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Subject: "Dining in Covent Garden" Archived thread - Read only
 
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jhanner

03-12-01, 09:31 AM (GMT)
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"Dining in Covent Garden"
 
   Further to Anneliese/Sylvie's posts on Onegin thought that I'd add my thoughts re dining in Covent Garden

In house - probably the best "value" are the sandwiches/light snacks at the bars (but these aint exactly cheap -you're probably better off bringing your own and accompanying it with a drink from the bar). The restaurants are quite pricey for what is nice but not brilliant food.

In my opinion,best thing about eating at the ROH is the view, service and the fact that it is convenient.

In Covent Garden itself, I'm a big fan of Boulevard on Wellington St. This does a pre theatre menu but even the a la carte stuff can be served in a pre theatre time scale. The wine is quite good and its very conveniently located.

If you like fish, there is a Livebait on Wellington Street but this can be quite pricey and the service very slow so is probably more of a post theatre treat rather than a pre theatre event (I'm not sure if they do pre theatre deals). THe bar does do some wicked martinis though....

Similarly Pasta Browns (there are two versions of this in CG -the one right by the opera house probably has the better service of the too) is a decent quick choice. The food is as you'd expect (pasta with a variety of sauces and a few trattoria standards) but some may find it a little pricey for what you get.

There is always Pizza Express by Charing Cross station -but get there early as it does tend to get quite full and you have to wait for a table.

For a quick snack, there is also Cranks (veggie health food cafe) which is opposite Covent Garden station. Next door to the station, is the Ha Ha Bar -again this can get quite full but they do some very decent bar snacks/light meals.


Thats my two penneth -any thoughts from others as I'm always open to new ideas?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Dining in Covent Garden Anneliese 03-12-01 1
     RE: Dining in Covent Garden Ann Williams 03-12-01 2
         RE: Dining in Covent Garden Anneliese 03-12-01 3
             RE: Dining in Covent Garden Viviane 03-12-01 4
                 RE: Dining in Covent Garden Lily 03-12-01 7
                     RE: Dining in Covent Garden Anneliese 03-12-01 11
                         RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 04-12-01 12
                 RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 03-12-01 8
                     RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 11-12-01 36
                         RE: Dining in Covent Garden Viviane 11-12-01 37
             RE: Dining in Covent Garden jhanner 03-12-01 5
                 RE: Dining in Covent Garden Mike 03-12-01 6
                     RE: Dining in Covent Garden Wendy Glavis 03-12-01 9
                     RE: Dining in Covent Garden Anneliese 03-12-01 10
                         RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 04-12-01 13
                     RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 05-12-01 20
                         RE: Dining in Covent Garden Tomoko.A 05-12-01 22
                             RE: Dining in Covent Garden Mike 06-12-01 23
                             RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 06-12-01 24
  RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 04-12-01 14
     RE: Dining in Covent Garden eugene merrett 04-12-01 15
         RE: Dining in Covent Garden Robert 04-12-01 16
             RE: Dining in Covent Garden Pete 04-12-01 17
                 RE: Dining in Covent Garden jhanner 05-12-01 18
                 RE: Dining in Covent Garden alison 05-12-01 19
         RE: Dining in Covent Garden Anneliese 05-12-01 21
             RE: Dining in Covent Garden Pete G 07-12-01 25
                 RE: Dining in Covent Garden Charles 07-12-01 26
                     RE: Dining in Covent Garden Anneliese 07-12-01 27
                         RE: Dining in Covent Garden Helen 07-12-01 28
                             RE: Dining in Covent Garden Fiore 07-12-01 29
                             RE: Dining in Covent Garden Pete G 08-12-01 33
                             Food glorious food Bruce Madmin 09-12-01 34
                             RE: Dining in Covent Garden Anneliese 07-12-01 30
  RE: Dining in Covent Garden Katherine 07-12-01 31
     RE: Dining in Covent Garden Martha 08-12-01 32

