Thank for all the info gleaned from hounders which made recent visit to London/UK special---here are some of the highlights (minues many meals, snacks too numerous to mention!)for your use:
Enjoyed initial business stay at Intercontinental Mayfair (planned upcoming closing for one year for remodeling). Then moved over to THE CONNAUGHT---and never want to stay anywhere else---experience is best hotel stay, we've had after many years traveling the world.
CONNAUGHT GRILL ROOM/RESTAURANT- Grill room and restaurant feature new Gordon Ramsay protege and the food is superb, service incredible! Very understated decor with happening crowd. Seems to be the place to go, given recent write ups in London papers and Vogue mag.
FORTNUM & MASON- delicious chicken pot pie lunch with perfect veggies and huge chunks of chicken breast in FM Fountain restaurant.
THE IVY- enjoyed clubby atmosphere, great for our business dinner, we were treated very well/as regulars. Food and service excellent. Lobster superb, chicken perfect. Great star gazing- Andrew Lloyd Weber, Madonna etc.
ZAIKA- Don't understand Michelin star---Nice surroundings, TERRIBLE service. Several dishes very good (cheese plate appetizer), but most mundane (lamb biryani, naan) and the Pimm's Cup more like a tropical fruit salad than proper drink. Would not return.
CHINA HOUSE- ok and convenient to IC Mayfair hotel, very elegant take out.
BASIL STREET HOTEL- nostalgic favorite/going here for 20 years, for afternoon cream tea after shopping at Harrod's, a block away. Nice comfy room, quiet, in City lodging for many English in from country homes for a bit of shopping. Excellent sandwiches, scones and cakes for v. reasonable price.
CHURCHILL ARMS/Paxford/near Broadway: Fantastic pub food by Sonia Kidney! Wonderful tranquil setting. Set lunches around 10 pounds. Delicious beef, courgette, home made granary "flavoured" breads. Must stop.
LYGON ARMS/Broadway- very good food from new chef and staff. Excellent service,rest. manager.
LEWTRENCHARD MANOR/Lewdon, Devon: THE SURPRISE of the trip---chef trying for Michelin star, 5 chefs in kitchen of this tranquil manor house, preparing food that belongs in Paris at 2-3 star restaurant! Really great experience in a "Pride of Britain" lodging amidst garden setting. Worth a trip.
SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, Padstow, Cornwall: Despite garnering hard to get reservations---we could not even get near this town!! The roads in were all congested due to construction and tons of visitors/tour buses etc. Word to the wise, go only way after summer-we were there two weeks ago! Also, avoid ANY road that says unsuitable for lorries. Many of the two lane roads into town are actually about 1/2 lane wide and the tour busses don't heed signs and plow right along.
CORNISH PASTY: Traditional, mushy potato, carrot and unknown meat with tons of pepper traditional standbys. Acquired taste-crusts usually good, Catsup helps, but probably not traditional.
BATH PRIORY, Bath: OUTSTANDING CREAM/HIGH TEA!! Very nice stay, Ordered tea served in magnificent gardens in back. Sandwiches were huge and delectable, each one better than the other (beautiful shrimp, chicken breast, cucumber, perfect roast beef) AND scrumptous large round scones AND a large tray of about 15 pastries---from chocolate brownie-like cakes, fruit cake slices, cookies. Have never seen a tea like this!! About 15 pounds each or half what the Ritz, Browns, etc charge for nothing like this. Excellent service from Spanish staff who have worked there for 25+ years.
Also, dining room gorgeous and intimate with Michelin starred chef serving great food. One of the better evenings overall in wonderfully elegant surroundings.