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Restaurants in England

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Eating out in London is like taking a gastronomic world tour. In all large English towns there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, tea rooms, or public houses (pubs). All the large hotels have restaurants where you can have a snack or dinner.

London is a real paradise for lovers of Indian food; two very popular cuisines are Thai and Italian; Soho has a couple of the best-known Thai venues, alongside Japanese, Indonesian, and some of the best Chinese chefs and restaurants outside Hong Kong.

French cooking, the longest-established “guest” cuisine in the city, accounts for a sizable percentage of the high-class establishments in the City and around Mayfair.

More restaurants provide a vegetarian option and some offer a separate vegetarian menu.

In London for the really cheap places it is very interesting to explore the little French or Italian restaurants of Soho. Spanish visitors who are feeling homesick can, within a hundred yards of Piccadilly, find the Spanish Restaurant and imagine they have gone back to Spain for the decoration, the salads, the cooking, the wines, the waiters and most of the diners are Spanish.

In the same way there are Indian, Chinese, Hungarian, or Jewish restaurants.

In some places you can get traditional British roast beef and stodgy pudding, seafood is a London specialty, with both new-style and traditional fish restaurants being well represented. If you want real old English food you must go to the Strand. Here roast beef cooked at open roasting fire is wheeled to your table and carved before your eyes.

Most visitors like to go to the "old Cheshire Cheese", of Fleet Street, an old chop-house where famous writers used to go. Dickens and Thackery went there in the 19th century. The traditional dish here is rumpsteak, kidney, and oyster pudding. A plate of this with a pint of bitter beer in a long glass, followed by the pancake or the toasted cheese and special "punch" in a china bowl, is a meal you don't easily forget.

At the restaurant you may either reserve a table beforehand by telephone or occupy any table disengaged at the moment you come. There is a menu which contains the names of all dishes available for the first, second and third courses. It offers a choice of appetizers, drinks, meat or fish dishes as well as various kinds of soup and broth. The most popular meat dishes are beefsteak, rumpsteak, roast beef, chicken with mashed or fried potatoes, macaronies or noodles.

For dessert you may order ice-cream, coffee, tea or juice. After you have chosen the dishes the waiter or waitress takes your order and gives you a bill. Some minutes later the dinner is served.

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