London Food and Drinks Guide
Pubs and Bars in Hendon
The Hendon is situated just a two minute walk from the London Backpackers Hostel, a modern and traditional pub by day, but a lively atmosphere at night, often with a live DJ on a Friday and Saturday nights. Reasonably priced food can also be purchased there until 8pm . There are also a number of pool tables and a pool competition on a Wednesday evening, with a sizable cash prize.
Also situated a stones throw from the London Backpackers Hostel, The Gallery offers a rather different experience. This bar requires reasonable smart dress
This is everything that you would expect from an Irish pub. The Cladderring shows a wide variety of sports on several screens, and when the evening comes there is often live bands playing on a weekend.
A medieval banquet would make your trip to London unforgettable. Why not find out a bit more about them and if there’s one on during your stay by looking at our guide, below?
Recall English history at its finest through the popular Medieval Banquets. This majestic Medieval Banquet occurs in the vaulted cellars of the Ivory House, located near the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge , by sparkling torchlight. A Medieval Banquet is a unique and memorable way of celebrating a personal birthday party, a corporate event, or a night out with friends.
One of the more popular medieval banquets is the Elizabethan Banquet at the Beefeater by the Tower in London . Be greeted by Henry VII and other knights jousting. Witness the strolling players singing medieval ballads. The entire event seems like a step back into the annals of history, and serves as a reminder of the festivity of old times.
A memorable medieval banquet consists of a four-course traditional English meal with an alternative choice for vegetarians and an unlimited supply of wine and beer. The meals include a selection of cold roast meats, pate and fresh salad served with brown bread. For the health conscious, an alternative menu consists of a vegetarian pate and fresh salad, also served with brown bread and fresh vegetable soup.
The medieval banquet also includes a two hour themed entertainment and dancing until 11:30pm . The cast often has an assortment of characters from the medieval eras: jesters, troubadors, and people of the court, who perform dances, songs, and various tricks.
The medieval banquet is open every night to everyone. The prices during regular seasons are £39.50 for adults and £25.00 for children. These prices are not valid during Valentines weekend, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, among other noted celebrations.
Pubs and Bars
A real London experience will not be complete without the pub experience. The pub is at the heart of the community, in towns and cities all over England . London ‘s pubs and bars are the best places to absorb the London culture. It is more than a shop where drinks are sold, it is a place for people to relax or to celebrate, where friends meet, and where business people negotiate deals. Many of the pubs have retained their old tradition of service and hospitality including their original character and atmosphere.
West Central holds some of the good old traditional pubs. Cittie of Yorkie in Holborn was rebuilt in the 1890’s. Its attraction is its huge room of church-like proportions and massive 1000 gallon wine butts standing above the bar. Across The British Museum in Bloomsbury , visitors can go to the Museum Tavern and have a drink of ale with fish and chips and take in the history that goes with the pub dating back to 1855. It has beautiful carved wooden fittings and edged and cut glass. For a beautiful Art Nouveau pub, the Coal Hole has re-opened with new lighting and has a rejuvenated « ye olde inn » ambiance. The Lamb is a traditional pub built in the 1720s and today, it is a fine Victorian pub with green tiled walls, a U-shaped counter, and rare snob screens.
Covent Garden has Cross Keys and Opera Tavern, only a short walk away from Ashlee House. Check out the nightlife at Soho with Dog & Duck’s corner pub which is a popular place even if customers have to squeeze into its two small bars, often spilling out onto the pavement of Bateman and Frith Street . Its extraordinary interior is covered in tiles or mirrors, reminiscent of a Victorian butchers or grocers shop.
Pubs are as much a part of England ‘s heritage as monuments and stately homes. Ashlee House provides not just modern accommodations but assistance in discovering the many hidden local pubs and inexpensive restaurants that most tourists to London never get the chance to experience.
Fish and Chips
A trip to London isn’t complete until you’ve tried good old fashioned fish and chips, with salt and vinegar.
