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Restaurants & Bars 1

London trip notes

Rachel M. | Feb 17, 2004 12:16 PM

Many thanks to those who provided advice for my recent trip to London. Many of my meals ended up being at friends' houses, so I didn't get to try that many restaurants, but...

Arrived Friday morning and decided to hit Borough Market before heading out to the suburbs. I was lucky enough to get an early spot in the queue for the chorizo and rocket sandwiches at Brindisi. At 3.25 with roasted peppers, 2.75 plain, this was definitely the food bargain of the trip! An extremely tasty sandwich, even when not compared to economy class airplane food. I "splurged" for the peppers, but I think if I were to have it again, I might just go for the plain version, as my tastes seem to be getting simpler in my old age. I also picked up some bread and cheese at Neal's Yard Dairy. My few trips here have all been pleasant, especially since they're very liberal with the free tastes. Ended up buying a sheep's milk blue and sharpish cheddar and eating them every morning over the weekend for breakfast.

Spent the weekend out in the suburbs with friends, so limited comments here, except 1) if you find yourself hungry at the Polesdon Lacey House, the tea room food is actually edible and 2) McDermott's, a fish and chips place that I believe is in Croydon, has very good fish, with nice audibly crunchy batter, although the chips left something to be desired (they even had a letter of apology up by the cash register, apparently there are potato quality issues...).

I'd asked for advice on where to eat in the City on Monday night, but my friend who works there had ended up working from home that day, and I ended up back on the train going to visit her and her family. So, my meal ended up being chili con carne in Harpenden.... although it sounds like that might have been preferable given some of your comments!

Tuesday night was my splurge dinner at St. John, which I was very pleased with. Started off with the terrine, followed by roast beef (the more adventurous items on the menu that night were mostly of the game fowl variety, and with 20/20 hindsight I wish I had been braver and tried teal or woodcock). Dessert was orange curd "pancakes", which were more like the palacsinta (crepes) my Hungarian grandmother used to make. They hit the spot both for flavor and for nostalgia's sake.

Wednesday I had lunch at Tapa Room, as I was in the neighborhood after checking out of my hotel and visiting the Wallace Collection. I quite liked the food itself (particularly the "hokey pokey" ice cream) but felt that even by London standards the place was somewhat overpriced.

Thanks also to Simon Majumdar, as I took your somewhat old recommendation on these boards of staying at Durrants. The single rooms are quite small, but perfectly functional, and the atmosphere, service and location were all excellent. (Price was right, too, as English breakfast and VAT were included.)

Would have liked to have another day or two, but all in all it was a very enjoyable trip. And again, thanks to those who provided advice!

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