The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: Restaurants. Luncheon Rooms. Tea Rooms

Restaurants. Luncheon Rooms. Tea Rooms

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IV. RESTAURANTS. LUNCHEON ROOMS. TEA ROOMS. Restaurants of all classes abound in London, and it may be noted that nearly all the hotels, with the exception of the residential, family, and private hotels, admit non-residents to their tables d'hote. Restaurants seldom open before 10 a.m.; early breakfast must be sought in a hotel, railway refreshment room, or tea-shop. Some restaurants in the City close soon after the dinner-hour. Alcoholic refreshment may be obtained at restaurants and bars only during the permitted hours, except that restaurants may supply liquor for consumption along with a meal for one hour after the ordinary hours. At the first-class restaurants Wine (dear) is the usual beverage, though spirits and mineral waters (rarely beer) are obtainable; at others beer is freely ordered. Some restaurants and chop-houses, especially in the business quarters, make a specialty of their English ales; but 'lager beer' (imported or British-brewed), which is lighter, has acquired a wide popularity. Many of the smaller restaurants have no licence, but send out for alcoholic drinks, which are paid for in advance (small tip to the messenger). The Smoking of cigars and cigarettes is allowed nearly everywhere, and even ladies smoke in restaurants. Pipes are forbidden at the better-class establishments. At the tea-shops special smoking-rooms are provided. In some of the more old-fashioned City restaurants smoking is not permitted until late in the afternoon. Many restaurants provide Music at meal-times, and many offer opportunities for Dancing, usually with higher charges for 'diners dansants' or 'thes dansants.' Others offer cabaret shows or special concerts and entertainments (often on Sunday evenings), for which the dinner-prices are sometimes raised. Tables too near the orchestra should be avoided. At first-class restaurants generous Tips are expected- 6d. or 1/ per person, according to the amount of the bill and the number of the party. At the cheaper restaurants 1d. to 3d. is sufficient. A general rule for this difficult problem is to allow 10-20 per cent, of the bill, according to the status of the restaurant. The use of the cloak-rooms at the larger establishments is nominally gratuitous, but a small fee is usually expected. ENGLISH COOKERY, speaking generally, may often be found wanting in the more complicated made dishes, sweets, entries, soups, dressings, and sauces, but the plainer and more substantial viands are as a rule well handled. Beef and mutton (especially the saddle) are generally better than in America. Beefsteaks (porter-house steak not universally known), chump and loin chops, and cutlets are generally satisfactory. Pigeon, game, Tenison, beefsteak, and veal-&-ham pies (often served cold) may be safely recommended. Fish is varied and abundant, and plain fried sole (not the 'lemon sole') is hard to beat. The British oyster, however, seldom appeals much to the American palate, and it is comparatively expensive. Vegetables are by no means so varied as in America, and the English method of cooking them often seems insipid. Salads are neither so varied nor so inevitable as in America. Tea is usually good, coffee often bad. Among the commoner American dishes that the traveller might easily find it vain to ask for are hot 'biscuit,' buckwheat cakes, waffles, hominy, maize (corn) dishes, clams and