« As British as fish and chips »—or so the saying goes, reflecting the association of this popular snack with the life and culture of London . In fact, you don’t have to go very far to taste this special native delicacy. You can find fish and chips right in front of your hotel accommodations, near tourist spots, by shopping malls or on busy street corners. It’s sold both by vendors as quick and convenient snack, or served as an appetizer in most restaurants. But of course, not all fish and chips are created equal. Some places have made a reputation for making the very best in London , and are worth a special visit. These are some of the very best fish and chips shops in the city.
Located at Holborn Tube, Fryers’ Delight puts a huge emphasis on quality of their food. You’ll also enjoy the large servings, good enough to be shared or taken as a convenient lunch while touring the city.
It’s a small restaurant, tucked in a corner in the Bond St. Tube, but the Golden Hind’s fare is so exceptional that it’s been endorsed by various celebrities. If it’s good enough for the biggest stars, it’s good enough for you! One of the Golden Hind’s most distinguishing features is a delectable tartare sauce that brings out the flavor of the fish and chips.
North Sea Fresh Restaurant
For those who are looking for a comfortable sit-down meal, this charming restaurant has all the ambience of a traditional dinery. You’ll feel like you’re in Old London, the perfect atmosphere for savoring one of the country’s most traditional dishes. You can choose from a standard serving (ideal as a light appetizer) or go for the larger, « feed a hungry mob » plate.
For most tourists, an Afternoon Tea is best enjoyed after a long day of touring, just before you head back to your accommodation house. For details on some excellent places to visit for a cream tea, please have a look at our guide.
The Duchess of Bedford pioneered a traditional British habit of afternoon tea in 1830. She ordered a light meal to reduce her hunger pangs between the time of lunch and dinner. After a decade, slices of bread with finely chopped cucumber, some sponge cakes, and fresh pots of tea were being served in all of London.
Historically, Afternoon Tea was a time for ladies to chat, gossip, and display their expensive china collections. Throughout time, however, drinking tea has become more of a tradition of afternoon delight, a simple but wonderful way to pamper oneself, whether it be spending time with friends, reminiscing over past days, or relishing a rare moment of solitude.
Best Places for Afternoon Tea
The places to visit for an Afternoon Tea range from five star hotels to stylish restaurants. There’s The Carlton Towers, a five star hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge, which offers a relaxed atmosphere and an array of excellent teas. The Ritz offers a luxurious indulgence to traditional tea. An Afternoon Tea at The Ritz would be synonymous to magnificence and luxury. Like finding hotel accommodations, the trick is to identify the kind of ambience that most appeals to your personality.
Other places to try an afternoon tea include Basil Street Hotel, Capital Restaurant, and Spoon. Each place offers a distinct scene for an Afternoon Tea. Basil Street Hotel, for instance, is the perfect place to spend an afternoon tea sans the opulence and extravagance that are associated with many tea rooms. Capital Restaurant, on the other hand, is one of the more expensive places to have an Afternoon Tea, but the quality and elegance of the place is well worth the steep price. Spoon is one of the more trendy places for an Afternoon Tea and it is possible to spot celebrities who have made it their favourite haunt. There are other places that offer a different atmosphere for an Afternoon Tea such as The Conservatory wherein the room is decorated with mint green and pink and Chinese lanterns, with water overflowing in its side.
Cafes and Restaurants
If you’d rather have a nice meal out than dance the night away, or fancy somewhere to grab a some lunch while shopping and sightseeing , our guide to cafes and restaurants in London is a « must see » for planning your evening.
There are many restaurants and cafes in London , and the variety of menus ensure that you will find one to suit your particular preference or mood. Discover authentic French cuisine.. Savor the aroma of an exquisite Ethiopian meal. Revel in the rich flavours of a traditional Chinese laureat meal. These and many others are offered in the restaurants and cafes scattered all over the city.
Choose from a variety of restaurants that offer fine dining or al fresco dining—or go for the all out convenience of take out corners! The Bombay Brasserie at Courtfield Close in Kensington offers native Indian cooking. The average meal costs around £40 and a live piano music serenades the crowd.
