Can we scrap the Court, the Rocket and the Euston Flyer? They are horrible pubs and the Court is relatively expensive. I've added a few more as well as a link to beerintheevening.com. Would it be worth setting up a separate section called 'pubs'?
Go ahead and plunge forward on any pub changes you think helpful -- and thanks! I removed the beerintheevening link because we want to have listings for pubs here so that we are useful as a printed guide and not dependent upon some other website to be a full and complete travel guide (check out Wikitravel:External links for the details). -- Colin 20:14, 3 December 2006 (EST)
Can anyone help with this: I'm thinking of working in London but properly living out in the countryside where I can breathe. I'd like somewhere to stay in town on Mon-Thu nights that is as cheap as possible, on a fairly long-term basis (eg 1 year). The idea would be to work most waking hours, just stay in a minimal crash space, then get out to the countryside for leisure time at the weekend. Some people buy little pied a tierre flats for this, but that seems v wasteful as they don get used during the day or the weekend. I looked at the easyHotel capsule hotel but there's still fairly swanky (at least they are in swanky areas of town). Anyone know of any capsule-style crash space out in zone two or anything like that?
This page needs a more coherent structure, particularly in the middle section: certain paragraphs appear only vaguely relevant and some repeat information already given. I'll do my best to plunge forward gradually over the next few days, but if anyone has ideas/comment to make, let me know... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs) 20:00, 19 July 2006
There is NO information of climate during the year, not even a mention of the rain. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 22 October 2006
Bus section makes no mention of the demise of the Routemaster--heritage routes now running only on 9 and 15. More information about bus routes at London Bus Routes (unofficial but oft-updated) website: http://www.londonbusroutes.net/ Ian 16:55 03 Feb 2006
Major improvements for cyclists in London? You must be joking. Has the person who has written this actually tried riding a bicycle in central London recently? I do it every week and I certainly haven't noticed any, apart from a few new blue signs here and there. On the day they manage to build one uninterrupted cycle path through London we may start talking about major improvements. Now is a bit premature. I'll rephrase the over-optimistic statement. 188.8.131.52 11:52, 12 Jan 2005 (EST)
I don't think we need districts for London at the level of granularity presented on this page. The twelve top-level (lessee here) boroughs seem like at about the level we should have Wikitravel articles. I'd like to see this revised to a) use Wikitravel names for the districts and b) without the sub-districts listed. -- Evan 04:18, 12 Nov 2003 (PST)
I dunno, the boroughs are HUGE I can think of a couple of examples where I as a traveler would rather see things divided up by neighborhood rather than boroughs: SOHO and Camden Town are both part of the City of Camden, but they are very very different in character, and each have more than enough bars/restos etc. to fill a single page. Not that I have the expertise to write the pages, but I would sure love to have a seperate page on each. -- Uchuha 04:32, 2003 Nov 12 (PST)
Right. It's important to remember, though, that we're not writing a Yellow Pages. We don't have to list all the restaurants and bars in an area. We can just pick a few that are good. Similarly, we don't have to nail down the name of every single block and apartment building in a city. We can just give some general areas for discussion. If we really have tons of travel content for each district, we can sub-divide the districts. I just have a hard time believing that London needs more districts than, say, New York. -- Evan 05:00, 12 Nov 2003 (PST)
It does look like they've over-done it a bit, but then Greater London is huge and diverse, and encompases a lot of what we think of in the states as suburb. How many district pages does each of the boroughs of NYC deserve? I can think of about 7 or 8 for Manhattan, and I've only been there once. I'm guessing that one thing that would be good to avoid is having a bunch of mostly empty pages, or pages with dry phonebook like listings... so, maybe a good rule of thumb would be to create the district page as it's needed, or something like that? -- Uchuha 05:14, 2003 Nov 12 (PST)
