London Eats

The Alfred Tennyson breakfast, avocado toast and sausage

We enjoyed some really outstanding meals during our few days in London, and if you’re planning a visit, you may want to consider some of these.

Breakfast/Brunch:

I mentioned Grain Store in Monday’s post, and have already recommended this spot to friends who live in or visit London frequently. Broad menu, family friendly, and sustainable, it’s easily accessible from the King’s Cross tube stop.

The Alfred Tennyson – this place near Belgrave Square gets packed at lunchtime, but is quiet and mellow in the mornings. It was a few minutes walk from our hotel, and we came here twice for breakfast. They offer the “Full English,” as well as lighter fare. We opted for the avocado toast with poached egg, and a side of Cumberland sausage (pictured above).

Lunch:

The Ivy Chelsea Garden – I met up with Vicki Archer (French Essence) and Josephine (Chic at Any Age) here for lunch, and this lovely spot was Vicki’s suggestion. (We had a great time catching up, and it was so nice to see them both again!) The decor is pure English Garden Charm, but not kitschy. The patio was full, but our table just inside was comfortable, and the food was quite good. (Had the roast chicken.)  We also had a Celebrity Sighting here, the stunning and elegant Gitte Lee, who graces the cover of Ari Seth Cohen’s first Advanced Style book. This place does fill up, so suggest you book ahead.

Dinner:

Lily Langtree portrait at Rules restaurant London

Rules – billed as “the oldest restaurant in London,” Rules offers traditional English fare featuring seafood, game, meat and savory pies, very well prepared in a setting with great Old School ambiance. Be sure and check out the upstairs, where Prince Edward (later King Edward VII) and his mistress Lily Langtry used to sneak in through a secret door to dine away from prying eyes. A portrait of Lily Langtry hangs above the table they reputedly frequented.

samosas at Chutney Mary, London

Chutney Mary – If you like Indian food At. All. this place is not to be missed. The dishes are creative takes on traditional Indian food, and everything we tried was outstanding. Both the duck salad and samosa appetizers (pictured above) were amazing. Le Monsieur very much enjoyed his lamb curry. Vegetarians, try the “silver crescent platter.” This is another spot that fills up, so do book ahead.

Corrigan’s Mayfair – this was a recommendation from our hotel concierge. Both the decor and menu are contemporary with a nod to the traditional. The food and service were both outstanding, yet done with a light hand. (If there’s gazpacho on the starter menu when you go, don’t miss it…best I’ve ever tasted!) This isn’t the kind of place where you feel overwhelmed, either by the food or atmosphere. The tables are nicely spaced and it isn’t noisy. This one’s a splurge, but they don’t miss a note.

Lobby Crawl:

The Withdrawing Room, Lanesborough Hotel London

Some nights we’re just not up to a full meal, so we’ve come up with a favorite travel tradition we call the Lobby Crawl. Pick a nice hotel, and go have drinks and appetizers in the lobby bar. Then if you’re feeling ambitious, move on to another for coffee and dessert. We had a lovely time at the Library Bar at The Lanesborough and would have gone back again had we more time. (Pictured above, “The Withdrawing Room,” which can also be accessed for drinks or tea.)

What’s your favorite spot to eat in London?

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14 Comments

  1. July 7, 2016 / 4:07 am

    These look wonderful.
    Some of the best meals I’ve had in London were in tiny ethnic restaurants. There’s an amazing variety.

  2. Robin G
    July 7, 2016 / 4:48 am

    Lobby crawl! I love it. What an awesome idea. When we are in London, we normally just eat in at my SIL’s or grab something when we’re out and about. can’t name a consistent favorite.

  3. July 7, 2016 / 5:14 am

    Thank you so much for the mention. Glad you enjoyed our cuisine! You listed a few places I have not tried yet.

  4. sueinspain
    July 7, 2016 / 5:30 am

    My husband’s grandsons love going to Côte near Oxford Circus. It’s a French chain and reasonably priced (they have set menus) with tasty food and plenty of options for teenagers as well as adults. For vegetarians, Mildred’s is a popular choice. I enjoy Tibits, just off Regent Street, where you select from their buffet and they weigh your food so you only pay for what you’re going to eat! It is also good for vegetarians and reasonably priced.

    • July 7, 2016 / 6:10 am

      I also love Mildred’s (crowded and noisy, though!) and Tibits; Manna at Primrose Hill, and Vanilla Black for a splurge! When in doubt, for a fast meal we have been to various locations of Le Pain Quotidien many times. I hope to get to Grain Store next time!

  5. Ellen
    July 7, 2016 / 5:46 am

    I am a big fan of the lobby crawl (or any place that will serve me small plates), but never thought to name it. We are the kind of people who choose small non-chain hotels or inns whenever we can, places where there may not be concierge, but there is always a friendly person at the desk, and often even at a small place there is a doorman (or woman). We have gotten some of our best restaurant recommendations from these people, especially the doormen: usually these are non-tourist, non-guidebook establishments, and have provided us with some of our most memorable meals.

  6. July 7, 2016 / 5:51 am

    Hello Susan,
    What a great lunch we had and I wish we could do it more often… you live too far away for my liking 😉
    I agree, lobbies are a favourite of mine too..
    Enjoy beautiful France, xv

  7. July 7, 2016 / 7:59 am

    Love your Lobby Crawl idea, must put it into practice on my next trip. Now is a great time to be in London given the favorable exchange rate.

  8. Kristen
    July 7, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    Dishoom in Covent Garden and Clarke’s in Notting Hill are always must eats for me. Really want to try Corrigan’s next trip.

  9. July 7, 2016 / 10:43 pm

    Rules and the Wolsley are my two faves. Thanks for sharing your finds!

  10. Brit
    July 11, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Bangkok for Thai in South Kensington, and Carluccio’s is a great chain restaurant we don’t have here in the states for Italian. I think London is an exceptional place for ethnic food – such variety and quality!

  11. July 13, 2016 / 7:02 pm

    Thanks for your wonderful tour of London – am loving it! I love the “Lobby Crawl” thing.

  12. April 28, 2017 / 9:51 am

    I’m trawling through all of your London posts for our tripto London in September. Starting a list. Thanks.

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