Does anyone else start planning what they will eat way to far in advance before they travel or is that just me?
I love food and I love finding fun places to try when I am on the road. When I am researching dining suggestions for my clients I start with my own travels (Saving things in google maps is a life saver), my friends who are foodies, and research places like CN Traveler, Eater, and Bon Appetite. Don’t stick to places that serve more American type food, stay away from any chain type restaurants, and take your time. Find a pub, order a pint, and just sit and people watch or talk to locals. One thing that both the UK and European countries do well is slowing down and enjoying meals with their friends and family.
Things you really need to try while you are in town- a good Sunday roast, fish and chips, Indian food, and a classic afternoon tea.
So here are some great spots not to be missed…
Dishoom has several locations throughout London and serves the best Indian food in the city. There is a large Indian culture and influence in London, so short of heading to India yourself this is some of the best you will have. They don’t take reservations for dinner for groups smaller than 6 but if you go when they open you should be able to get a table. If you are traveling with a large group book reservations as soon as you can, they fill up fast.
Dalloway Terrace is one of the instagram favorites of influencers at the moment and who can blame them, located in the Bloomsbury hotel, the restaurant features a beautiful and ever changing floral decor, retractable roof and heaters so guests can enjoy year round. Located near Tottenham Court road, it is an ideal spot for brunch with friends or a relaxing afternoon tea.
Located in Belsize Park, Oliver’s is hands down my pick for fish and chips. Serving both fried and grilled fish for the more health conscious, Oliver’s also has a pick up window if you want to take some for the road. The chips (fries for us Americans) are cooked perfectly and with a little malt vinegar and salt, can not be missed.
The other Instagram hot spot of London, Sketch boasts some of the more eclectic decor of any other London restaurant I have been to. The bathroom is a particular highlight, which I realize sounds so weird but its a bathroom with what looks like egg pods instead of stalls and it makes for a very entertaining experience. The food is french inspired and their afternoon tea is a delight. Sketch is actually made up of several different dining experiences, including a Two Michelin star restaurant called the Lecture room.
Within walking distance to Kensington Palace is Ffiona’s, which is a classic and quaint British restaurant. This small intimate space, serves an amazing menu of British classics, but its the owner, Ffiona who has the true gift of hospitality and makes each guest feel like an old friend. Ffiona’s also serves brunch and offers a delectable Sunday roast dinner.
For the coffee lovers, Monocle coffee is the spot you want to hit up when you get off an over night flight and feel like jet lag is going to be your ending. Owned and operated by Monocle magazine, this small cafe in Marleybone has a very minimalistic design and features pastries and cakes as well as some really good espresso, obviously.
For an extra special night out, The Ivy is a well established celebrity hot spot located in Covent Garden. Perfect for a pre theatre meal or a post theatre drink, the Ivy has been around since 1917 and was recently refurbished in 2015. It is where you want to go for 5 star service in a beautifully decorated, intimate setting.