A couple of things: the idea behind district pages is not to list out every single district in a city. The idea is to break up a city into reasonable chunks, and deal with each chunk at a time. Each chunk should be a destination in its own right. Like, I can go to the Mission and rent a hotel, eat dinner, go out on the town, etc. It's more like a village within a city than just a named set of blocks. Then, let's take Trafalgar Square. This could be handily covered in an attraction listing. As Wikitravel:What is an article? says, we don't normally do a full article about each attraction. By the way, the reason that we're not a Yellow Pages is not that we don't want succinct, easily-accessible listings. It's that we don't have to have every listing in the entire city. Some picking and choosing is necessary. -- Evan 05:21, 12 Nov 2003 (PST)
I think we're actually saying more or less the same thing... maybe let's ask the Londoners to pick 5 neighborhoods? I'm going to be in London for a week starting tomorrow, and do have a wishlist for them, but it's doesn't involve 12 districts and sub-districts. I just really want to know about Soho (I'm staying in Picadilly), Camden Town, Kentish Town (Billy Childish is playing at the Dirty Water Club tomorrow night, so I want to know where to go afterwards), and Kensington (Giving a paper there on Tuesday afternoon.. what to do after). -- Uchuha 02:57, 2003 Nov 13 (PST)
I agree with Evan here. Three levels of districts is just overkill for London or any other city. Sure different bits of Camden are different, but on that basis I could justify districts for every city on Wikitravel. And I do note that six months on from this discussion, most entries are still either empty or vestigial; which surely should send us a message. -- chris_j_wood 00:48, May 24 2004 (GDT)
Oh, yeah, can somebody write something about bookstores in London? I live in a French speaking country, and therefore am taking an extra suitcase for english language books... ;) -- Uchuha 02:59, 2003 Nov 13 (PST)
"London" vs. "Greater London"
So, one of the problems we had with Los Angeles was a fuzzy idea of what "Los Angeles" actually means. Some people considered LA to be anything in Los Angeles County; others considered it only the city of Los Angeles itself. This probably comes out of a sort of verbal foreshortening -- we tend to say "I'm going to LA" when we mean "I'm going somewhere in Southern California."
My familiarity with England is pretty much confined to novels by Nabokov and Maugham, so I have a pretty sloppy understanding of London and its vicinity. I'm wondering, though: do we have a similar problem with London? Is there a difference between "London" and "Greater London"? Do people use the term "Greater London" at all? Does it have any legal standing -- is Greater London its own county or anything?
I guess I just find London a very troubling part of Wikitravel. B-) --Evan 17:23, 5 Jan 2004 (EST)
AFAIK, "Greater London" is a region, consisting of 31 boroughs, 2 cities (and Inner and Middle Temples); 2001 population 7 172 036. (Information from the Wikipedia.) This area includes some very non-London-like areas, such as [[Biggin Hill] and Crews Hill.
Yes, Greater London is used to describe, basically, the area within the M25, which is a big motorway that forms a ring around London. It's famous for traffic jams... And yes, it does have a 'legal standing'. There is currently a body called the GLA (Greater London Authority) that supposedly has responsibility for (according to their website) Transport, Policing, Fire and emergency planning, Economic development, Planning, Culture, Environment and Health, though to be quite honest most Londoners would be aware of the transport aspect and little else. Alternatively Greater London is used to describe the area inside the M25 excluding the centre (basically Zone 1 on the Tube). The centre includes the cities of London and Westminster, etc. No-one would say 'I'm going to Greater London', though - 'I'm going to London' includes the 'tourist' bit in the middle, and all the outlying boroughs.
It depends on perspective. Technically, by "London" is meant all the boroughs who call themselves "London Borough of...", and there are 32 of them. For the purpose of this article, (as it is aimed primarily at tourists) I would suggest to limit the scope to the inner London boroughs of London, ie. any borough that shares borders with Westminster and the City. -dearsina
District Heirarchy (Again)
The heirarchy here is just too deep and fine grained. I've got some 'see' and 'do' attractions I want to add, but despite knowing central London I cannot decide which of the lowest level districts to add them to. I mean where exactly is the boundary between Soho/Chinatown/Leicester Square.
