Lambeth Pier Fresco Cafe (now Riverside Cafe) – AKA “The Hut”

Lambeth Pier Fresco Cafe AKA “The Hut” has to be one of my favorite breakfast locations, it is just a hut on the river at Lambeth Pier with views of the Houses of Parliament.


At first glance you may think tourist trap – they have postcards and cheap trinkets on sale outside. The location is just too good. It’s right next to where the Tourist buses park for River boat trips and Japanese tourists pose next to the red telephone box. Don’t let that put you off, as “The Hut”, which is pretty much a glorified Sandwich Bar with outside tables, does a mean bacon sandwich and is a great place to watch the world go by.


UPDATE : September 2010 – The Hut is now under new management and called Riverside Cafe. It no longer has the souvenir stand and has extended its menu to cover a larger selection of breakfast options.

Marks out of 10

Food 4.5

Service 5

Ambience 5


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The Chop House – good old spot

The Bar in the Chop House in Butlers Wharf is a really civilised venue for breakfast, it is especially lovely on a sunny day when you can sit outside and watch the boats on the river, taking in the stunning views of Tower bridge.  The menu is excellent, I would especially recommend the Gloucester Old Spot sausages. It is best to reserve a table for breakfast as this is a very popular venue.


Marks out of 10

Food 6.5

Service 5

Location 7

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Blue Water Grill – buzzing for brunch

The Blue Water Grill is in a prime location right in the heart of Union Square.


It’s an excellent venue for Sunday brunch, with a really good buzz.  You can not reserve the outside seating, that is allocated on a first come basis, but if you do book, I would recommend trying to get a table near the windows.

Marks out of 10

Food 6

Service 6

Ambience 6



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Eating and Drinking Guide (London’s West End : Tourist Central!)

The West End technically covers:-

Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Fitzrovia, Holborn, Marylebone, Mayfair, Seven Dials, Soho, St James and Westminster.

That is a pretty large area, so I am going to focus on the centre of the West End or Tourist Central, i.e., places around Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. This is mainly because finding a decent restaurant or bar in this area is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

So here are recommendations, in no particular order.

  • Thai Square, Trafalgar Square – it’s not the best Thai restaurant in London by any means, but it is part of a reliable chain. (It has recently won an award to say it is the best – so judge for yourself).  It is also a good location for larger groups.
  • The Portrait Restaurant, in the National Portrait Gallery – reliable food, good for an inexpensive “Afternoon Tea”, great views over Trafalgar Square. Can get very busy at peak times, so I would also recommend reserving a table here via their website.
  • Asia de Cuba,  St Martins Lane Hotel – Very stylish and expensive venue, food is specifically designed for sharing, so ideal for groups of 4 or more.
  • The Mint Leaf, Piccadilly – a stylish, Modern Indian Restaurant and Bar. Good Pre Theatre venue.
  • 5th View Bar & Food, Waterstones, Piccadilly – For a book store cafe, this place is great, it does good reasonably priced cocktails and the food is way better that you would expect (limited choice though). Nice selection of cakes – the carrot cake is particularly good.
  • The Wolseley, Piccadilly – European Style Brasserie, very popular, stunning room – great for people watching if you can get a table.
  • Atheneaum Hotel, Piccadilly –  The restaurant focuses on British style food. The hotel also does a really good “Afternoon Tea” and has a bar that is both cosy and stylish (and expensive!).


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