The Culinary London 10
Despite Britain’s undeserved reputation for terrible cuisine, London is truly a culinary mecca. Following my blog post a few weeks back about top 10 London destinations, I submit my top 10 in the food and drink department.
1. The Cow. Charming gastropub that is good for celebrity spotting, too. 89 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, London. W2 5QH. 020 7221 0021.
2. The Tiroler Hut. This tiny hole in the wall combines Austrian food with live cow bell music and complimentary peppermint schnapps. A lethal combination. 27 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London. W2. 020 7727 3981.
3. Le Relais de Venise. They serve only one dish: green salad with a mustard vinaigrette and steak frites (translation: steak and thin cut French fries) and do it very well. There is always a line out the door but it’s worth the wait. 120 Marylebone Lane, London. W1U 2QG. 020 7486 0878.
4. St. Pancras Grand Champagne Bar. Europe’s longest champagne bar is at St. Pancras train station of all places and it’s open from 8 a.m. (don’t judge) to 11 p.m. I haven’t been there yet but friends report that it is every bit as great as it sounds. St. Pancras Station, Upper Concourse, Euston Road, London. N1C 4QL. 020 7870 9900.
5. Pitcher and Piano, All Bar One and Slug and Lettuce. They’re all chain pubs but they do decent food and drinks and there’s always one just around the corner. A good place to stop in during a rain storm. Locations throughout London.
6. Afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel. They do those dainty little crustless finger sandwiches and pretty desserts with your choice of tea. So very British. 150 Piccadilly. London. W1J 9BR. 020 7493 8181.
7. Hush. Co-founded by the son of 007’s Roger Moore, this Mayfair restaurant/bar has a formal dining room, a more casual brasserie and a cocktail bar. You can’t help but feel cool here. No. 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London. W1S 1EY. 020 7659 1500.
8. Yo Sushi. Sushi delivered on color coded plates via conveyor belt. There are over two dozen locations dotted throughout London.
9. Belgo. Belgian beer and moule frites (translation: mussels and thin cut French fries). A match made in heaven. There are locations in Bromley, Clapham, Kingsway and Chalk Farm Road. I’ve only been to the “Centraal” location at 50 Earlham Street, London. WC2H 9LJ. 020 7813 2233.
10. Beach Blanket Babylon. Not sure where the name came from, as this is more Marilyn Manson than Gidget in decor. But the gothic style is accompanied by a very tasty cocktail menu. There are two locations: 45 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill. W11 2AA. 020 7229 2907 and 19-23 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London. E1 6LA. 020 7749 3540.
A final note: avoid Angus Steakhouses and Garfunkel’s restaurants. They always attract Americans because they resemble an alluring cross between Applebee’s and TGI Friday’s but don’t be fooled.
What are your favorite places to eat and drink when you’re in London? I’d love to hear from you!