London in the Fall: Part 1

Poppies for British soliders who died in WWI at the Tower of London.

Poppies for British soldiers who died in WWI, Tower of London.

England is a wonderful country to visit anytime, but in the fall with perfect weather it is even better. Recently I spent a week traveling in England so I will spend a few posts telling all about the restaurants, hotels, and sites.  There is too much for one post — either to write or read!

In London this trip I stayed in two hotels and ate at two divine restaurants. The first few nights were in the City at a new hotel for me, The Andaz. What a find! On Liverpool Street, close to anything you need to do in the City, it has one of the best staffs in the world. There is nothing they will not do for you. I had left my personal cards behind in D.C.; they had new ones made for me in a day. Some in our group were getting in so late that the restaurant would be closed — they kept the restaurant open to feed them. They made train reservations. Yes, wonderful hotels have concierge services, but The Andaz goes above and beyond in their cheerfulness, ability to remember each guest by name, and the wonderful service.  The Eggs Benedict there was some of the best I ever had.

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Eggs benedict at The Andaz

A new restaurant for me was Olivocarne, owned by Mauro Sanna and located in Belgravia. This restaurant is small and fantastic. With a menu that is primarily meat, all 5 items that we tested were divine. The pasta with wild boar ragu and the Sardo burger are both “musts,” but I think anything you get there would be perfect. It’s a modern, clean setting and upstairs is a wonderful bar with just the correct amount of lighting so you can see but soft and gentle and very romantic. Sanna has four other restaurants in the general area — Olivomare which specializes in seafood, Olivo which is a general menu with traditional Sardinian food, Oliveto which is a pizza place, and Olivino which is a deli.  Take your pick but definitely go!

A long time favorite of mine, Tamarind, which is on Queen Street in Mayfair, still has the best Indian food I have ever found anywhere. Plus, the setting is wonderful. One enters on the ground floor and then descends one level down to a beautiful white clothed dining room that is elegant and simple. The menu is traditional Indian, but they have a superb wine list — including some of my favorite Chateau Neuf de Pape and Bordeaux wines. You cannot order anything that is not perfect, but my two favorites are the spinach with cheeses and the Murgh Makni (butter chicken).  It is worth a flight to London.

Crab at Berkeley

Crab at Berkeley

There are three hotels all managed by the same company – Maybourne Hotel Group.  Claridge’s, The Berkeley, and The Connaught.  I love all three and now understand why I do since they are managed by the same parent firm. Each is unique, and all three have superb service, great food, and wonderful bars. It depends on where you want to stay, but they are all in the West of London — Berkeley in Belgravia, The Connaught off Park Lane, and Claridge’s is close to the U.S. Embassy.

Enjoy!

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