This reorg needs some thought though; so I don't lose the attraction into I'm temporarily adding it to a new page at Talk:London/Other Attractions; I'll move it into the right places when I work out where they are.
To Anonymous User 184.108.40.206
You have just added the fact that Railcards are valid to the Gatwick Express entry, but there is no other reference to railcards anywhere in this article. Please explain what they are, or provide a reference to another article that explains this. -- Chris j wood 19:32, 21 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
If you see a play here, it might be worth spending a little more for a place to sit down...standing in the yard for two and a half hours can take some of the fun out of the experience.
Unless you’re having trouble with standing up, standing in the yard for two and a half hours, appreciating Shakespeare old-style, like yesterday’s commoners, is the experience. A place to sit down (other than the yard ground itself during the breaks) takes all the magic and the fun out of it. In the yard, it isn’t really difficult to picture yourself “choked / With the stench of garlic... pasted to the balmy jacket of a beer-brewer” (John Marston).
This holds however only on a dry day. If memory serves me right, umbrellas are forbidden in the yard. Standing in the yard in the rain for two and a half hours really can take some of the fun out of the experience.
London Wikitravel Meetup Group
I have just created the London Wikitravel Meetup Group - as the only member thus far (already feeling lonely!), I'm really hoping that other Wikitravellers in London / England / the UK / Europe will decide to join in! For details, click here. Let's get organised and find a nice cosy pub or restaurant for our first gathering.... Suggestions? Pjamescowie 16:34, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)
London. The history is currently at London (United Kingdom). We need to delete London, then move London (United Kingdom) back to London where it was. -phma 09:08, 18 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I don't think the VFD process is appropriate for this situation, since in this case deletion is only a step in actually keeping the page. So I guess I'll take the initiative and fix it, following which I vote don't delete, since we will then be talking about the real London. -- Mark 10:17, 18 Oct 2004 (EDT)
Keep, since Mark has moved "the" London back there. -- Hypatia
link # 36 is dead
When you see a broken link please de-link it. Thanks - Mark 11:58, 3 Feb 2006 (EST)
I removed this editorial comment from the page, in the description of Uxbridge:
(This seems a tad generous description and makes me wonder if there is an Uxbridge Tourist Board...)
But, "Uxbridge is more or less the heart of London and is an ideal place for all visitors", and "Venice of England"? Not as I recall - and not a place to recommend tourists to London to visit unless they have loads of spare time and money! 220.127.116.11 11:05, 11 April 2006 (EDT)
OK. We believe you, but rather than leaving a comment for somebody to make the changes you would like to see please go ahead and edit the current text to describe Uxbridge as you see fit. Thanks! -- Mark 12:03, 11 April 2006 (EDT)
I would think this was an example of very thinly veiled sarcasm. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs) 19:57, 19 July 2006
So, I've had some really bad experiences with London hotels over the last couple of years, and have just had a really good experience, thanks to a booking I made through Hotels-London.com. I've added a link to their site to Finding accomodation, but would like to add one to the London article instead since they are specific to London. I suppose there could be an argument for tossing such a link as an "Other guides" link, but they only do hotels, and nothing else so I think it should be allowed. I'm going to wait a bit for responses and then add the link here under Sleep. -- Mark 15:11, 8 April 2006 (EDT)
"Hotel booking services" are specifically cited as something not to link to in Wikitravel:External links. My thought is that while most of the booking sites that have been added here in the past have been mostly spam, there are definitely cases where they are called for. Perhaps we need to modify that policy in some way to allow some booking services, such as adding a sub-section under sleep to be used for such services. There are cases where this would be very useful - in addition to your example above, rates in Las Vegas vary so widely based on events, time of year, conventions, etc that an online booking service is the only way to find a decent-priced hotel. However, such an exception would need to be done in such a way that we don't open ourselves up to a flood of links. Maybe move this discussion to Wikitravel talk:External links to solicit more opinions? -- Ryan 15:33, 8 April 2006 (EDT)
I don't work for top table but I think that site is great. I'm sure people traveling to London would like to know about the deals. http://www.toptable.co.uk.
what does "understand" mean as a section heading?
