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Old 03-14-2019, 06:44 AM
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The ONE place to eat in London


Imagine a scenario where you, a lifelong resident of the United States, find yourself overseas for the first time ever. As part of your journey, you will be passing through London. But truly passing through. You've got, at most, two-and-a-half or three hoursó starting at about 8:30 AM local timeóto make your way from Gatwick to St. Pancras Station before boarding a train for a distant locale.

You have decided that's enough time to have one dining experience that you hope will let you say that you have eaten a meal worthy of London. Because you're paranoid about making that train, you're likely going to want that meal to be as close to St. Pancras as possible.

Where. Do. You. Eat?
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:58 AM
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That isn't a great time for the key restaurants but you might consider getting yourself a breakfast at Dishoom., very "London" and a branch is located just a 5 minute walk from St. Pancras. I've not eaten there myself but have had good reports.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:05 AM
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Just poking around google there's this, full English breakfast and they're actually open.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:08 AM
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The good news is that there's a direct train every 15 minutes and it takes under an hour. The bad news is that 08:30 is still rush hour and it's likely to be standing room only.

It's been some years but upstairs from St Pancras station there were restaurants and hotels. I went into one of the posher ones (upstairs, on the left) and had a lovely Eggs Benedict. Plus tea. An hour and a half will give you just enough time for a leisurely breakfast. Perhaps a Full English plus the papers.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:11 AM
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Just poking around google there's this, full English breakfast and they're actually open.
Judging by the decor, that might have been the one I visited. Recommended.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
That isn't a great time for the key restaurants but you might consider getting yourself a breakfast at Dishoom., very "London" and a branch is located just a 5 minute walk from St. Pancras. I've not eaten there myself but have had good reports.
Ooh, well played, Dishoom is indeed very London - it's based on Irani cafes in Bombay. It would be pretty unlike anything you'd get in any other city outside of India.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:45 AM
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I’d also suggest Dishoom, but it can be very crowded. There’s a Wetherspoons at St Pancras, not gourmet cusine, but it’ll definitely show you a side of the modern day UK.

https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pub-hi...ult-st-pancras
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:46 AM
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Iíd also suggest Dishoom, but it can be very crowded. Thereís a Wetherspoons at St Pancras, not gourmet cusine, but itíll definitely show you a side of the modern day UK.

https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pub-hi...ult-st-pancras
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:48 AM
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The train from Gatwick to St Pancras stops at London Bridge station. Across the street is Borough Market, so I’ll offer that as the one place to go. To provide more options, if you want a fancy sit-down breakfast in a restaurant, there’s Roast. If you’d like a liquid breakfast, the Market Porter pub is open 24 hours. For pastries, there’s Bread Ahead and a couple of other places. Plenty of greasy spoon cafes around as well. Or you could just wander around and buy whatever you want from the food stalls. Choice abounds – everything from a bacon sandwich and tea, to a vegetarian breakfast roll and a hipster coffee, to oysters and champagne.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:49 AM
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Pub lunch.

My favorite was around the corner from the Lyceum. But almost any pub that does 'em traditional, good, and huge. With a pint of cider.

(Though now I may have to give Dishroom a try...)
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:19 AM
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Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


Lol, I knew a mention of Spoons would get a reaction. I happen to like them despite their Brexit position. It’s not gourmet cuisine, but it is a nice glimpse into life in the UK.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:32 AM
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Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
X2. Sending the OP to a Spoons would simply confirm all those old stereotypes of British food.

The Burrough Market recommendation is a great one.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:35 AM
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I appreciate all of the suggestions thus far, and will say that Dishoom was the one place I'd found on my own that I was targeting if I didn't get any other suggestions (found it on the map, and I thought Indian food made sense).

Fancy is fine, but definitely not important, to be clear.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:40 AM
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X2. Sending the OP to a Spoons would simply confirm all those old stereotypes of British food.



The Burrough Market recommendation is a great one.


I might be the only American with the Spoons app on my phone. I do like them and think it’s far better than the old stereotypes of British food. I’d pick Dishoom 10 times out of 10, but I can also appreciate Spoons for what it is, as well as the prices.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:03 AM
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I like Spoons for its (generally) well-kept and good variety of ales on tap, and of course their prices. If you want to eat out on a tight budget, it's not terrible. But it's not a destination I'd ever choose specifically for the food. Certainly not as the place for a one-time eat out in London opportunity. You can find somewhere similar at the other end of your train journey.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:38 AM
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Quite aside from the owner, it may as well have the slogan 'Oh well, there's always a 'Spoons I suppose'.