scallops, fish or clam chowder, chicken fried in cream, corn-beef hash, creamed potatoes, succotash, strawberry shortcake, squash and pumpkin pies, and maple syrup. Ice-cream is relatively expensive, poor, and served in what seems to the American very inadequate portions. At the West End Restaurants of the highest class, many of which are in connection with the large hotels, the cuisine is French and the general arrangements cosmopolitan. In the Season evening dress is practically essential at these, and it is advisable to secure tables in advance by telephone or otherwise. Meals may generally be obtained at fixed prices or a la carte; and even in the latter case the head waiter, if required, will assist in drawing up a menu to a given price. The practice of charging 'convert' or table-money, still prevails in a few instances. Grill Rooms, often attached to larger restaurants, are especially popular for luncheon. Not only chops and steaks, but numerous other dishes are provided in these rooms, which offer cheaper and simpler meals than in more formal establishments. At the City Restaurants the fare is plain and cooked in the English style; many are noted for the excellence of their meat and fish. Some are attached to taverns, and have as their usual menu a cut from the joint, two vegetables, and cheese. There is often a luncheon-counter also, for those requiring a meal at the maximum speed. Chop Houses resemble the grill-rooms, except that they are extremely simple. The Coffee Houses provide good plain luncheons amid simple surroundings. Men will often find the midday 'Ordinary' of the Public Houses in respectable districts both cheap and good. The Soho Restaurants, though often situated in mean streets, with unpretending exteriors and simple table-appointments, enjoy a considerable vogue on account of their foreign air and cooking (mostly French or Italian) and their moderate prices. A meal of several courses is obtainable for 2/-3/6. Perhaps the most inexpensive places for luncheon and tea are the tea-shops of the Express Dairy Co., Messrs. Lyons, Messrs. Lipton, the Aerated Bread Co. (the 'A.B.C.'), etc., branches of one or other of which are found in all the main streets. Here everything is served a la carte at very modest prices. These establishments are especially popular with ladies, but are apt to be overcrowded. Nearly all the larger stores and drapery establishments also have good and not expensive restaurants, much patronized by ladies on their shopping expeditions. Wine, beer, and spirits by the glass may be obtained (during the permitted hours) at the saloons connected with many of the hotels and restaurants, or at any of the Public Houses, or taverns, that abound in London. Those who patronize the latter should, where there is a choice, prefer the 'saloon' or 'private' bar to the public bar. A good glass of wine may be obtained also at Short's (333 Strand, 309 High Holborn, and 48 St. Paul's Churchyard), Sweeting's (158 Cheapside and 39 Queen Victoria St.), Henekey's (22 High Holborn, 354 Strand, etc.), or at the shops of the Bodega Co. (42 Glasshouse St., 2 Bedford St, Strand, 5 Mill St., Hanover Square, 15 Fleet St., etc.). The following list of restaurants, without claiming to be exhaustive, aims at providing the traveller with a reasonable choice of such establishments in various quarters of central London. The omission of a name from the list does not imply any derogatory judgment. The charges are quoted from tariffs courteously supplied by the proprietors of the establishments named Restaurants de Luxe. The following group of the more expensive restaurants, all but three of which are connected with hotels, is arranged in alphabetical order. 