Victoria here, following up on Kristine's take on London food...Bangers and Mash? I think not! For Pub Food, I love Steak and Kidney Pie. Or Shepherd's Pie. Or a Ploughman's Lunch of cheddar cheese, bread and pickles...
A fancy Ploughman's Lunch
Just in time for our tour, British Heritage Magazine, the current issue, has a list of Ten Classic London Restaurants. Yum. Number One on their list would be Number One on mine too.
A rainy night at Rules, Maiden Lane
Rules is London's oldest restaurant and is one of those very special places to save for a splurge. The menu has many kinds of game fresh from the country, as well as the traditional lamb and beef dishes. The décor is definitely Olde English, and the service has been impeccable when I have had the privilege of eating there.
A glimpse of Rules interior
from their website, here
The article also mentions Simpsons-in-the-Strand, The Punjab, Rowley's, Porters, and The Criterion, below.
You might recognize it from one of the episodes of Downton Abbey last season. It's been its opulent self since 1874, and certainly was one of the places the "bright young things" went, back in the day. It's right on Piccadilly Circus, next to the Criterion Theater. Ed and I dropped in for a drink before going to see a very funny play, The 39 Steps; the theatre, dating from the 1870's, is way below ground and was used by the BBC during World War II as a bomb-safe broadcasting venue.
My photos only partially convey the sparkle and shimmer of the walls, ceiling, and furnishings.
For more information on the Criterion restaurant, click here and enjoy a gallery of photos too.
For more on the Criterion Theatre, click here. The 39 Steps is based on a 1935 Alfred Hitchcock movie, a thriller based on a John Buchan novel published in 1915. However, this is a farcical version, based on split-second timing and very funny lines, and four brilliant actors, as well as the excitement of the chase.
As of this writing the play is still running.
The British Heritage article on classic London Restaurants (vol. 35, #4) also lists Rock and Sole Plaice, Langham's Brasserie, and the great seafood restaurant, Wiltons. And one more that I love: The Albert in Victoria Street (as well it should be).
It is a classic Victorian Pub (again, as it should be) and serves food in the Carvery and upstairs. The two pictures below are from a few years ago and show the interior before a recent re-do which highlights the 1860's look of the original, before it survived the Blitz and lots of neighborhood development plans.
We got a good laugh from the sign to which my buddy Richard points. Indeed more seats!
We loved every minute and every morsel at The Albert.
I am eager to see the new furnishings, soon, I hope. And while we are on the subject of restaurants, one of the funniest signs I saw was the one below, when we were exploring Windsor with our late great friend Hester Davenport.
The Nell Gwynn Chinese Restaurant, Windsor
Kristine and I fell apart laughing at this. Wonder what the famous actress, courtesan, and special mistress of Charles II would think of this sign! At least they got the orange color right!!
Watch for more on food and restaurants, coming up when we tour England in September.