Aside from good food, you'll find portraits of illustrious guests from centuries past, lush drapes, and super unassailable old waiters in white aprons with serviettes over their arms. Said to be the oldest in London, this restaurant has been around since 1789, it was established by Thomas Rule. his scathing critique is up on the website. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. All rights reserved. It evolves constantly, in such a way that you simply don't notice. By dint of its unique heritage, Rules could pile 'em in while serving any old toss, but it doesn't. But nuts to that: the new guy in the kitchen is so good, he deserves a bit of a song and dance. I love the wine-decanting rituals. Food 8/10 Atmosphere 9/10 Value for money 7/10, Available for everyone, funded by readers. Rules, London's oldest restaurant, is old-school, funny, and a must for visitors. And I adore the retainer-like waiter who says, "I'll trouble you with the wine list again shortly, madam." Now that's historic. All products featured are independently selected by our editors. All rights reserved. Well, not me, bro'. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20). Rules, London's oldest restaurant, is old-school, funny, and a must for visitors. But everything else is comfort and joy – the memory of a syrup-drenched steamed pudding with custard torments me as I sit here with nothing in the fridge but hummus. And for afternoons: I recently discovered that it doesn't close between lunch and dinner, perfect for the cinq-à-sept liaison, naughty chums. To eat here is to allow yourself to sink into a velvet-upholstered, wood-panelled fantasy of a past we've never experienced: hell, Rules even owns a 1935 Rolls-Royce called Bubbles. The restaurant is still independently owned and has soldiered on through power cuts, collapsing kitchen machinery and world wars. And did I mention the truffled macaroni cheese? Comfort foods are the order of the day in the gorgeous, statue-lined dining room, playing on that very British need to return to the comfort of the nursery and nanny, even when you were farmed out from your parents for days, months and years, at schools or up in the nursery, those tastes would take you back to the happy times, and that is just what this restaurant does brilliantly. It looks about as at home here as I do in KFC, which is maybe why it seems to have given up the ghost before even getting to the table. I'm in Rules, which faces dismissiveness from the beardie foodiegentsia with the kind of amused sigh that can only come from somewhere that's been cramming them in, day and night, since 1798. Open all week, from noon. To help us with this goal, we ask that you abide by TripAdvisor's Content Policy and the following rules for reviews: Recent. Last orders 11.45pm (10.45 Sun). Let our editors know! The place honors that history by maintaining a sense of tradition in food and spirits... Said to be the oldest in London, this restaurant has been around since 1789, it was established by Thomas Rule. But he's added his own flourishes: turning pies into lavish pithiviers, or referencing Roman cooking in a glorious dish of outrageously gamey hare fillet served with a nutmeg-scented, single semolina gnocco. A younger, more female demographic has discovered Rules, but we're delighted to be seated beside a table of gents who look like escapees from a vintage Punch cartoon. • Rules 35 Maiden Lane, London WC2, 020-7836 5314. Partridge for two, exquisitely juicy and with a whiff of mulchy earth and hedgerow from its ageing, is majestic: served on a silver charger with fruity, relish-like red cabbage and that pithivier, a dome of crisp pastry stuffed with the bird's innards and garlicky French sausage, it's a complex, memorable little number that shoots straight to the top of my list of deathbed dishes. Rules London ratings, photos, prices, expert advice, traveler reviews and tips, and more information from Condé Nast Traveler. Rules may look as though nothing has changed for 50 years (or more, the restaurant was established in 1798), but this old-stager hasn’t made it this far without adapting to the times. Open all week, from noon. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. The ultimate source of travel inspiration plus 2 free gifts. £40-50 a head for three courses, plus drinks and service. First published on Sat 23 Feb 2013 09.00 GMT, We all know Rules, don't we? We do not allow reviews that contain links or content solely included for promotional purposes. Some reviews are positive, but are so vague that you question their legitimacy. £40-50 a head for three courses, … A great restaurant review can point you toward your new favorite spot—or help you avoid a dining disaster. However, if you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission.Your California Privacy Rights The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Last orders 11.45pm (10.45 Sun). The place honors that history by maintaining a sense of tradition in food and spirits rather than changing with the times. Coronavirus rules vary depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. There's more hare in a hotpot, the ripely-hung, braised meat layered with discs of crisp, buttery potato. David Stafford (ex Galvin, Le Café Anglais and River Café) knows there's no point battling against the forces of tradition, so his menu is liberally blessed with, yes, game (when in season), pies and puddings. Rules Restaurants in London: Read reviews written by 10Best experts. Both very well cooked and presented. I love the perfectly mixed martinis and the straight-faced camp of beer in silver tankards and a cocktail made with Pinky vodka called the Kate Middleton. To keep content fresh for our readers, we ask that you stick to writing about experiences that occurred within the past year. Will be used in accordance with our User Agreement and Privacy Policy, © 2020 Condé Nast. For widgeon, snipe and ptarmigan, and for belted Galloway cattle, from their own estates. Review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor have an abundance of restaurant reviews to browse, but if you spend any time on these sites you’ll notice not all reviews are helpful. Rules tends to be a bit cagey about new chefs, never doing anything so vulgar as courting publicity. Ad Choices. Languishing there in its handsome Maiden Lane premises since God fell off the bus, serving doughy, doughty Brit food and carafes of claret to its audience of duffers, grandees and wealthy tourists. All rights reserved. Sat 23 Feb 2013 09.00 GMT You could badger urbane GM Ricky McMenemy to dish about guests from Madonna to John Prescott, but he's far, far too discreet. Yadda yadda, let's go to Mishkin's or Opera Tavern or wherever the cool Covent Garden money is…. Get daily traveler inspiration right to your inbox. The only misfire is seared squid with chilli: how… modern. Got the skinny on this place? But then, in an establishment that has fed Dickens and Thackeray, and has been reviewed by Kingsley Amis (I love that his scathing critique is up on the website), you're unlikely to be dazzled by any kind of parvenu. Non-Commercial. House wine is good value - lovely Alsace Pinot Gris for £13" And the people watching these days really must be experienced to be believed. Try scrambled eggs with salmon, Yorkshire pudding, succulent game dishes, or flavourful roasted leg of lamb with mustard mash. Relevant. However a la catre gets v expensive v easily - everything is extra! • Rules 35 Maiden Lane, London WC2, 020-7836 5314. The sedate, formal staff occasionally allow themselves a teeny jape with US guests: when asked how old the restaurant is, they smile: "About 20 years younger than your country.". 207 reviews of Rules "Great lunch just off the Strand We were there 15th Nov -Great set price lunch £18 - we had Fish cakes/Pheasant as main course . I love that nobody bats an eyelid when we plead for bread sauce that's not on the menu. Said to be the oldest in London, this restaurant has been around since 1789, it was established by Thomas Rule.

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