'Berkeley, 77 Piccadilly and Berkeley St., with cafe and grill-room; D. & dance 15/6. Boulestin, 43 Leicester Square, a la carte, good cuisine. Carlton, at the corner of Haymarket and Pall Pall, with grill-room; L. 8/6, D. and dance 12/6. - Claridge's, Brook St., & la carte. - Des Ambassadeurs, at the Hotel Metropole, Northumberland Avenue; L. 7/6, D. 15/6; 'Follies dinners' (D., dance, S., & cabaret) 31/6. - Maison Basque, 11 Dover St., a la carte. - Mayfair, at New Devonshire House, Mayfair Place, Piccadilly, new (1926). - Piccadilly, near Piccadilly Circus. - Prince's, 190 Piccadilly; L, 5/6, D. 10/6, diner or souper dansant and cabaret 21/, the dansant 5/. Ritz, Piccadilly; L. 8/6, D. & dance 17/6; in the grill-room, L. 7/6, D. 10/6.-Savoy, Savoy Court, Strand, with cafe; L. 8/6, D. & dance 15/6, S. & dance 12/6. Restaurants arranged topographically. RESTAURANTS IN AND NEAR PICCADILLY AND PICCADILLY CIRCUS. Restaurants de luxe, see above. Criterion, Piccadilly Circus, with banquet-halls, ball-rooms American restaurant and bar, etc.; diner dansant 12/6, souper dansant 10/6, the dansant 4/; in the Marble Hall, L. 3/6, D. 5/. - Trocadero, 12 Shaftesbury Avenue L. 4/6 & 6/6, D. 8/6 & 12/6. - Curzon, 56 Curzon St.; L. 5/, D. 7/6. - Cafe Royal, 68 Regent St., with cafe, frequented by artists; L. 7/6, D. 12/6; in the grill-room, L. 4/6, D. 8/6. - Jules, 86 Jermyn St.; L. 6/, D. 8/. - Hatchett's, 67A Piccadilly and Dover St. (successor of the old White Horse Cellar); L. 4/, D. 6/ & 7/6. - Monico, Piccadilly Circus, with brasserie in the basement; D. 7/6, S. 4/. -Les Lauriers, 102 Jermyn St.; L. 4/, D. 6/6. Pall Mall, 9 & 10 Haymarket; L. 4/, D. 6/. - Les Gobelins, 1 Heddon St., Regent St.; L. 3/, D. 4/6. - Maison Lyons, 22 Shaftesbury Avenue, with patisserie, tea-rooms, etc., a la carte at moderate prices. - Appenrodt, 227 Piccadilly. - Popular Cafe, 201 Piccadilly; L. 2/3, D. 3/6 (no gratuities). Regent Palace, Glasshouse St., near Piccadilly Circus, with grill-room. Scott's, 18 & 19 Coventry St., a la carte, noted for oyesters, lobsters, etc. Florence, 53-58 Rupert St.; L. 3/, D. 4/. -Coventry, 7 & 8 Rupert St., with grill-room; L 3/6, D. 5/.-Corner House, 7 & 9 Coventry St. (open all night), with patisserie, luncheon-counter, tea-rooms, etc., a la carte, moderate. Cavour, 20 Leicester Square; L. 4/6, theatre dinner 7/6, D. 15/6, S. 12/6, with cabaret. Queen's Hotel, Leicester Square.- Leicester Corner, 17 & 18 Leicester Square, with patisserie, a la carte, moderate. Garrick, 11 Green St.; L. 2/6, D. 4/6.-Comedy, 38 Panton St.; L. 3/, D. 4/6. - Stone's Chop House, 32 Panton St. - Snow's Chop House, Sherwood St. RESTAURANTS NEAR CHARING CROSS AND THE STRAND. Cecil; L. 7/6, D. 10/6; in the grill-room, L. 5/, D. 7/6. - Waldorf, with restaurant and palm court, tea 2/. - Simpson's, 100-102 Strand, near the Savoy, managed in the Old English style, a la carte. - Romano's, 399 Strand, opposite the Cecil; L. 5/, D. 10/6. -Sherry's, 22 Southampton St., Covent Garden; L. 5/, D. from 7/6. - Grand Hotel Grill Room, at the corner of the Strand and Northumberland Avenue.- Gatti's, 436 Strand and 5-9 Adelaide St.; L. 3/6, D. 7/6.