I did lots of snacking and eating at markets while in town, not much for "nicer" places but a couple. Spent a lot riding all over on the tube too. Arrived early in Hammersmith on Feb. 24 and hit that mkt at Lyric Sq. Wasn't quite ready for the giant sausages that look so good but got some giant donuts from the Portuguese bakers, okay not great. This video shows some of the options:
After the V&A museum I had a cheeseburger at Patty & Bun in Soho. It was decent but pricey at 8£ and no sides. Super nice people working there, but kind of wish I'd waited til I got to the Rupert St. mkt. Dinner with my host was at both floors of the newish Distillery on Portobello. Downstairs at the Resting Room was an ok rhubarb gimlet and we split a great pulled duck and kale dish and croquettes while upstairs at Gintonica I had a glass of port and we ate nice grilled shrimp, bruschetta and more croquettes. Great server. Ended w/ an excellent sticky toffee pudding at Bill's, maybe the best dessert I had on the trip.
Sat. I fought the crowds at Portobello mkt just eating an ok lamb samosa and cream donut from the stands. That evening met friends at the Snooty Fox pub by Canonbury and split small plates, the oxtail was the winner. Sun was more markets in the Brick Lane area and ended up w/ Singapore food at the Upmarket, tasty mix and match for 6£. Sadly my man from Georgia who sold excellent whoopie pies left and the bars I bought from another baker were just okay. Walked over to the Cocktail Trading Co on Bethnal Green Rd. and had a very well made Bee's Knees with personable owner/bartender Ollie. That evening was Persian food at Sufi by Shepherd's Bush where we split amazing chicken livers, good bread and an ok eggplant spread app. My main of ground lamb kebabs was good, friends loved the Khoresh Fessenjan (pomengranite chicken stew). Great prices, 5-13£ for our stuff. Ended with drinks at the newish Dorset hotel.
Mon. I hit a bunch of museums and got a late lunch at Borough which was very quiet not being a major market day. I had a big pork sandwich w/ apple sauce and rocket, dude wasn't particularly nice but the guy who sold me a choc chip cookie and brownie was great (brownie lasted for days). Topped it off w/ a flat white from Monmouth. That evening my friend got a good salad and mac n cheese fritters at Defectors Weld in S. Bush, very busy on a Mon. I just got a drink, not sure about their cocktail skills, the Bramble was just ok. The Queen Anne down the street from her house is a cute pub w/ an interesting menu but the sticky toffee pudding was just okay.
Tues. I took the train to Manchester where the weather didn't cooperate so much. Hit the Imperial War Museum then an okay happy hour drink at the Liquor Co. and nice grilled cheese from Northern Soul Grilled Cheese. Later I went to Evuna down the street from my nice Abel Heywood hotel where I had really boring olives and a great pork belly dish (a deal at 6£). The gal working there saw that I didn't like the sherry I chose and figured out the right one for me. Wed. I shopped a bit then got decent fish n chips from Kingfisher. Back in London that evening I got a drink at Smith's downstairs at the Brook Green Hotel, a speakeasy looking place, then saw a show at the Shacklewell Arms by Dalston.
Thurs. I checked out the Wood St mkt in Walthamstow then had a nice plum cake and coffee at Cafe Bonita. I had made a reservation for tea at Dean St. Townhouse that afternoon but kind of rushed thru it since I found out I was going to do a radio show that evening (trashcanradio.com; it's on real radio too). I really like Dean St. but need to go back for a real meal and drink, other than the scones and clotted cream, I wasn't overly thrilled (or I just don't get the tea thing). Ended up at the Prince Albert pub in Brixton after radio. Fri. was a mish mash day after going way out to the wrong High Road and a visit at Charing Cross Hospital (6 people in a room, yikes). Met friends at Moro in the Clerkenwell section for dinner and that was fun and good. I thoroughly enjoyed my pork belly w/ greens and mashed potato (£23) and a Seville orange cake. I'd made a reservation at Zetter Townhouse for post-dinner drinks and loved it there. Very cool space, nice service, fun drinks, good ending to the nite (until we saw some crazy girl kicking the police car).
Sat. I moved to the K&K George Hotel where a friend met me and we set off for the Broadway market which I didn't get to last time. Very nice market, crowded but civilized with lots of good food options between there and Netil and the little one in between. But the s'mores brownie I chose and nut cake S. got were just okay, the Scotch egg we split was good. We took the bus to the Museum of London (and I got a real iced coffee on the way which is easier than it used to be) then walked back to the Cocktail Trading Co. cuz S. had to experience it and Ollie said he was up for the Pisco sour challenge. The other two guys working were great too, you have to visit. We regrouped then went to the Remy Martin pop up happening on Wardour St and a late dinner at Rules. We had an excellent table and decent service; my rabbit was fine but not too exciting (24£) and the rhubarb crumble was disappointing but the space is great. Sun. we got coffee at the Brownie Box in Earl's Court then she headed to Covent Garden and I went to Camden. I couldn't find my man w/ the duck confit sandwich so ended up w/ Thai food which wasn't great and the donut from the churros guy wasn't as good as last time either. Ended with a gelato on Wardour St. and that was that.
FYI found all sorts of interesting info on The Nudge site and somehow got signed up for bookatabale.com who have amazing deals that I didn't take advantage of. Hopefully this info helps other tourists looking for some fairly well priced meals. And of course if you want to zip all around town (although I really could have gone more north and south).