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Anneliese

03-12-01, 10:52 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #0
 
   Your mention of Wellington St has reminded me of Cafe du Jardin (I think - not to be confused with the other place with "Jardin" in the name on Long Acre, which is also good but VERY cramped and busy, not ideal for pretheatre really) where I've had some nice pre-theatre meals. Boulevard is cheaper and closer and less "dressed up" but there are times when you want a bit more calm and space. Bertorelli's of course is very handy - I've done pre-performance meals downstairs in the wine bar (v. good, v. reasonably priced) and leisurely meals in the restaurant (don't think this would work pre performance - you'd want to give the food more time!). But current favourite is Cafe des Amis du Vin. Excellent food and service at a fair price. Actually, if I'm absolutely honest, I suspect that a full 3 course plus coffee plus full bottle of wine would come out to about £100-£120 in any restaurant, rather less in brasserie/wine bar, but you won't have time for the full meal if you're not in the opera house!

The great advantage of "in-house" dining is its convenience, which allows for a relaxed meal. The amphitheatre restaurant is cheaper than the floral hall balconies, for no good reason. The great advantage of the amphi restaurant is for pre-matinee dining in the summer - then you can sit on the outside balconies and have a fabulous view! I also thought the food was better back in the summer of 2000 than it was the other night. The menu does read extremely well - it's just not quite so good on the plate. Not bad, just not up to the price.

A weekday favourite haunt is "Tartine", the winebar downstairs from L'Estaminet, on Garrick St. Excellent light meals for those agile enough to perch on bar stools. Not open Saturdays, though.

The ROH sandwiches are excellent if you can bear to pay £10 for two rounds of smoked salmon... haven't tried the cakes. Coffee not superb, better off sticking to kir.


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Ann Williams

03-12-01, 11:17 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #1
 
   If we come down the scale a bit, to affordable prices, I've twice recently eaten at the modestly-priced 'Metro' in King Street (the street which runs up from Tescos to the back of the ROH). The place is small and rather cramped, but the service is friendly and the Lebanese-Italo (I think) cuisine is more than acceptable. The bill for two last Saturday came to £20.14 for two main dishes, two glasses of wine and two coffees. This is without a gratuity, mind you, but it still represents excellent value for central London.


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Anneliese

03-12-01, 12:07 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #2
 
   Ann, as I don't see every single cast in every single production my trips to the theatre are something of an occasion! (we also sort of have a "Sarah buys the tickets I pay for the rest" deal so that I try and make sure she gets a really good meal at least once in the booking period to equalise things a little...) but do bear in mind Tartine for weekdays, a couple of Kir Royales and a couple of main courses came in at about £25 IIRC.

I just thought I should let people know that if they were thinking of pushing the boat out for a special treat and eating "in-House" they are likely to be able to do better elsewhere (particularly if they're trying to impress someone!)


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Viviane

03-12-01, 12:17 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #3
 
   To be honest, I don't like the restaurants at ROH : too much "m'as tu vu", too much noise and too hectic
And I'm always having problems with rush pre-performance dinners too....
Personally I like "Café Flo" and "Browns" at St.Martin's Lane.
They have (most of the time !) a very friendly service and when at a hectic-time, the cellar at Flo's is more quiet.
They are both very good quality/price and do have special menus.

Oh...and I had once an excellent pizza somewhere nearby the ROH...but can't remember the name !
In fact I even can't remember if it was the pizza that was so excellent or was it the company ?


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Lily

03-12-01, 01:06 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #4
 
   Could it have been Orso's? - an Italian restuarant on Wellington Street. Quite hard to find as the sign is small and dark grey. You go downstairs where there are frescos on the wall - the food is usually brilliant. The other day I had crab and spinach risotto which was scrummy!!. The crockery is really fun - full of colour and the services is spot on. They are reasonably priced and also have pre-theatre menus. The loos are very swishy as well!

Luigi's is another fave on Tavistock St...

But...stay clear of La Ballerina where I had probably the most disgusting lunch ever... has anyone else eaten there and enjoyed it?