Understand is a section that should include the history of a particular city, why the citizens do a certain thing or react a certain way, or something that is cherished to th residents. Furthermore information about climates, and which newspapers locals read fit into this section. You may also find Wikitravel:Where you can stick it helpful in understanding this and other sections. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 02:05, 26 May 2006 (EDT)
One day in London....
Just an idea, but how abouts having an itinery for a one day visit to London to see the must see sights? I think it would be really useful for someone who's got only the one day to have the absolute best places to go rather than a huge list of everything like we have on the main page, which is basically turning into a directory and is way too big to be useful for anything other than checking locations and opening times... Tsandell 10:14, 16 June 2006 (EDT)
Listings have been creeping into the main London page. They really should be in the district pages, unless a few (very few) are unique/important engough to be mentions (ie the hugely popular landmark hotel or super-well known recommended hostel, etc)
London Hostels and Budget accommodation options include:
Piccadilly Backpackers Hostel,  12 Sherwood Street, London,. The most central hostel in London, with affordable dormitory style accommdation and options for private rooms. ~20GBP.
A good mid-range option is:
Rent vacation rental apartments just across the street from the Tower of London, near the Tube stop and in view of the Tower bridge $1955/week, per apartment and up. The American agency listing this apartment has been in business since 1975, gives its profits away to charity, and looks particularly for apartments of good value.
The Montcalm Hotel Nikko - London Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch London. The Montcalm Hotel Nikko, London is located in Central London in a quiet Georgian Crescent just 1 minute walk from Hyde Park, Marble Arch and Oxford Street shopping.
Royal Lancaster Hotel LancasterTerrace, London W2 2TY. Royal Lancaster Hotel, deluxe hotel accommodations on London's famous Hyde Park, superb location direct access Paddington Basin, Marble Arch, Portobello, Heathrow Express - Award Winning meeting and conference services, exceptional central London seminar + meeting facilities
Charlotte Street Hotel on Charlotte Street, north of Oxford Street. Classy hotel in a vibrant area with loads of good bars and restaurants just metres away
According to a cursory Google search there are a couple of hundred websites offering hotel reservations in London, however if you intend to book by internet you should probably look at the London-specific sites mentioned under Finding accommodation.
In the 'Get Out' section it lists Brighton as being a 'nearby sea resort'. My geography ain't perfect, but isn't Brighton about 50-60 miles away? jo 15:35, 31 July 2006 (EDT)
That makes it a bit more "nearby" than, say, Tynemouth or Nice or Miami, doesn't it? As seaside resorts go, Brighton's as close as they come, and considering that it's close enough for a day-trip, I'd say "nearby" is a reasonably accurate description. - Todd VerBeek 16:04, 31 July 2006 (EDT)
Fair enough, but what about places like Southend-on-sea? jo
This is usually counted as part of East London, due to sharing the same postcode prefix (the NE prefix belongs to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; E is used for the whole of the east of London [north of the river Thames] [apart from various places with IG postcodes...]). Incidentally, the East London article already mentions Walthamstow, which is more north-east than east. So there is no real need for a "North East London" article.
