Richard Lander: The not recommended guide to eating out in London
The day of freedom is approaching. Hungry?
“Hello Richard. Hope you are well. I wanted to choose your brain. We’re going to the Proms with some out of town friends in August. Looking for a decent restaurant close by / short cab ride from Royal Albert Hall? Can you recommend it anywhere? “
Since I tend to eat out as much as possible, I get some of these messages from friends – and they become more common as Freedom Day approaches. They are fun to answer (if a little nervous if you recommend something they don’t like).
In fact, the question was simple. It’s a food wasteland around the Royal Albert Hall. Eat at home before you go is the answer. But under the rule of “give a man to fish / teach a man to fish, etc.” I thought it might be useful to give On London Readers guide on how to find the best restaurants in London
All three offer comprehensive guides to London restaurants, new store openings and insights into local areas and cuisines. In descending order of recommendation:
Warm dinners Run by the Irish siblings Hanly, this is definitely the best-written and most comprehensive guide to the London restaurant scene. Catherine edits the twice-weekly newsletters, Gavin keeps the chip shop going. Lots of cheap deals from restaurants that know the value of this crowd.
The infatuation An American import with a light and funny twist that understands that eating should be more fun than an agonizing choice. Premium membership for personalized recommendations and an Agony Aunt column by Heidi Lauth Beasley (“I’m An Introvert. Where Can I Go For A Date In London?”), Which recognizes that we are all different.
eater Another American import, part of the huge Vox Media group. A very comprehensive guide, but one that lacks the ease and humor of the others. If you don’t want politics over dinner, avoid this one.
Restaurants have largely given up Twitter for Instagram – and why not? Beautifully photographed plates of food and cooking videos of the chefs tell you so much more than 280 characters.
The best way to get started is to follow Hot Dinners, choose as many of their followers as you want, and let the Insta algorithm do the worst for you.
A few more Insta tips to get you started:
- londonworkerfoodies Two young women eat their way through London with impeccably good taste.
- Msjessicamw Jessica Wang’s gorgeous professional food photography is back on the streets after the lockdown break. Jessica spent most of the hiatus recording her mother’s (Mama Wang) home cooking. It’s nice that she’s back.
- mcmoop Guinea Grill boss Oisin Rogers wanders around London eating with the opposition to see if they can keep up. Wild swimming and photos of beagle puppies are a bonus.
- Bobgranleese Guardian Food Editor. Bob is known to be grumpy and can often be found at Coach & Horses in Soho. Come for the dishes, stay with fellow flaneur mcmoop for the comment sniping.
- nieves_barragan1 and jeremyleeqv Not only two of London’s greatest chefs (Sabor and Quo Vadis), but also two of the happiest and most hospitable. Sunshine shines from their posts.
Finally, if you are desperate to have a list of the best restaurants in London, you really can’t beat this one from Oisin. As you ask, I ate at 12 out of 20. Can it do better.
Richard Lander works at Citywire and recently made a short film about the reopening of London restaurants. Find out where he likes to eat most on Instagram. Photo: The Orrery, Marylebone High Street from Hot Dinners’ Guide to London’s Best Alfresco Dining.
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