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London: meals that can only be ordered by a group

I really enjoyed a group menu of the kind you're asking about at the Drapers Arms in Islington - a really lovely private room, too. I'm sure if you spoke to them, they could talk you through the hunk o'meat options they offer ;)

May 06, 2014
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Best Bakery [London]

Another vote for Gail's, but <heresy>it's worth bearing in mind that the massive Tesco in Earl's Court has a Euphorium Bakery in it, which is as good as in-store supermarket bread gets in London</heresy>

Sep 17, 2013
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Good pub to go for a curry [London]

Ye Grapes isn't the greatest - it's fairly bog-standard Thai, to mop up the beer.

OP - Mayfair is quite a big area, but your options for interesting casual dinners are better if you venture "over the border" into Soho/Fitzrovia/Edgware Road - have a dig around this board for recommendations in those spots. But I'd definitely second Roti Chai for a quick bite.

Sep 10, 2013
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Two Days in Bath with Kids

Seconding both the recommendation for the Allium Brasserie (the lunch deal is a total bargain, though not sure about its friendliness to kids?), and Richard Bertinet's cafe. He also has a bakery in the centre of town. Another good deli is Chandos up near the Assembly Rooms - great sandwiches, too.

Nice to see the Bath recommendations list being updated - thanks for asking the question!

Mar 20, 2013
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Two Days in Bath with Kids

Space is at such a premium in Bath, it's tricky to find decent places with buggy-room. A few ideas:
The Cosy Club, in the middle of the new shopping bit of town - certainly nothing fancy, but it's friendly and quirky enough to keep the small people occupied.
The Hop Pole - out by Victoria Park (where you may end up at some point - enormous play area), a great Bath Ales pub with a lovely garden. And the new Graze chophouse by the station, also a Bath Ales place, would be worth checking out - haven't been, but the Bristol version is great. They serve proper steak puddings, too.

For coffee: Colonna & Smalls is the best in town imo.

Mar 18, 2013
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Walking btw Tower and Tate Mdrn on South side

If you ducked down onto Tooley St nearer the Tower Bridge end, you'll find Magdalen, which is a lovely place. Braised meats, game, terrines - robust French cooking, I guess. Anyway, they do good lunch deals, so it'd be worth checking out - it fortifies you nicely for the rest of the walk (I speak from experience...)

Mar 05, 2013
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

good everyday dinner in Edinburgh

Bon Vivant is great, as is its next-door off licence, the Bon Vivant's Companion - they're super enthusiastc, and have regular tasting nights in their downstairs 'tasting rooms'. If you can't find a space to sit down in Bon Vivant, just down the road there's Dusit, which is Edinburgh's best Thai restaurant.

Oct 22, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

French Restaurant in the 1970s

Banking on the fact that memories of 35 years ago might be slightly hazy, two suggestions:
- The Gasworks: a huge birdcage certainly sounds like the kind of thing they might have gone for. And I'm sure duck was one of the few things they ever cooked!
- Le Gavroche: not in a Georgian home (and I'm doubtful about the birdcage too!),but the front bar/back restaurant set-up fits the bill.

This list might help:

Sep 19, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

[Ashton under Lyne] The monthly farmers' market

Wow. I've never heard mention of a black pudding barm before. My chest just twinged at the very thought of it... and my stomach just suggested I try to make one. What do you, er, grease the insides of the barm with - if not bearnaise, of course ;) Butter? Dripping? Mustard? Or do you just slide that slab of pudding in and leave it at that?

Aug 01, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Three Ramen Places, London

Hot damn, now Marina O'Loughlin has reviewed both TR and Ittenbari, and says the former is better.

Now I don't know WHAT to think! Look forward to visiting both of them next time I'm in town, to make up my own mind...

Jul 25, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Bristol with a Bristolian - need your hidden gems !!

I've been hearing a lot of chat about MGJ, too, and look forward to trying it - but it's worth pointing out that it's quite an uphill schlep to get there from the train station.

The Garrick's Head in the centre of town might be a good bet... A lovely room, right next to the Royal Theatre, and a great range of food, depending on how pressed for time you are.

