My lovely assistant and I have been planning a vacation to the UK for quite some time. One of the things I wanted out of the trip was to enjoy some good food. In the next few posts I will take you through the restaurants we found, the food we ate, and what there was to see nearby. Several of these areas are adjacent to one another – Central London is surprisingly small. We followed odd routes and visited stuff on the spur of the moment. I wouldn’t necessarily use these posts as a guidebook, if I were you.
Some of the food photos are a little rough, because it’s difficult to control lighting in a restaurant and we didn’t want to bother other patrons with camera flashes and such.
Shall we get on with it, then?
One thing to remember right off the bat is the differences in the currency values. While we were in England, the pound was worth about $1.56. At the same time, lots of things are more expensive there. So be careful with your money – understand how much you’re actually spending. We rented an apartment (using Home from Home, which I highly recommend), so we had a kitchen, and we dined in several times to cut costs.
Our first meal in London was lunch on Friday, June 29th. We had spent the last couple of hours figuring out cell phone issues, and we were famished. Our flat was near the Westfield shopping center in Shepherd’s Bush, and there’s a Wagamama location there.
I was disappointed. I’d eaten at Wagamama in Boston and loved it, so I don’t know if I just ordered the wrong thing this time or what.
After a much-needed nap, we headed out for Baker Street.
The museum was packed with a busload of tourists, and we decided to take a spin through Regent’s Park and come back. Unfortunately by the time we got back the Sherlock Holmes museum had closed.
That’s another tip I would give – check the opening and closing times for things you want to see. A lot of stuff closes at 5, and 5 o’clock sneaks up on you. During the summer months the sun stays up until after 9 pm, and I know for us this contributed to a lot of “Is it really that late?” moments.
Regent’s Park is beautiful, so if you enjoy gardens or waterfowl I’d recommend a trip through. Something in there was killing my husband, though – I didn’t have any allergy problems the whole trip, but he was a mess in a couple of the park areas.
This excursion led to our first great meal of the trip.
The light in the restaurant was very red, sorry about that.
This was at a place called Meat Liquor. The restaurant is close to the Bond Street tube station, and tucked away behind a department store. Queue early, and make sure your entire party is there when you get to the front of the line – they won’t seat you otherwise.
The food menu isn’t huge, but the cocktail list is quite extensive. It was loud, dark, and crazy in there. The walls are painted in lurid black and red images of anthropomorphic animals.
We each got a cheeseburger and shared a basket of fries. The term “fries” is usually reserved for skinny fries, what we might call “shoestring fries” here in the US. What we might call “steak fries” here are usually sold as “chips” in the UK.
This was also our first hard cider of the trip. My husband and I are hard apple cider enthusiasts, and were looking forward to sampling a variety of ciders that are unavailable in the States. This was a bottled cider from France called Cidre Breton, and we did not like it. A lot of the ciders we tried in London had a hint of something that reminded us of olive oil. It was stronger in some than in others, and it was overwhelming in this one. It was like drinking salad dressing.
The burgers, on the other hand, were amazing. Greasy, but not too greasy. Cooked a bit rarer, which was not a bad thing. The bun was soft and slightly spongy, and I am not ashamed to admit I basically crammed this burger into my face with no thought to decorum. It was awesome.
After that we staggered back to the subway and up to our apartment, and slept like the dead.
Next: Saturday morning kids’ shows, Westminster, and fish and chips