a more affordable afternoon tea; it’s not in the immediate vicinity of any of the sights you mentioned but it’s a couple min walk from Marble Arch station so quite easy to get to. Fortnum and Mason could link up with your time at Westminster Abbey, you could walk up there through St James’s Park. Fortnums is the only place mentioned for which I’d recommend getting a reservation as soon as you have your plan nailed down, as it is popular with visitors for afternoon tea and tends to book up. The rest of these you can book much nearer the time. Depending how attached you are to a specific place and how popular it is, anywhere from a few weeks to a few days in advance will be enough. Err on the side of booking early if you have your heart set on someplace on a specific day - it really can’t hurt. If you’re more flexible then you have more freedom to wing it. And places like Wagamama and Nando’s don’t need bookings.

Posted by
11350 posts

We enjoyed the Queen’s Arms and ate there several times. For basic and very good Fish and Chips go to The Laughing Halibut on Strutton Ground not too far a walk from Westminster Abbey.

Posted by
9429 posts

I’ve enjoyed many Afternoon Teas in England and Scotland and the best one was at Fortnum & Mason. Expensive but worth every penny. Go very hungry as it’s “All you can eat” and exceptionally high quality.