Jul 11, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

London: Plowman's Lunch, Dover Sole Dinner

Looking for a proper West Country pub experience will leave you a bit frustrated, I reckon. London pubs have their own aesthetic - bolder, more gleaming brass and etched glass, higher ceilings, posher food... And the ploughmans is definitely out of fashion, probably due to the fact that, as Harters and Lizard point out, the concept has been abased by corner-cutting 'traditional pub' landlords up and down the country for years.

A compromised solution might be to try the great Kentish Town one-two: the Southampton Arms and the Bull & Last. The latter has great cheeses, the former the rustic ale-soaked vibes. Or, closest to the mark, you could try the Queens Head in Kings Cross - a simple one-room pub, a bit trendy, perhaps, but very friendly, and it offers a really good-value cheeseboard using mostly British cheese, as far as I recall. And none of them were fridge-cold, too.

Jul 11, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

London's best eats? Nose-to-tail and everything else

MIT, that really is a cracking list. I would also add another vote for Brawn, and two other ideas in Soho that might suit you based in Leicester Square, especially because the Olympics might make getting around a bit more painful...

Ducksoup - another trendy small plate spot.
Wright Brothers - to sample some of the UK's great oysters and langoustines.

Jul 10, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Bristol with a Bristolian - need your hidden gems !!

A few favourites, with a south Bristol focus...
Star & Dove - interesting place. Serves up modern seasonal (very good) British food, but bases many of the dishes on centuries-old recipes. Good range of ales, too.
The Old Bookshop - this has just appeared on the rougher fringes of North St, and I've heard excellent things about it. Very busy, very small, but excellent small plates and good live music, apparently.
The Pump House - my favourite pub-restaurant in Bristol. Fantastic food, often do a great plat du jour at lunchtime. It's by the water, too, so a lovely place to go if the sun ever shines on this country again.
Also, if you're in Southville, Mark's Bread is a brilliant artisan bakery - won't find many places producing such great bread in the UK.
North of the river, Flinty Red, Manna and Pocos are all excellent sharing/small plate/tapas type places. Flinty Red the pick of those.
If you have a car, a visit to the Ethicurean cafe in Wrington (just past the airport) is well worth it. Lovely views over the Mendips, based in a huge walled kitchen garden, and the food is immaculate.
Most of these all have a local/seasonal bias - Bristol doesn't have a great deal of good ethnic restaurants at the moment - but they're all very casual, and all fit the bill for what you're after!

Jul 03, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Where to eat haggis in Edinburgh?

Has anyone tried a Crombies haggis? As their sausages are so good, the haggis can't be too bad either.... they supply the Halfway House, but surely they must do so for other (more spacious!) places in the city.

May 14, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Food for 16 people by Trafalgar Square or the Globe theater

There's a Leon behind the Globe in the Bluefin building, which would be great for college students - not sure how big it is, though. Alternatively, one of the Tas restaurants is close by. They're a small chain of Turkish restaurants, and the food is pretty good and hearty. Well, it used to be - haven't been for a number of years. But it's really convenient for the Globe.

Apr 24, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

London pub recs?

Hi frenchprof - the Orange is the one in Pimlico, right? I'm not sure it's that great, to be honest...

I'd say that not a million miles from Waterloo are the Draft House on Tower Bridge Road, and the Canton Arms in Stockwell, both of which have some fine ales and great food... not to mention the Anchor & Hope, but that barely counts as a pub.

Mar 28, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland


Hobbs House runs a bistro on Friday and Saturday nights - supposed to be pretty good. I'd also second the recommendation for William's, which is a lovely little spot.

On which point, The Old Spot, just up the road in Dursley, is a perennial award-winner of a pub, and it keeps its ales beautifully, if you fancy working your way through a few local brews...

Mar 28, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Southside, Wandsworth - anything worth eating nearby?

Love Brady's - that sounds like quite the thing. Though to get you in the mood for the film, the Cat's Back isn't too far away - don't think it's food is massively chow-worthy, but it's a unique spot...

Jan 16, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

A NY'er in London - Calling all Anglophiles

Boom! It's a limster/JFores double bill of delights.

rushbikes, thanks for the original question - this page is totally getting bookmarked. Really not sure whether to add to what other, better chowhounders have said, and I still don't know what a reasonable price is, but Magdalen and Brawn are two favourites and I'm not rich, so I guess they might fall into that category...

