Where to eat in London – classic & fun restaurant options

May 24, 2015

After a long day of travel, a great meal at a pub sounded perfect. In my research, I found The Punchbowl

It has become habit for me to inquire with the waiter, who was lovely by the way, what they love and what the kitchen is doing well that night. He suggested I start with beetroot salad, which was perfect. Variety of beets with micro greens, goat cheese crumbles and a light vinaigrette.

Time for the main course he recommended their version of bangers and mash. The bangers were absolutely delicious…and the mash. Oh my. The mash was light, yet creamy with what looked like kale or collard greens throughout, both were sitting atop a rich, glossy demi-glace.
IMG_1250 IMG_1251Day 2 was full of sightseeing and shopping. One thing I love and wanted to do was an afternoon tea, and a slightly different version from the classic, Tipsy Tea offered by Mr. Fogg’s sounded great!

Think speakeasy, afternoon style. To keep the mystery, I won’t share much. Visit their website to get an idea of the experience you’ll have and to make reservations.

The space was cute, like stepping back in time, imagine sitting in the drawing room of a world renowned explorer. My tea of choice was the Belvoir Castle and it was tipsy. They do have non-alcoholic options so everyone can enjoy!IMG_1439After a few more hours sightseeing, I headed back to the hotel to freshen up and relax before dinner.

I found Bob Bob Richard, via blogger Haute Nomad. The moment I saw the art deco interior I was intrigued, then saw buttons at some tables that say “Press for Champagne” and I thought, how fun!IMG_1489They have two main dining areas. Upstairs, varied shades of rich blue decor with gold and brass details and downstairs, deep red velvet and pinks and home to “the button”.

I opted to order classic dishes. Starting with a Waldorf salad with endive, grapes, pecans, celery and roquefort cheese tossed in a creamy dressing.IMG_1493My entree choice was a delicious chicken, mushroom and tarragon pie with a side of minted smashed peas. so good. Let’s also take a moment to admire the fancy top of my pie.

The next morning I was off to Renegade Craft Fair so I opted for a light breakfast and of course, coffee.

If you read my post about the fair, you may remember that it was located where Jack the Ripper was from, so as you can imagine some local entrepreneurs had a bit of fun with this. Including my breakfast spot, The Cereal Killer Cafe  easy + fun. IMG_1497

IMG_1531Truly a novel idea that has people standing in line just dying to have a little fun with breakfast.                   (i know, i know but had to)IMG_1530After networking, picture taking and shopping, it was well past lunch time and I read about Tayyabs and wanted to check it out. They offer Punjabi cuisine and when you arrive you are immediately slapped in the face with the smells and sounds from the kitchen. (insert mouth watering emoji)IMG_1587I ordered savory, spicy lamb chops as a starter. You smell the fresh cilantro right away and when you take a bite, you taste the delicious char from the grill and the spices literally dance on your palette. Um, excuse me, may I have two more orders please…IMG_1590Along with the chops they brought naan, fresh veggies, trio of sauces to slather and spoon over anything and everything, until your heart is content. They do not serve alcoholic beverages, however, allow BYOB. I made friends with some folks from San Francisco and they shared a beer with me. As I was chatting with my new friend’s, my chicken arrived in a stewed tomato, onion broth and seasoned to perfection. Another great spot checked off the list!

As I neared the end of my trip, I wanted a brunch spot and Dishoom Bombay Cafe was perfect.

Thanks to some history provided by the menu…(unfortunately) the original Bombay Cafes have almost all disappeared…imagine…fans turning very slowly, patrons sitting in bentwood chairs studying for tests, reading briefs and writing their books…Early last century nearly four hundred cafes were open at their peak in the 1960’s, now less than thirty are still open.

They are known for their chai so that, along with an espresso, bacon naan and Kejriwal was brunch perfection. The Kejriwal is a spice mixture on toast, covered in cheese and broiled, topped with a fried egg. IMG_1631My belly full, I said goodbye and was off for the tube headed to Kew Gardens.

My last night in London was Sunday and a classic roast dinner sounded ideal. Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, serving roasted meats since 1848, is across from the Savoy hotel. I settled in and enjoyed roast beef with extra horseradish sauce, savory potatoes, honey roasted parsnips, savoy cabbage and Yorkshire pudding.

I dined in the ballroom with dimly lit chandeliers, crisp white tablecloths, fresh flowers and the pianist playing some of my favorite show tunes such as “I’ve grown accustomed to her face” from My Fair Lady. It was a lovely evening to reflect on all of the great times that London shared with me.

So grateful, so full.



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