I'm planning on doing some work on the London-related articles (including making some maps) and one problem I see so far, especially as far as maps are concerned, is the difficulty in defining the exact boundaries of areas like Soho or Paddington. One possible solution I've been thinking of is dividing according to postcodes. So major postcodes (like WC1 or E14) have their own articles (though maybe called something else, E14 for instance would be Docklands) while less important areas could be defined according to a group of postcodes or a postcode prefix (SE, W, NW and so on). It might seem an arbitrary division, but anyone who's lived in London will tell you that individual postcodes definitely bring up certain associations (I know people who've turned down properties that were in the "wrong" postcode even though the "right" postcode was on the other side of the street). In any case the Parisarrondissements are just as arbitrary, but they seem to work well there. At least there's a definite way of telling where WC1 ends and WC2 begins in a way that's not true of Soho and Chinatown. --Paul. 23:21, 22 August 2006 (EDT)
I don't know London at all, but it's been helpful with regions in California and Ohio to find existing borders that can be easily used and just state that for Wikitravel purposes, that's the divider. London should be sub-divided into districts that people are familiar with, but if you can say that Soho is made up of a group of postcodes, that might be a reasonable way to determine borders. A similar example is Bay_Area#North-South-East-Peninsula, which uses telephone area codes as a divider for one region border, while for Talk:Ohio#Regions we decided to use county borders as a way of delimiting regions. The danger is making sure that we don't use existing dividers to create regions that are useless to the traveler - see Wikitravel talk:Geographical hierarchy#Do we really want counties as destinations? for a long discussion about why sometimes using existing regional divisions doesn't always work well.
Perhaps if you could propose a list of districts, as well as the borders you propose for them, it might help the discussion move ahead more easily. -- Ryan 23:40, 22 August 2006 (EDT)
Well first thoughts would be to have the WC and EC codes lumped together into two articles while SE1, W1, NW1, N1 and E14 would be done individually. The rest could probably just be done according to prefix as there's not a huge amount that would be interesting to travellers in those areas, and what there is is widely scattered. To break it down a little
The rest would pretty much match up to the North/South/East/West districts already present. There's a decent postcode map here that shows how the postcodes breakdown, though without streets it's hard to make out the exact boudaries. If you squint at the picture on this page you can kind of make out how the central postcodes break down. As far as usefulness is concerned, like I said it's surprising how neatly the postcodes divide into very distinct districts: EC is the City, W1 is the nightlife centre and where posh people live, SW1 is where the government buildings are, N1 is the studenty area, SE1 is the nice bit on the other side of the river and so on. I tend to agree that following governmental districts blindly isn't always the best idea, but I think if each area has a distinct character then it makes sense to take advantage of predefined boundaries. --Paul. 00:35, 23 August 2006 (EDT)
"Stay safe" terrifies me, and I lived in London
Looking at the "stay safe" section I can't help but think that it's too long, to the point of being positively frightening. I'm not sure how useful, and how London specific (as opposed to UK specific), some of the information is. Is it really necessary to advise travellers not to annoy policemen armed with sub-machineguns, and not to wave tasers around on the street? --Paul. 19:33, 30 August 2006 (EDT)
Yeah, stay safe should mostly detail the special concerns that this particular city has that are not universal concerns. I'm pretty sure "don't annoy people armed with sub-machineguns" is a worldwide constant. Also concerns that are UK-wide should be moved to United Kingdom (unless they are obvious and should be deleted). -- Colin 19:59, 30 August 2006 (EDT)
This may be a little off-topic, but what exactly is going on in West London these days? My wife and I moved here in March, and while it's always been crowded, people were generally polite and peaceful. However, that all seems to be changing now. People just plow into each other now, not even bothering to look where they're going. Also, I have noticed an increase in heated verbal exchanges between people on the tube and buses, and personally witnessed a physical altercation on the tube just this weekend. Just seems like things are getting nastier here.
This article does not match our manual of style or needs other editing.
Would be helpful to detail somewhere on the article/discussion page, what specifically needs editing or how specifically this article does not match the manual of style. I don't mean to advocate its current condition, but I would find it helpful for me as a contributor if such specifics for this page would be provided in some form. --DenisYurkin 16:40, 10 September 2006 (EDT)
Ok, here's a short list:
London should follow the huge city template with only important listings be noted on the London page and even those should consist of: Big Ben is in this district.