-Charing Cross Station Restaurant; L. 4/6, D. 6/6. - Gow's, 357 Strand, English style, a la carte. - Howard Hotel, Norfolk St., L. 4/, D. 6/. - Strand Cornet House, at the corner of Craven St., a la carte, moderate. - Ship, 45 Charing Cross; L. 2/6, D. 3/6 & 4/). - Villiers, Villiers St., with large billiard-saloons. - Appenrodt, 75 Strand, light luncheons, and German 'Delikatessen.' - Craig's Court, behind 21 Charing Cross, inexpensive, RESTAURANTS IN WESTMINSTER AND NEAR VICTORIA. Near Westminster Abbey: St. Ermin's, Caxton St.; L. 4/6, D. 6/6-8/6.- St. James's Court, Buckingham Gate; L. 3/6, D. 5/6.- St. Stephen's, 10 Bridge St., commercial. - Victoria Mansions, 26 Victoria St., a la carte, moderate. - Caxton House (Cabins Ltd.), Tothill St., plain. Near Victoria Station: Grosvenor Hotel Restaurant, adjoining Victoria Station on the west, with grill-room; L. 3/6, D. 6./. -Belgravia, Grosvenor Gardens. - Rubens Hotel, 39-43 Buckingham Palace Road. Victoria Station Restaurant, at the west station, with buffet and grill-room. - Victoria Station Restaurant, at the east station, with the Pillar Hall Cafe; L. 2/6.-Overton, 4 Victoria Buildings, opposite Victoria Station (oysters and fish). - Odone, 152 Victoria St.; L. 2/6, D. 4/. RESTAURANTS IN SOHO. Kettner, 28-31 Church St.; L. 5/6, D. 8/6. - Ivy, 1 West St., Shaftes-bury Avenue, a la carte only, favoured by actors. Maxim's, 30 Wardour St.; D. & dance, 4/ & 5/, S. & dance, 4/; also Chinese restaurant. - Rendezvous, 44 Dean St.; L. 2/ & 3/, D. 4/ & 6/6. - Gennaro, Tony, 63 & 58 New Compton St., a la carte. - Villa-Villa, 37 Gerrard St. (in a house once occupied by Edmund Burke); L. 2/6, D. 4/6.-Astoria, 11 Greek St.; L. 2/6, D. 4/6. - Abrahamson's, 180 Wardour St., Jewish,- Hotel d'ltalie, 52 Old Compton St.; L. 2/6, D. 4/. The following are small Italian or French restaurants (some quite unpretending): L. is almost invariably 2/6. In Old Compton St.; No. 16, Le Diner Franeais (Roche), D. 2/6; No. 18, Brice, D. 4/; No. 44, Au Petit Riche, a la carte. - In Gerrard St.: No. 16, Mont Blanc; No. 27, Boulogne, D. 2/6. -In Frith St.: No. 56, Chantecler, D. 3/ & 3/6; No. 19, Mars, D. 3/6; No. 15, Isola Bella, I la carte; No. 63, Commercio, simple. - In Greek St.: No. 35, Petit Savoyard; No. 39, Gustav. - Pinoli, 17 Wardour St.; D. 3/9. - L4 Renommee, 52 Dean St. - Les Gourmets, 47 Lisle St., a la carte. -Monte Carlo, 2 Leicester St., a la carte. - Moulin d'Or, 27 Church St.- Chie, 24 Cranbourn St.; D. 3/. RESTAURANTS IN BLOOUSBURY AND MARYLEBONE. Midland Grand Hotel, at St. Pancras Station; L. 5/, D. 7/6. Russell Hotel Restaurant, Russell Square; L. 4/6, D. 6/6 & 8/6. - Wharnecliffe, in the Hotel Great Central. - Wigmore, 119 Wigmore St. - Hotel Somerset. - Also at other hotels, mentioned on p. 16. - Canuto's, 88 Baker St.; D. 4/. - Y.M.C.A., Bedford Avenue. RESTAURANTS IN AND NEAR OXFORD STREET. Pagani, 42-48 Great Portland St., with Masonic Temple and Artists' Room (reserved for parties), embellished with drawings and autographs; a la carte. - Frascati, 26-32 Oxford St., a large hall with balcony, and grill-room; on the balcony, L. 4/6, D. 7/6, and a la carte. -Verrey, Hanover St., a la carte, with cafe. - Maison Lyons, 364 Oxford St., with patisserie; a la carte, moderate. - Fuller, 209 Regent St.; American dishes, L. 3/6 & 4/6, tea, 2/. - Stewart, 227 Regent St.; L. 3/6, D. 4/6. Horse Shoe, 264-267 Tottenham Court Road, commercial; L. 3/6, D. 4/6. - Malzy, 1 Tottenham Court Road, noted for fish, a la carte, moderate. - Bedford Head, 235 Tottenham Court Road, a la carte, moderate. - De l'Etoile, 30 Charlotte St. - Tour Eiffel, 1 Percy St., Tottenham Court Road, a la carte. - Hanover. 6 & 8 Mill St., Maddox St.- Pritehard's, 79 Oxford St., L. 3/6, D. 4/6. - Fleming's, 68 and 307 Oxford St., a la carte, moderate. - Lipton, 27 Oxford St., simple.