Image source: Carluccio's
When many travelers think about eating in London, they think about pub food. While there's no denying the delights of a pint and fish and chips, London also offers so much more. Whether it's new ideas based on traditional cuisine, or bringing in foods from other countries and giving them their own British feel, there are so many restaurants in London to explore. Consider these three options though for a truly extraordinary culinary trip through the British capital.
Like a good story? The decor of The Fable, located near St. Paul's Cathedral, is devoted to the written word, including wallpaper made of book pages and a large table encircled by the stack of books. The literary surroundings are featured in a number of different settings throughout the same multi-story building that is a restaurant, but also a bar, a place to learn how to make unique cocktails, a spot to pick up flowers or a bottle of wine and even a gift shop.
For lunch or dinner, start with the watermelon and feta salad with basil, tomato and lemon dressing before moving on to a main course of chicken in a basket, which is exactly what you get with chicken, chips and aioli in a picnic basket.
While dining, enjoy cocktails such as Goldfish in a Bag (its actually served in a goldfish bag) or White Wine, Grapes and Elderflower which puts sauvignon blanc into a cocktail in a way you never knew could taste so good. Not sure what you want? Have the mixology cart come by your table and let the expert know your preferences, or even book a class on how to make delectable drinks.
If there's a food England is noted for beyond the traditional British dishes, its Indian cuisine. In fact, the most popular dish is the UK is the curry. Cinnamon Kitchen, located in Devonshire Square, combines Indian spice with British ingredients and applies innovation and creativity to create a contemporary menu that delivers new tastes you never knew were possible. Cinnamon Kitchen follows in the tradition of its hugely popular siblings The Cinnamon Club in Westminster and Cinnamon Soho.
Two of the best items on the dinner menu are the wild African prawns, which are bigger and tastier than you ever thought a prawn could be, and Abdul's platter of tandoori kebabs, which gives you a good sense of the range the restaurant has. The mains section of the menu is highlighted by a clay-oven roasted red deer that has such a tender and mild taste. For dessert, check out the stem ginger and anise panna cotta.
The recipes of Antonio Carluccio have become so popular in England that the Queen has even honored him. Check out the prime location of Carluccio's in Covent Garden, within close proximity to shopping and the West End theaters.
Make sure to get the fresh, homemade focaccia bread, which by itself makes the visit worthwhile. The list of pasta dishes includes tortelloni filled with wine-braised venison and the main course is highlighted by the tagliata di manzo for two - chargrilled rump steak served with shaved parmesan, rosemary potatoes and tarragon mayonnaise.
Whether you want a multi-sensory experience, traditional tastes served in new and exciting ways, excellent cocktails or menus dreamed up by award-winning chefs, the London dining scene is ever expanding as a food-lover's paradise.
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Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin are hosts of The Travel Brigade Show - a weekly travel and destination podcast. Kathleen Curry is experienced in both the travel industry and broadcasting. She has worn the hats of travel writer, photographer, travel agent and hospitality evaluator. Her advice of, “No excuses, just travel!” reaches out to listeners who pick up on her enthusiasm for travel and benefit from her savvy advice. Her travel guilty pleasures are eating at a street-cart vendor so she can splurge later to order room service, finding deals to rack up sky miles so she can book her next flight and hoping her social security comes through some day because she has spent her future retirement savings trekking the globe.
Geoff Griffin is a reformed attorney turned travel junkie with over two decades of experience as a journalist and editor specializing in sports, outdoor recreation and travel. His current philosophy is that there are two stages in life - You’re either on a trip, or you’re planning your next trip. His travel guilty pleasure is trying recreation adventures that require the use of an expert guide to keep him from harming himself or hopping on a plane knowing nothing about his destination other than the airport code and wandering about a new town while relying on the locals to point him to the best places.
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