It's the beige of pubs.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:37 AM
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Veeraswamy is the one restaurant I was determined to eat at the last time I went to London. It did not disappoint.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:59 AM
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Oh, damn. As soon as I saw thread title I thought ďHeís got to go to the Anchor and Hope.Ē Gastropub on the south side of the river which feeds you amazing new versions of trad Brit dishes.

But they donít do breakfast.

Hereís the website (including menus) anyway, for idlers to drool over...

http://www.anchorandhopepub.co.uk
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:00 PM
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I would not recommend eating anywhere other than St Pancras itself. There are two main reasons: time and luggage. The OP does not actually have a lot of time once you factor in everything: a possible quarter-hour wait at Gatwick, another quarter-hour wait wherever you stop en route, transit times from the station to the restaurant and back, and so on. Then there's luggage. I'd want as little struggle with luggage as possible. Going up and down stairs is not fun. And luggage makes you a target for thieves.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:18 PM
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Does the "memorable experience" need to be about the food per se for you?

I was in London for rather longer than you'll be, but I do recall once taking a 15 minute detour on foot from King's Cross to Speedy's Cafe - whose exterior is frequently seen from the TV show "Sherlock" - when I discovered it was within walking distance from the station, and that it served breakfast.

It was a completely unpretentious place to have a Full English breakfast, and it felt like I was hitting a very local eatery, except for all the Sherlock fan art and mini gift shop at the front.

Dishoom sounds like a grand place if you want to remember a meal, I would certainly look forward to hitting it. But I personally liked combining the "have a Full English breakfast in London" bit with "I'm a fan of Sherlock, so why not, because when the heck else am I ever going to be in this vicinity again?"
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
I would not recommend eating anywhere other than St Pancras itself. There are two main reasons: time and luggage. The OP does not actually have a lot of time once you factor in everything: a possible quarter-hour wait at Gatwick, another quarter-hour wait wherever you stop en route, transit times from the station to the restaurant and back, and so on. Then there's luggage. I'd want as little struggle with luggage as possible. Going up and down stairs is not fun. And luggage makes you a target for thieves.
Thank you for thinking of this. I won't be carrying anything more than a very small backpack, though, so the luggage isn't a factor. But yes, time is a huge deal.

robardin, that sounds tempting. I will keep that in mind if I wind up with a little more time than I think.

Of course, depending on what happens with Brexit, if my travel involves more of a customs ordeal than I'm expecting, all of this planning could potentially be shot to hell. We shall see.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quite aside from the owner, it may as well have the slogan 'Oh well, there's always a 'Spoons I suppose'.

It's the beige of pubs.
.......with sticky carpets.

j
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:39 PM
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Has anyone had the pasties in Gatwick near the train ticketing kiosks? If I go back through Gatwick I am planning on trying one since I've never had a pasty. Unless someone could tell me a better place for them that is still convenient.

ETA: Oops it looks like the putative train ride of the OP would start at 8:30 so I don't know if they start serving then or if it is good breakfast food.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:52 PM
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I was going to suggest Brindisa off Borough Market who used to do a stupendous Spanish-style breakfast, but they appear to have stopped serving before 10am. Bah humbug.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:59 PM
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Would you consider Scottish food?
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:52 PM
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Thank you for thinking of this. I won't be carrying anything more than a very small backpack, though, so the luggage isn't a factor. But yes, time is a huge deal.



robardin, that sounds tempting. I will keep that in mind if I wind up with a little more time than I think.



Of course, depending on what happens with Brexit, if my travel involves more of a customs ordeal than I'm expecting, all of this planning could potentially be shot to hell. We shall see.


Brexit has been delayed but it wouldn’t involve you anyway. If you’re taking the Eurostar, you’d still have enter Schengen and go through passport control.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
That isn't a great time for the key restaurants but you might consider getting yourself a breakfast at Dishoom., very "London" and a branch is located just a 5 minute walk from St. Pancras. I've not eaten there myself but have had good reports.
Iíve eaten at Dishoom in Kingís Cross and it was VERY good. In fact, Iím in London until Monday and will likely have lunch there tomorrow!
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:39 AM
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Iíve eaten at Dishoom in Kingís Cross and it was VERY good. In fact, Iím in London until Monday and will likely have lunch there tomorrow!
It does look good and someone who's judgement I trust was very complementary about it, particularly the breads apparently.