- Appenrodt, 269 Oxford St. RESTAURANTS IN AND NEAR HOLBORN. Holborn Restaurant, 218 High Holborn, at the corner of Kingsway, a large establishment, with banqueting-rooms, grill-rooms, luncheon-counter, etc.; L. 4/6, D. 7/6, or a la carte. - First Avenue, 40-48 High Holborn, opposite Chancery Lane, with grill-room and luncheon-counter.- Connaught Rooms, 61-63 Great Queen St., off Kingsway; L. 3/6, D. 5/. - Westminster, 109 Kingsway, a la carte, moderate. - Manzoni, 12 High Holborn. - Red Lion, 1 Red Lion Square, quiet and unpretending; L. 2/, D. 3/6. - Lipton, 226 High Holborn, simple. RESTAURANTS IN THE CITY. In Fleet St.: Old Cheshire Cheese, Wine Office Court, 145 Fleet St., an old chop house with literary associations; noted beefsteak pudding daily in winter, 2/6. - Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet St., another chop house with similar associations. - Wellington, 62 Fleet St., a la carte. - Falstaff, 70 Fleet St. - Anderton's Hotel. - Groom's, 16 Fleet St. and at 7 Bell Yard, a coffee-house. - The Mitre, 125 Chancery Lane. Near St. Paul's: Sweeting's, 158 & 159 Cheapside (and at 39 Queen Victoria St.), with sandwich-counters (fish a specialty). - Manchester Hotel, Aldersgate St. -Queen Anne's, 27 Cheapside; L. 2/6 (no. D.). - Evans, 75 St. Paul's Churchyard, a la carte. - Mansion House Station Restaurant, a la carte. Near the Bank: Pimm's, 3-5 Poultry, 39 & 40 Bucklersbury, 42 Threadneedle St., and 129 Leadenhall St., a la carte. - Birch's (Ring & Brymer), 39A Old Broad St., a reproduction of the famous old house in Cornhill, noted for turtle soup and punch. - Simpson's, Bird-in-Hand Court, 76 Cheapside; a la carte (fish ordinary, 2/, at 1 p.m. daily except Saturday on the second floor, with the ceremony of 'guessing the cheese'). - Throgmorton, 27 Throgmorton St. - George and Vulture (Thomas's Chop House), St. Michael's Alley, Cornhill. - Old Dr. Butler's Head, Mason's Av., Coleman St.; L. 2/. Near Liverpool St. Station: Great Eastern Hotel, entered from Bishopsgate. - Palmerston, 34 Old Broad St. and 49 Bishopsgate, with grill-rooms. - Old Red House (Pimm's), 94 & 96 Bishopsgate. - London Wall, 41 & 42 London Wall, a la carte, luncheons only. - Moorgate, at Moorgate Station, a la carte. Near the Tower: London Tavern, 53-55 Fenchurch St., the successor of the 'King's Head,' where Queen Elizabeth dined on pork and peas on her release from the Tower; L. 2/9, D. 3/6. -Three Nuns, 9-13 Aldgate High St. In Southwark: George Inn, 'ordinary,' at 1 p.m. Foreign Restaurants. In addition to the numerous Italian and French cafes and restaurants in Soho, etc., the following may be mentioned: Chinese. At 4 Glasshouse St., L. or D. 3/-5/; 30 Wardour St.; 225 Oxford St., D. & dance 4/ & 5/, tea & dance 1/6; and 28 Buckingham St Strand, L. 1/8-2/, D. 2/6. See also Maxim's. The eating-houses in Pennyfields are very indifferent. - Egyptian, 6 Archer St Gt. Windmill St., plain. - German. Vienna Cufe, 78 New Oxford St., L 2/, D. a la carte; Schmidt, 41 Charlotte St., a la carte; Delikatessen and bar also at Appenrodi. - Greek. Salonika, 75 Beak St., Regent St., a la carte, plain. - Indian. Veerasawmy, 99 Regent St., L. 4/, D. 6/6 and a la carte; Abdullah, 12 Rupert St - Jewish. Ross, 62 Tottenham Court Road; Abraham-son 180 Wardour St., 49 Whitechapel Road, etc.; Kachers, 9 Leman St., Whitechapel, a typical east end house. - Russian, 50 Harrington Road, South Kensington. - Spanish. Martinet, 25 Swallow St., Piccadilly, L. 3/, D. 