Jan 16, 2012
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Good pub food in Central London

Hi, I found the Somers Town Coffee House the other day - it's up an unprepossessing road round the back of St Pancras, but it's a wonderful spot. Calm, clean, very friendly. The new management have only been in a few weeks, but all seemed to be working pretty well.

They call their food 'British tapas', but it's just smaller versions of the classics, really - ploughmans, stews, fish & chips. I had some good devilled whitebait and a very generous portion of beef shin stew, both about a fiver each... very reasonable.

NB it's many rungs below Great Queen St, A&H etc, but it does fit the 'pub food' bill.. .

Dec 16, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Scotch Egg curry rice @ Tsuru, South Bank, London

This is an apposite place to point out that Tsuru are opening a ramen restaurant in the near future, which is obviously hugely exciting... think it's going to be up in the city somewhere.

Dec 16, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Ideas for easy dinner around King's Cross [London]

Thanks, limster and AndyFilo - we ended up going to Delhi Grill in Chapel Market... covered elsewhere on this site, it fitted the need perfectly.

But I did end up walking past the now-closed Konstam later that day - I see that it's become a Japanese restaurant called Shibuya. Looked bright and inviting - would be interested to know if it's worth stopping by...

Oct 24, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Ideas for easy dinner around King's Cross [London]

I'm on the lookout for somewhere interesting for a few people to grab a bite to eat near Kings Cross. I've had a good nose around the site, but can't find too much on this area. Noodle bars, cafes, or indeed anywhere not too pricey would be of great interest!

I just don't know much about this part of town, especially the area between the Pentonville Road and the canal, or even down to around Russell Square/SOAS...

Oct 20, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

fish and chips near St Pancras [London]

15 minutes from Euston to Waterloo on the bus? Good luck with that... ;)

Oct 20, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Info Sought on Essex Country Pub with Great Food

Hi Andy, seconded on the Sun at Dedham - a lovely spot. Other than that, the Oyster Smack in Burnham isn't the most traditional of pubs, but the food's really good, the best I know of in that area.

Is the Peldon Rose at Mersea a bit far? You could double up with a visit to the Company Shed...
Would love to know of a decent pub around Maldon - if you hear of one, mention it here!

Oct 11, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

any recommendations for Falmouth?

If you've looked on tripadvisor, then I guess you've seen reviews for the Wheelhouse - it's definitely worth trying to get a table there. Lots of fun, generous portions of shellfish - relaxed, unfussy stuff.

Baker Tom in Truro, just up the road (ish) comes recommended - it's in the Lemon St covered market thingy, not difficult to find. Would be interested to know of other artisan bakers in Cornwall.

Jul 22, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Edinburgh Dining

For a drink? Definitely - not sure about the food, though. It's a fantastic after-work drinking spot (if only I lived near such a place these days), and most definitely worth putting your head round the door for a wee jar.

Jun 16, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Two weeks in Somerset - Things to try?

Two weeks backpacking in Somerset? You win the Niche Holidaymaker of the Year award ;)

A few quick thoughts: Wells farmers market is great, and in such a gorgeous location, too (up in the cobbled square near the Cathedral)

May be out of budget, but the Old Spot in Wells is just lovely. Otherwise, the food in the pubs is pretty solid stuff - try the City Arms.

Other ideas:
The Walled Garden café at the Barley Wood kitchen garden in Wrington is great – all the veg and herbs come from the garden itself, and they’re good enough to make membrillo from the quince trees to accopmany all their cheddars.

The Crown in Churchill – up a small side road/track… it’s just two rooms, with a bunch of casks behind the bar. Great, solid, proper sandwiches and stews. Pub heaven.

Mar 29, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland

Honeymoon diner June 2011 - In London

All the recommendations above are good, but nearer to your hotel there's the Queens Arms, as proper a pub as you'll get round those parts, tucked away down a little mews street.

I once had the pleasure of sharing the pub with a Welsh male voice choir as they practised for their performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Who knows who might be 'warming up' there if you pop in ;)

Jan 13, 2011
bodessa in U.K./Ireland