One reason I suggested it was because they do breakfast. A sub-continental take on the classic English breakfast and what can be more London than that?
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:40 AM
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id try reservations at that really fancy place that have the guards outside ....... looks like it has a medieval times theme about it .... i think you have to have a reservation through an old girl named Liz .......

Last edited by nightshadea; 03-15-2019 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:45 AM
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Lol, I knew a mention of Spoons would get a reaction. I happen to like them despite their Brexit position. Itís not gourmet cuisine, but it is a nice glimpse into life in the UK.
One micro side of life in the UK for a subsection of society - given how many marvellous pubs there are in that area, going to a Spoons would be borderline criminal. The food is disgusting!
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:16 AM
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Oh, damn. As soon as I saw thread title I thought ďHeís got to go to the Anchor and Hope.Ē Gastropub on the south side of the river which feeds you amazing new versions of trad Brit dishes.

But they donít do breakfast.

Hereís the website (including menus) anyway, for idlers to drool over...

http://www.anchorandhopepub.co.uk
I hadnít heard of this place, thanks Ike. I will definitely be checking it out.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:50 AM
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Brexit has been delayed but it wouldnít involve you anyway.
I'll actually be coming to London via Ireland, so is your statement true? Also, I'm not looking to turn this political, but my read is that the UK has voted to request a delay, but that it's still up to the EU as to whether or not said delay will be granted.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:10 AM
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One micro side of life in the UK for a subsection of society - given how many marvellous pubs there are in that area, going to a Spoons would be borderline criminal. The food is disgusting!
I'm a Wetherspoons fan. They've got some beautiful pubs, especially in the City of London. They also usually have wall decorations showing the history of the building, or the area, which I think is a nice touch. Their real highlight to me, though, is their beer selection. They go out of their way to source beer from local brewers. If I'm travelling in the regions, and I'm in a town that has a Wetherspoons when I want a beer in the afternoon, that's likely to be my first choice because I know it will have a local offering. As for the food, if you don't look at the prices, it ranges from mediocre to decent. But considering what you spend, it's good value for money. (Having said that, I'm far more likely to drink at a Wetherspoons than eat there.)

I don't think the OP is looking for a King's Cross/St. Pancras pub, but for anyone who is, I'd recommend the Parcel Yard. It's a Fuller's (London brewer) pub across the street from King's Cross, has a good selection of beer including their own brands, and Fuller's pubs generally serve good pub meals. I believe that one serves breakfast.

One other note for the OP. Fortnum and Mason's has a restaurant in St. Pancras station. If you run into time constraints, or just decide you'd like lighter fare, F&M's is very English. I'm sure you could have a very nice morning tea there.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:36 AM
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Thanks, i saw all the recommended places and definitely i will try when i go to london city soon to my brother.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:59 AM
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I'll actually be coming to London via Ireland, so is your statement true? Also, I'm not looking to turn this political, but my read is that the UK has voted to request a delay, but that it's still up to the EU as to whether or not said delay will be granted.
Ireland to London is no problem, itís still part of the common travel area. If youíre taking the Eurostar from St Pancras, then youíll be entering the Schengen zone which the UK has never been a member of. Youíll go through passport control and get a stamp as you enter Schengen.

Brexit keep gettting crazier by the moment, but since youíre a non-EU passport holder, nothing should affect you.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:36 PM
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Wetherspoons food is often pretty poor. Disinterested and poorly trained staff will heat something in a microwave or do fried food for you. Also the range of ales is often mediocre. In central London you won't find many British people working there. The Brexiteer owner of the chain employs mainly Continentals behind the bar. These maverick businessmen tend to dance to the sound of their own drum when it comes to politics.

There are some nice Weatherspoons that used to be old Cinemas or Banks and they are cheap, which is why they are popular. But I would not say they are a good example of British pub food or ales.

I go every week to a Weatherspoons and there is one near where I live which has an array of dissolute characters that is something like the Cantina scene in Star Wars.

The other suggestions sound fine. Dishroom is great. Upstairs at St Pancras has some Frenchified brasserie places. Borough market is foodie heaven, always worth a visit.

Gatwick to London Bridge by train is about 50 minutes. Plenty of time for a breakfast in Borough market and then the northern line to St Pancras. But.....having looked at the menu at the Dishroom. Looks a splendid place for breakfast.
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