> if possible sit on the lower deck of night buses
Dear 22.214.171.124 and fellow contributors, do we really need to delete this piece, or only need to rephrase to something more objective? Like, for example:
Travelling on lower deck of a night bus is generally safer, as (there are more people around|people frequently come in and out|you are visible by driver|you are visible for people outside on the streets).
I thought double-decker buses had been decommissioned after the London Tube/Bus bombings. Does anyone know for sure? -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 17:24, 2 December 2006 (EST)
Nevermind it was the "Routemaster" version of the double-decker that had been retired and replaced with updated and modern double-deckers. I'm going to plunge forward and use Denis' language for the stay safe section. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 17:29, 2 December 2006 (EST)
To whoever edited this section and put this: "London has formerly had a reputation of not serving the best food, but this is an outdated view and no longer true. In fact, with a bit of research either on the internet or by talking to locals, it is easy to unearth some hidden treasures. Due to London's cosmopolitan population and tolerant culture, you can find restaurants serving food cuisine from every country in the world, sometimes better quality than the food in the country of origin!"
Do you even live in London? If so, where are you finding these great places to eat? I mean there's being polite, and then there's misleading readers. In general, London has terrible food and service, with very few exceptions. I live (and eat out) constantly in Central London, and 9 out of 10 times have had a bad experience of some sort. And this is not just me. Londoners, Europeans, (especially) Americans, and the world over generally share this opinion of the food in London: It's just plain bad. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 3 January 2007
Ah, I guess you aren't using Wikitravel guides to find restaurants, are you? Otherwise you'd be having really great experiences. Probably start on Wardour street. Consider a trip out to Brick Lane. Or perhaps you don't like South Asian cooking? -- Mark 16:11, 3 January 2007 (EST)
In reply to 'unsigned': I do live in London and have lived here all my life. I have also travelled extensively around the world and lived for some time in Spain, France and South America, always seeking out the best restaurants. I can confidently say that London has some of the best food in the world. If you manage to eat out 'constantly' in Central London but yet still have such awful experiences, perhaps it is time for you to move on somewhere else. Stereotypical American perception of the 'bad' food in London is generally because they are tourists passing through, seeking to confirm their preconceptions, disappointed with the lack of the fawning service and immediate free water that is provided in America in return for the larger tips that are extorted from the restaurant goers. Personally I would rather have fantastic food with bad service than the other way round; you only need to visit any restaurant in Paris to see this in action!
I know several Americans who live in London, Londoners, English people who have moved to London and even French and Chinese people (notoriously reluctant to recognise good food in countries other than their own) who happily delight in the food in London.
The problem here is that with your negative, outdated and 1970s description of food in London, you are simply fuelling the stereotype. You are encouraging tourists in London to eat in fast food chains and buy food from the supermarkets to eat in their hotel rooms. Surely you can admit that places like Borough Market are world class.
A more balanced view is needed on this page; it should not be a harbour for the personal resentments of one person who clearly has no idea about food.
I quite agree with the gentleman above. London plays host to an unrivalled variety of Angus Steak houses, all uniquely the same. The red velvet booths are a throw back to the 1970s, mocking the distasteful décor of a time when taking in food was a minor irritant, undertook merely to placate our bowels. Surely rising obesity rates in the UK are testament to how far we have come since then?
I understand your need to be patriotic, and defend your city at all costs... But, in my opinion, what you are saying is simply not true. The many British I work with bitch about the food more than anyone I know. True, there are some exceptions. For example, there is a really good Italian place called "Prezzo" (part of a chain) on Kensington High Street that is amazing. Also, the Churchill Arms in Notting Hill does great Thai food and is a good value. But, these kind of places are few and far between, and your average tourist is probably not going to be fortunate enough to find them. And for the record I do use the Wikitravel guides and Harden's to find restaurants. This site is for tourists, and you people are purposefully misleading people about the quality of the food here. I've travelled throughout Europe, and London, by far, has the worst food in all of Europe. And believe me many of my colleagues and friends here share this opinion, sometimes begrudgingly. The biggest laugh I got was the part about the "Angus Steak houses" when even the locals here tell you to avoid them at all costs, they're a tourist rip-off. Go to The States sometime and just eat at an "Outback Steakhouse" (a chain) and you'll never eat British beef ever again. My wife and I also ventured out into the outskirts a little yesterday (Park Royal area), and had the misfortune of trying a Tex-Mex place called "Chiquito." For those of you from The States, imagine eating Tex-Mex with no spices, just plain and bland. What's the point, right?
