Sometimes, you want to eat somewhere special. Somewhere not everybody knows about. To tap into the local intel, and find a backstreet eatery that’s managed to avoid the combined eyes of hundreds of review sites, thousands of reviews, and millions of visitors to our fine city.
And guess what? It’s not an easy ask.
By definition, any restaurant you read about online has already made itself noticed. Managing to stay off the beaten track - especially in London - is a rare accomplishment, but it is possible. Here are six places to eat that tick the box. They come with a small disclaimer, however. While our other ‘Dining Out in Westminster’ guides feature restaurants within a ten-minute radius, we had to cast a slightly wider net for this guide. Each of these eateries should be walkable in 20 minutes from Westminster Station.
1. India Club
Who doesn’t love a curry? Paradoxically, this imported cuisine has become something of a national dish in the UK, and it’s restaurants like India Club that made this possible. This eccentric curry house has barely changed in the five decades since it opened. It’s tucked away at the top of a staircase off The Strand and is renowned as a jewel in the city’s culinary crown.
The food is excellent, and its heritage is fascinating. The India Club provided a welcome respite for the UK's Asian population when attitudes to immigration were less forgiving, and these four walls have played host to all sorts of groups and associations. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another restaurant that retains its authentic family feel after more than fifty years in business.
35 Churton Street
Here’s another restaurant that rightly celebrates its five-decade heritage, boasting their pride “of the fact that our interior looks exactly as it did in 1964.” Alongside an a la carte menu, Grumbles serves set menus to pre-theatre diners and Sunday lunchers. They also host Christmas and New Year dining experiences - perfect if your visit to our fine city coincides with these special dates. And what’s more, on Mondays you can bring your own bottle to Grumbles (with certain terms and conditions, available on their site). What better way to put a custom spin on your memorable dining experience.
86-87 Wilton Road
If you want a restaurant that captures London’s culinary zeitgeist, Pimlico Fresh is the place for you. Here you’ll find mashed avocado, poached eggs, aolis, and everything else trendy. You’ll find a handwritten menu on a chalkboard, and you’ll be greeted by wondrous wafts of freshly-ground coffee beans. The reviews are very complimentary. “The best breakfast in town”, claims one: A real achievement in a sprawling metropolis like London. “There is nothing like this in San Francisco”, claims another. Again, a testament to the border-crossing excellence of Pimlico Fresh.
4. Windsor Castle Pub
23 Francis Street
The Windsor Castle is a magnificent example of London’s pub culture, perfectly preserving the aspects that are most at threat from our modern lifestyles. “Mobile, tablet, & laptop-free zone” read the coasters, and it’s not just an empty advisory. If you get out any technology, a member of staff will come and politely ask you to put it away. It seems extreme, but it creates an atmosphere that’s ever-more uncommon in our interconnected world. Once you get used to it, and get your pint and plate of food, you’ll definitely miss it afterwards.
The menu is traditional pub fare: Pies, bangers and mash, and similar. All the drinks on-premises are made by Sam Smith’s brewery, too, meaning a new and exciting selection for unfamiliar customers. By London standards, Sam Smith’s pubs offer a fairly cheap pint.
26-30 John Adam Street
This pub - the Theo, as it’s affectionately known - is another shining example of traditional British pub culture. Nestled near Charing Cross station, right in the heart of the city and just a short walk from Westminster, the Theo promises good food and good beer. A simple, yet irresistible, proposition. Lunch and dinner menus ensure a wide selection of delicious food throughout the day, with everything from olives to a full Ploughman’s lunch. If you’re visiting London and have never had a Ploughman’s, by the way, we heartily recommend it.
St Martin’s Courtyard
A vibrant take on traditional British ambience, with a menu built around the freshest ingredients, Bill's is guaranteed to impress. Fresh produce sits at the heart of Bill’s business. From humble roots growing veg in the British countryside to becoming a cornerstone of London cuisine, Bill has achieved a lot. Fruits and veggies are available to buy, along with jams, chutneys, relishes and more made from the surplus. An ever-changing menu reflects the seasonality of the produce available and offers novel and exciting meals fresh from the garden.
Bill’s is great if you’re looking for a good meal and some great souvenirs to take home to friends and family.
If you’re captivated by the culinary offerings of old London town, then you’re in luck. Dolphin Square is situated right in the centre of the action - a short walk from Westminster, and a stone’s throw from Pimlico underground station. Living in Dolphin Square means living in close proximity to some of the most exciting restaurants in the world. That’s right - not just in the city, or even the country. The world.
Where else but London can you find 67 Michelin star restaurants? Where else can you find every cuisine on the globe in one city? And where else but Dolphin Square can you find high-end apartments at competitive prices, with amenities to appeal to all tastes. After an evening of exploring London’s gastronomic side, there’s nothing like returning home to a comfy apartment overlooking the Thames.
We’d love to show you around, so you can see exactly how much Dolphin Square has to offer. Book a viewing today.