4/6; Espanol, 27 Dean St., a la carte, plain. Food Reform and Vegetarian Restaurants. Eustace Miles, 40-42 Chandos St., Charing Cross, with school of cookery, physical culture school, and pure food stores; L. 1/3, D. 2/, or a la carte. - Food Reform, 1-3 Furnival St., Holborn. - Shearn's, 231-234 Tottenham Court Road; fruit luncheons a speciality, 1/-1/6, D. 2/6. Oyster Saloons. In the WEST END: Driver's, 46 Glasshouse St., Piccadilly Circus. - Scott's, 18 & 19 Coventry St. - Gow, 357 Strandied -Overton's, 4 Victoria Buildings, Victoria Station. - Rule's, 35 Maiden Lane. - James's, 121 Jermyn St. - De Hem, 11 Macclesfield St. - Golden Lion, 51 Dean St. In the CITY: Pimm's, 3-5 Poultry and 42 Threadneedle St. - Sweet-ing's, 158 & 159 Cheapside and 39 Queen Victoria St. Oysters are of course to be obtained also at the chief hotels and restaurants. They cost from 2/6-3/ a dozen upwards, and are in season in those months that have an 'r' in their names. Chablis and Guinness's stout are favourite accompanying beverages. Luncheon and Tea Rooms. Under this heading may be grouped the numerous establishments (mostly unlicensed) that provide teas and light luncheons of all kinds, from coffee and a bun upwards. Many of them are confectioners' or bakers' shops, while others differ little from the less elaborate restaurants. They usually close about 6 or 7 p.m. and so do not serve evening meals. The most fashionable resorts for afternoon tea (mostly with orchestras) are Rumpelmayer's, the lounges or winter-gardens of the Carlton, Savoy, Piccadilly, Prince's, Waldorf, and other large hotels, the Criterion Restaurant, etcirca, where the usual practice is to make a fixed charge (1/6-3/) for tea, cakes, etcirca, at discretion. But tea may be obtained practically everywhere: at nearly all the restaurants, in the refreshment rooms of the stores and large drapers' shops, at the principal cinemas, and at innumerable 'tea rooms,' often tastefully fitted up, with waitresses in attractive costumes. In summer, tea in the open air is served in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, the Zoological Gardens, Kew Gardens, and several of the other public parks. There are good refreshment rooms at the Victoria and Albert Museum; luncheon and tea may be obtained also at the Natural History Museum, the Tate Gallery, and (on a very modest scale) at the Tower and Bethnal Green Museum; and there is a tea room at the British Museum. - The following are a few of the best known luncheon rooms and tea rooms. Rumpelmayer, 72 & 73 St. James's St. (for tea, ices, pastry). - Stewart, 50 Old Bond St. (corner of Piccadilly), 227 Regent St., 514 Oxford St. (Marble Arch), and 79 Knightsbridge. - Buszard, 197-201 Oxford St. - Callard, 74 Regent St. - Gunter, 72 & 133 New Bond St. - Barbellion (good chocolate), 79 New Bond St. - De Bry (good chocolate), 66 New Oxford St. - Fuller (American sweets), 206 & 209 Regent St., 358 Strand, 31 Kensington High St., etc. - Ridgway's, 36 Piccadilly. - Hill, 120 Victoria St. and 29 Kensington High St. - Kardomah, 186 Piccadilly, 25 Cheapside, etc. - In Bond St., Regent St., and their neighbourhood are many tea rooms (Shamrock, 45 New Bond St., Thistle, 33 Haymarket, Orange Tree, 94 New Bond St., Burlington, 9 Albany Court Yard, etc.). Plainer and cheaper than the above are the numerous shops of the Express Dairy Co., Lyons & Co., Slater (much frequented in the City for luncheon), the Airated Bread Co. ('A.B.C.'), and The Cabins Ltd., where tea, bread and butter, and cake may be obtained for about 1/.