Look I'm not trying to London-bash. I love London. My wife and I have lived here for well over a year now, and we are planning on enjoying the 2 years we have left here. And London is great, and is known for many great things. But a great dining experience just isn't one of them, no matter how you slice it. I'm sure if one was willing to pay top-dollar every single time they went out to eat here they might have better experiences than I. I consider myself basically middle-of-the-road when it comes to how much I'm willing to pay for a meal out. Most people travelling here are on a budget of some sort. They probably eat out at a really nice expensive restaurant for one or two nights their entire trip. But mostly they're going to eat at the moderately priced places. Our "Eat" section should reflect this.
Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Oh dear; you seem to have completely missed the irony in the comment preceding yours regarding Angus Steakhouses. Clearly you have to work on your English sense of humour a bit more!
I have no interest in being patriotic at all. If you want a good steak, go to any of the Gaucho Grills across London, where there are better Argentinian steaks than in Argentina (due to the weak economy, they export the best and they end up in London).
I thought the whole point of guides like these are to point 'the average tourist' towards restaurants like the ones you mentioned. Guides should be a shortcut for people visiting a city so that they can take advantage of the knowledge and experience of people like yourself who have spent, oh 'well over a year' here. There is really no point in recommending that people eat in the highly visible chain restaurants that populate the streets.
There is really no need to spend any more than £10-20 a head (not including wine) to have a world-class meal in London.
I'm so sorry you think otherwise but surely if just two people are in such disagreement with each other, then the guide here should at least be pitched in the middle?
Of course when choosing a place to eat in London a certain degree of common sense is required. As a general rule of thumb don’t trust places that describe themselves as a “mexcellent place to go”. I thoroughly recommend you try the local dish of irony.
Listen, this sounds like a perfect time for a compromise, something we Americans excel at. :) So I propose the following changes to the "Eat" Section:
"The quality of the food in London is a subject of much debate. Some feel the food is substandard, while others find London cuisine to be fantastic."
Or another twist:
"The quality of the food in London is a subject of much debate. Some feel the food is substandard. Americans, in particular, may find London cuisine to be quite bland and ordinary. However, many other peoples happily delight in the food in London."
So... Agree/disagree/care to make any amendments? The latter is because at work today I was discussing this with 5 or 6 fellow Americans, and we all admitted to "smuggling" in American food every time we come back over here. We were relaying stories about packing as many suitcases as possible to their maximum allowed weight, all of it American food. An Indian colleague overhearing our conversation just shook his head in disbelief. This made me ponder that perhaps this disdain of London food is more of an "American thing" than I realized.
Only Benjamin need reply as I have no idea what Kate is. j/k! :)
Interestingly, I find the food in America to be generally bland, very unhealthy, greasy and sickeningly huge portions. Every time I go to the States I overuse the Tasbasco to compensate - a trick I had to resort to in Russia as well! That is not to mention the ridiculously sugary oversweet drinks, watery burnt coffee and terrible tasteless beer. Of course there is fantastic food in the States; but once again you have to know where to look. It is not just a case of popping into your local 'chain steak restaurant' you seem intent on plugging, where a perfect fillet steak awaits you.
I know plenty of people, English and American, who take food back from England to America. So you see, despite your perspective, you must be able to admit that other people see things differently.
I have asked an American friend who now lives in London to contribute to this debate as she loves the food here.
