london restaurants

I have heard that London restaurants generally do not do "doggie bags". I have also heard that is non-fancy restuarants it is ok to bring your own container for left overs. Does anyone know about this?

Posted by Yvonne
Temple
5 posts

Thanks Elle, That makes good sense. My first big trip and perhaps over thinking things.
Yvonne

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

You should also consider the likelihood of actually eating something later that you deposited in your "doggie bag" after dinner. Unless you have an apartment rented or a pretty darn nice hotel room, you likely will not have a refrigerator, microwave, etc. I suppose it doesn't matter if it's bread, dinner rolls, or something like that, but you probably wouldn't be packing those home anyway. Maybe just skip taking any leftovers and plan on ordering smaller portioned entrees in the first place (or share if it's a very casual place).

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

I am usually so hungry from walking all day that I eat most of my food. I think I even polished off most of the heavy food I ate in Britain. You may not find this to be an issue for similar reasons.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8732 posts

It is an interesting question. Now, I don't circulate in the rarefied atmosphere of most of the places named in the article so maybe my observations are less useful. When I eat in London it is usually not a special occasion but a utilitarian meal. While the Evening Standard in the article named a few places it seems interesting to me that it was writing early last year about something it noticed in 2011. That's quite a lot of time for me to have noticed a new trend but frankly I haven't seen it at all, even a little. I'm not convinced that it is getting a lot of traction, certainly not at run-of-the-mill places. I notice that in the year and some since the article was published it has received zero reader comments - not usual for the Standard. One of the names mentioned in the article is a decent Mexican restaurant chain in London, Wahaca. It is a place I go to fairly regularly, and I have never seen anybody leave with a doggie bag nor have I ever been offered one. I'll be there again next week and I'll look out for one. I find the whole concept of going to a restaurant expecting to take home food in a special container one took to the restaurant seriously wierd - I have never heard of such a thing. Is that what you do back home? Maybe I'm wrong - I'll be interested to see if any of the rest of our little family has come across any of this in London recently.

Posted by Yvonne
Temple
5 posts

Hi Nigel, Thanks for the feedback. Very helpful. I'm almost giddy about my London trip. Again, much thanks.
Yvonne

Posted by Matt
Washington, DC, USA
566 posts

I've never had to worry about leftovers from meals in the UK or anywhere in Europe for that matter. In my experience only here in the USA do we serve individual servings that could feed a family of four! My European dinners have generally been filling enough, but not so large that I was compelled to ask for a doggie bag.

Posted by Nancy
London, UK
159 posts

I agree with Nigel. I do not see people getting doggie bags for leftovers here.
And Nigel - loved your observation about the Evening Standard - how can it be that NO ONE has commented on that??!!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8732 posts

aka Torygraph, as I believe Nigel once pointed out That wasn't me. Its not my style of writing. I never discuss politics or religion here. Well, hardly ever. Actually I'm not sure I ever have...

Posted by Sharon R.
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
48 posts

Nigel, The only time I have every seen someone bring their own containers to a restaurant it was my in-laws to "Family-Style" restaurants. Set menu, they bring food to the table and when the serving dish is empty bring you another. You were not supposed to take any food home except for the chocolate cake that was dessert and it came in a pan that you could take home with you. When you were finished you could always refuse a new dish of food. My former mother-in-law would bring zip-lock bags and put other food in them and put them into her big purse to take home to eat later. She was never caught that I know of but it always bothered me. I've been to homes for holiday mealsThanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and was always encouaged to take left-overs home and I took containers for that but I would never do something like that in a restaurant. Most restaurants that I eat in will bring you a container if you ordered more than you could eat at one sitting.

Posted by SJ
New Orleans, LA
2 posts

Not sure about this,but I do want to share our experience at a n exciting,new restaurant located near Oxford St.and Marble Arch. It's "The Great British". Young chef,amazing food,warm and friendly staff. The address is 14 North Audley St. Enjoy!

Posted by SJ
New Orleans, LA
2 posts

Forgot to say "The Great British" will change your mind about
British cuisine.

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

This sounds like a tout - only 2 posts - but the restaurant does have an exceptionally nice website, despite the silly choice of name for the place. Posting a link to it I suppose makes me guilty as well. Still, I'll be near Mayfair soon and might give this place a try. http://thegreatbritishrestaurant.com/

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8732 posts

So, Rose, you've never been there, you like the website, you have noticed the poster raved about a restaurant on a first post, the post is not related to the thread - yet you supported the post by posting a link? Do I have that right?

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

Ooh... That's a bit harsh. I pointed out a possible tout, but said I was guilty for posting the link and made fun of the name. I thought the website was well done - big deal. I don't put that much stock in one little reply, and am unsure why you felt the need to go into attack mode. Of the thousands of posts on these boards this tag on to an old thread will probably not be noticed by more than a handful of people.

Posted by Mira
Midwest
108 posts

I just wanted to clarify that, yes, in the US, taking your leftover food home with you is a common practice at all but the most top-end michelin-star type restaurants. Portions are much larger than in Europe, in my experience. When you order an entree, all the food on it is yours, so the thinking is that if you don't eat everything on your plate, well you already bought it, so it's yours to take home. I've never seen anyone bring their own containers, but the restaurant will give you a box similar to those used for take-away meals. Fancy places used to wrap in tin-foil folded into origami shapes, like an tin-foil swan with leftover steak inside. I've never asked, nor brought my own containers so I'm not sure of the customs in London. However, portions tend to be smaller so I've run into the need less often than at home. I still don't usually finish an entree, though.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7967 posts

And the value to anyone if you post about a place you've never been is what, exactly?

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

There are often posts where a likely tout is called out, which is what I was doing. If I want to praise a well-designed website, it's my prerogative to express my opinion on a public message board. The travelers who read these boards are smart enough to make their own decisions and form their own opinions. Besides, your bait's gone bad. Maybe time to buy some fresh.