We love a good meal, but would really like to have a "pinch me I am in London" moment. I.E. - so many restaurant experiences are wonderful but you could be anywhere. Perhaps someone here knows of a restaurant - doesn't have to be over the top expensive but we are willing to splurge - which would make a memory?
A long time ago a beau took me to dinner at Rules in London and I have never forgotten it. 35 Maiden Lane, Rules Restaurant. Check it out.
I can think of a few: 1 Lombard Street, the Oxo Tower, Joe Allen, and Bibendum. All pricey, all unique, all memorable. Then again an "I'm in London," moment is easily had in a pub with some fish n chips, a pot pie or leg of lamb, and a pint, etc. Was in London on May and had an excellent meal at The Oxford, a gastro pub in Camden. http://www.theoxfordnw5.co.uk/ Few blocks from the Kentish Town Tube stop. True London neighborhood. Was staying nearby and enjoyed dining here after spending a few hours shopping and wandering the Camden Locke Market. If Camden Locke isn't on your list of things to see and do, it should be. Great fun!!! Enjoy your first visit to one of the greatest cities on the planet!
I love Joe Allen - but it's a New York restauarant. The Joe Allen in London is the Brit outpost of a theatre row staple in the Big Apple, so to me, it doesn't scream "I'm in London!" (Rather, I think it would make me homesick for NYC!) Otherwise, totally agree with all of Claudia's excellent suggestions. We've got reservations at Gordon Ramsay (his 3 Michelin star place in Royal Hospital Road) in November, and I am pretty darned excited. I dunno if the guy is over-rated or over-exposed, but his cooking seems to be all about local, seasonal British ingredients, cooked to perfection. A Gordon Ramsay restaurant (like the one at Claridges) might fit your bill nicely. Someone who actually lives in London should be able to help you better. Years ago, my mother and I had dinner at a dark old wood panelled restaurant either in the Houses of Parliament (can that be?) or a block or so away. Excellent steak and kidney pie, wonderful ambiance, and it SCREAMED London, Ye Olde Worlde, coaching inns foxhunt lord of the manor uppercrust-ness. Anybody? Ideas where we might have been?
@Kira maybe Shepherds? I'm also thinking something oddly fun like Maggie Jones's in Kensington with it's traditional fare might work as well. I mean once you have traditional spotted dick or bubble and squeak you know you're in London?!? Be calm and carry on!
@Claudia - wow. I think that's it! I checked out pix of Shepherd's online, and it looks like where we were! Thanks a bunch for the memory assist. :D
Not sure what area your staying but to add to the suggestions above a few random ideas to look into. As mentioned Rules, near Covent Garden is traditional British food. Other ideas, Hix Oyster and Chop House, near Farringdon tube. There are also some pubs that are in unique buildings, for example The Old Bank of England on the Strand/Fleet Street near the Law Courts - it is a Fuller's pub in an old banking hall that is Grade 1 listed, if you google the pub name then click on images you can see some stunning photos of the interior. Fullers have also done up some other former banks - The Counting House in the City comes to mind - fullers.co.uk. (Remember that pubs can be busy at lunchtime Monday-Friday and straight after work.) Near Piccadilly Circus the Criterion Restaurant is pretty unusual inside.
I was recently in the Bombay Brasserie for the Saturday buffet lunch in the conservatory, in South Ken nearest tube is Gloucester Road. My current favourite place to eat is Princi - princi.co.uk - a kind of superior Italian canteen on Wardour Street near Soho.
Thanks! Shepherd's Tavern in Mayfair or Shepherd's restaurant? Or is it spelled Sheperds (no second h?)
Shepherd's on Marsham Court. http://www.langansrestaurants.co.uk/shepherds.html @Marie check your spam. PM'd you yesterday with a suggestion for a "pinch me I'm in London" idea. Hope you got it.
Many of the renowned/expensive restaurants have good deals at lunchtime. It's a good way of eating top flight food for a reasonable cost.
Hi Marie, my pick for your special occasion in London would be Wilton's on Jermyn Street, just next to Piccadilly. This was Winston Churchill's favourite restaurant for lunch. It has atmosphere and is a very distinguised place, both lunch and dinner. Great fish dishes and a carvery trolley. It is indeed a popular place for business lunches. NB! to add hereto - for the gents, jackets are required! have fun!
Thanks to all who posted. Checked out all the suggestions and it looks like Rules for dinner - wish us luck!
Not going til next year but would like to try Jamie Oliver's restaurant. Has anybody tried it?? Will google all other suggestions posted but would like feedback on this one if possible???
Shelley I haven't been so can't help there... but ... just to say that there are several now. I may be wrong but I believe that fifteen may have more locations than the original in Hoxton. Last time I looked reservations at the Hoxton location were still hard to get. He has also got many branches of Jamie Oliver's Italian around, not only in London but around the country. Which did you have in mind?