Incidentally, your suggestion is not a compromise. It is your opinion, with an added comment sneering at people who 'delight in the food in London'.
How nice of you to bring your "friend" into this. Surely we can get an unbiased opinion from her. Am I supposed to get my wife, friends, and coworkers to post here in my defense also? Also, it absolutely astonishes me that you consider 'delight in the food in London' a sneer when it's YOUR OWN WORDING! I used it in an effort to provide a balanced view of our differing opinions on this matter. Remember this:
"I know several Americans who live in London, Londoners, English people who have moved to London and even French and Chinese people (notoriously reluctant to recognise good food in countries other than their own) who happily delight in the food in London."
Also, what does your opinion of American food have to do with this discussion? We should just agree to disagree here, and find a compromise so we can ammend the "Eat" section. I've offered a suggestion... Now where is yours? Obviously I can't say what I truly feel (that London food tastes like somebody's ass) and you can't say what you truly feel (that London food is great) so let's either provide the readers with a combination of our two opinions or find some other common ground.
P.S. You aren't, by any chance, a restaurant owner in London, are you?
I'm American and have lived in London for 8 years now. I enjoy dining out quite frequently and definitely not at the most expensive restaurants. The best aspect of eating in London is the sheer amount of authentic foods on offer from around the world. The diverse population in London ensures that you're able to enjoy Italian food prepared by actual Italians (definitely not an Olive Garden meal!), Lebanese food prepared by Lebanese, etc. And while you may not be able to find the best Mexcian food here, you can probably blame that on the low number of Mexicans emmigrating to London. But I feel the same way about authentic Indian food in America- though it is starting to become more popular in recent years.
It really is just a matter of knowing where to go, just like in America. I've had some of the best French food I've ever eaten right here in London, great Spanish tapas that would rival anything I've had in Spain, and I could go on.
And while i still have a soft spot for many American foods- I too pack Mrs Butterworths in my luggage. I can understand why non-Americans aren't always so impressed. Cheese for instance, the fact that all cheese in America has to be pasteurized prevents the importation of such amazing cheeses that are on offer here in markets across London. When i walk through the supermarkets back home i'm disgusted by all of the plasticky-processed 'cheese' they have on offer!
And the fact that more and more restaurants in America are chains has negatively impacted the experience of dining in many parts of America. Applebees, Bennigans, Bertucci's...God help the unsuspecting European diner that ventures into one of these places, much like Angus Steak house here.
I really believe that eating out in London has completely evolved from where it was in the 70s/80s. Londoners are a sophisticated and well travelled bunch of people therefore the bar has really been raised on the quality of food they expect these days. I'm not saying there isn't bad food out there, as in any city there's plenty of it. But following tips from locals and reputable guides will definitely point you in the right direction for great food here in London.
Thank you for your unbiased input. And if you've lived here for 8 years now wouldn't you consider yourself more British than American at this point? Certainly you can at least admit that your tastes are probably more "British" than "American" now. Nichole, I am not trying to bash London and it's cuisine. But there are a large number of American tourists who come over here every year, and they need to know that they may not find the food very palatable.
If you have a problem with American supermarkets, Olive Gardens or Applebees this is not the place to discuss it. Wikitravel has pages and forums dedicated to America and it's cuisine. So perhaps you can warn British/Europeans/whoever about all the horrible food they will encounter while in The States over there.
It's funny that you mention how a lot of the food over here is "authentic." I dine out quite regularly with an Indian colleague, and he has (in my opinion) the very bad habit of always asking the waitress whether or not she is from (and then the cook) the country of origin where we are dining. Now, I must say I feel this is very rude of him, and would never ask this myself. However, with that being said, the answers he gets are quite interesting. With the exception of Indian, Asian and usually Middle Eastern places, it's usually someone from Eastern Europe doing all the cooking and waiting on you. We have not once found an Italian restaurant that actually has an Italian cook. The same can be said for just about every French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mexican, American, etc. etc. restaurant we have encountered.