For Italian cuisine lovers, L’incontro at 87 Pimlico Road , Chelsea provides simple yet elegant dishes. The restaurant is light, well illuminated, and lively. Meals cost around £45. The Feng Wei at 19 New Cavendish Street in Marylebone offers an express lunch for the price of £5.90. It offers traditional Chinese dishes such as Sautéed Beef with Sacha Sauce and Chiu Chow Style Baked Lobster with Ginger and Spring Onion.
After a busy day of touring, why not take a coffee and pastry break at a café? . The list of good cafes in London includes the New Piccadilly at Denman Street , which is one of the largest original cafes in the city. E Pellicci, which has been praised for both for its structure and food, is practically an institution in London . There is also the Gambardella at Vanbrugh Park , which dates back from 1930s, but has been refurbished to suit the modern times.
Many of the restaurants are located near hotel accommodations. Ask the front desk at your hotel accommodations for a list of the eating establishments in the area.
Cheap Food in London
If you’d like to go out for dinner but are working to a budget, why not check out our guide to eating out cheaply in London for places that serve good food without costing the earth.
While London is one of the best possible tourist destinations—interesting history, exciting night life, centre of arts and culture—it is not the cheapest. Because of this, tourists often look for ways of cutting corners on some travel expenses so they can spend more time in the city or visit more of its attractions. And one of the places where they can really control their budget is food. Here are some of the cheapest places to eat in when in London :
Food for Thought
Located about a hundred yards from Neal’s yard, this is a place that is good for people who are health conscious. Paired with a 70’s décor for that ideal ambient atmosphere, salad plates and other low-calorie, vegetarian recipes who are watching their (British) pounds and their, uh, pounds.
Tourists who are looking for a little spice in their life can go to Diwana, which serves southern Indian food like curry. This establishment is located in Drummond Street , NW1 a block north of Euston station in a street. One of its budget-friendly features are affordable eat all you can buffets
Pasta and pizza lovers can head for Ecco, located on Google St. , It is a favourite of the local television and advertising industry and often full of bicycle couriers. All the food is freshly made before the very eyes of their customers. Meals come at an affordable £3, and people have the luxury of sitting outside and eating al fresco.
It doesn’t have much of an ambience, but this canteen style establishment located at Wigmore St. emphasizes giving delicious, healthy and affordable budget meals.
An Indonesian / Malaysian restaurant with distinctive flavours and unique menus, this place is perfect for travellers who want meals cheap, and fast. The service is excellent and the food is filling and deliciously prepared. Located on Shafflesbuy Avenue , Soho , this establishment is also known for its wonderful wine.
Heading down to South Bank? Why not drop into Vinopolis for a vineyard experience in central London , with free wine tasting to boot! Can you resist … thought not.
A visit to London will not be complete without having a drink or two—or more! This new London attraction will definitely put a big smile on any wine lover’s face. The Vinopolis, known as « The City of Wine », is a 2.25 acre paradise for wine enthusiasts and tourists (and alcoholics too). Opened in the summer of 1999, it is by far the first and only attraction of its kind that you will find anywhere in the world. And with Great Britain being the largest wine exporter in the world, it’s just proper for the country to come up with this one of a kind showcase right in the nation’s capital.
Located just by the South Bank of the River Thames near the Shakespearian Globe Theatre, The Vinopolis, which is definitely one of London ‘s finest attractions to offer, is very quickly becoming a world famous tourist destination. Locals and tourists alike come in droves to get a taste of some of the best wines that London has to offer. There are about 40 wine tasting stations and over 200 exquisite wines to savour. These wines can also be purchased either by the bottle or by the case. Shipping and delivery can also be arranged since it can be assumed that you wouldn’t want to drag the extra weight along on your way back home. Other available miscellaneous items are a wide array of wine accessories ranging from splendid wine glasses, to novelty corkscrews.
For the knowledge hungry person, various presentations and commentaries on the wine-producing regions of the world can be viewed and listened to throughout the area. And if you’re the type who likes to take high-speed tours, Vespa motor scooters are available to take an exciting ride through the vineyards. Don’t drink and drive though.
Next time you’re in London , make it a point to experience the pleasure, luxury and fun at The Vinopolis. It’s open from 10am to 3:30pm daily.