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Ericandblueboy

Four Days in London around Christmas, Staying at St. Martins Lane Hotel near Leicester Square

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I'll be visiting London after a 17 year hiatus.  Time is relatively short, arriving Friday morning and departing the following Tuesday.  Staying at the St. Martins Lane Hotel near Leicester Square (near Covent Garden).

Looking for nearby nose-to-tail or unique dining experiences.  Price not an issue but not looking for coat & tie joints.

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1 hour ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I'll be visiting London after a 17 year hiatus.  Time is relatively short, arriving Friday morning and departing the following Tuesday.  Staying at the St. Martins Lane Hotel near Leicester Square (near Covent Garden).

Looking for nearby nose-to-tail or unique dining experiences.  Price not an issue but not looking for coat & tie joints.

I don't mean to date myself, but I last went to the original St. John in 2003 (!) - have you been there, and is this the type of place you're looking for? (I don't remember if it was open 17-years ago, but it was open 15-years ago).

Screenshot 2018-10-17 at 14.03.12.png

The atmosphere was something close to 2 Amys, minus the strollers - the dining room floor was tiled like a bathroom, and although the cuisine was sophisticated - or, more accurately, "for adults" (more gutteral than sophisticated) - you would have had no problem with any dress code.

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16 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Never been to St. John but that's definitely a place I'm interested in going.

It was similar in style and spirit to Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal, but I went to Au Pied de Cochon solo, and the portions were just too big for one diner to handle (I remember dropping my head in despair when they brought out the Foie Gras Poutine), so I never got a proper feel for the restaurant.

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You might also want to check the two places in Kensington I posted.  Il Portico is a bit more up-scale (but not coat and tie stiff) but more white tablecloth.  La Pappardella helmed by Luigi the owner, and Fabio in the kitchen can give you anything from pizza to home made pasta.  This is a more relaxed somewhat traditional Italian restaurant.  

La Pappardella is in Earl's Court at:

253 Old Brompton Road, Earl's Court, London SW5 9HP

It's close to the Earl's Court, West Brompton, and Glouster Road tube stations.  (if you take the tube, buy an Oyster card, saves you money and you get the £5 card fee back when you cancel the card)

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Look at the London Dining Guide, which is nothing more than an (unfinished) front end to AndyHayler.com. You saw his chat, Eric - he's the best there is ... if there's anything specific you need to know, ask - you can also write him directly, and he'll answer you: Twitter will get the quickest response.

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Have a good time in London, my home town. The restaurant scene in London is probably best in its diversity, with a wide variety of ethnic cuisines. You have limited time but a few ideas follow. Best fine dining experience: Ledbury or Hedone or The Ritz (but jacket and tie for that one) or Gordon Ramsay. Best Italian: Beck at Browns. Best Indian: Indian Accent. Best Chinese: Hakkasan for "posh" Chinese, Royal China Queensway for a more down to earth experience. Best pizza (at least near your hotel) is 50 Kalo di Ciro Salva. Best Spanish: Cambio de Tercio. Best pub food: Harwood Arms, which specializes in game, some of it shot personally by the owner. Enjoy your trip. Details of all these places with reviews and photos are on www.andyhayler.com

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Harwood Arms (zgast)

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Visiting London again this Xmas season.  Any really good seafood plateaus?  Staying near Covent Garden again.  Already booked St. John.

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