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Anneliese

03-12-01, 03:02 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #7
 
   Does Orso take credit cards yet? It never used to.

Christopher's, just across the road, is good but pricey.


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alison

04-12-01, 01:17 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #11
 
   Have you tried the Speakeasy (I think it is) at Christopher's? I've heard some positive reviews of it.


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alison

03-12-01, 01:40 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #4
 
  
>And I'm always having problems with
>rush pre-performance dinners too....
>Personally I like "Café Flo" and
>"Browns" at St.Martin's Lane.

Me too, except that Browns have got rid of their gorgeous lemon tart! Pre-theatre menu price has gone up a little, as well.

>They have (most of the time
>!) a very friendly service
>and when at a hectic-time,
>the cellar at Flo's is
>more quiet.
>They are both very good quality/price
>and do have special menus.
>
>
>Oh...and I had once an excellent
>pizza somewhere nearby the ROH...but
>can't remember the name !
>
Wasn't Pizza Express, virtually next door, was it?


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alison

11-12-01, 01:31 PM (GMT)
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36. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #8
 
   Just bringing this up again to check on what I'd said about Cafe Flo in St. Martin's Lane, because I've heard several stories of very slow service in there, which isn't what you expect from somewhere surrounded by theatres and geared up to serving their audiences. It's mainly been complaints of slowness - last time I was in there, it took 1/2 an hour to get my starter, and the people next to me, who'd ordered from the pre-theatre menu about 6.30, didn't get their food until nearly 7.10. Another friend has now told me that when she went to a matinee recently it took nearly 1/2 an hour to get a cup of coffee. So be warned - possibly somewhere to be avoided if you are in a hurry. If time permits, I tend to try the one in Haymarket, and get a bus round to the Aldwych if I'm going to the ROH.


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Viviane

11-12-01, 05:36 PM (GMT)
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37. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #36
 
   Oops, Alison, I even didn't spot your other posting !
This tread is getting REALLY complicated
Well, I suppose I was very lucky with the service at Flo's, but I also have to admit that the service is excellent...when I am on my own !


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jhanner

03-12-01, 12:45 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #3
 
   I am definitely going to give tartine a try - anywhere that serves a decent kir royale is ok by me


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Mike

03-12-01, 12:57 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #5
 
   Personal favourites arount the Covent Garden area include Cafe Pacifico, off Long Acre (excellent Mexican, but you need to be there early on a Saturday) Zizzi's on the Strand for Pizza (recently-opened, from the look of it, and with a real clay pizza oven, and reasonably-priced) and Smollensky's (also on the Strand)

I was a fan of Plummer's in Covent Garden, recently closed, unfortunately, and the old Cafe des Amis - the new version is fine, but I always enjoyed the old downstairs cellar bar post-performance


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Wendy Glavis

03-12-01, 02:17 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #6
 
   Hmm. Had to jump in here to recommend M & S. They do a great (well, ok, edible) ham sandwich on white bread for £1-10, which can be sneaked out onto the ROH terrace. And the bar staff are very nice about letting you have a free glass of water. Mine even had a slice of lemon in it on Saturday!


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Anneliese

03-12-01, 03:01 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #6
 
   Ah, Plummer's - a favourite of mine for many years (snif! I miss it SO MUCH!)


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alison

04-12-01, 01:20 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #10
 
   Yes, anybody tried the Italian restaurant that's replaced it? It seems to have a good pre-theatre menu.


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alison

05-12-01, 01:23 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #6
 
   Isn't it a Zizzi right opposite the ROH as well? Had a look last night - the prices don't seem as extortionate as some other pizza/pasta places in Covent Garden.


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Tomoko.A

05-12-01, 11:53 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #20
 
   Zizzi - Slooow service. They have nice pizza/pasta on the menu, but it took more than 30 minutes to get my pizza. And it happened twice. Yes, My husband and I were stupid enough to go there for the 2nd time after our first bad experience hoping things have been improved.


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Mike

06-12-01, 09:06 AM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #22
 
   Have to agree that the service at the Zizzi in the Strand wasn't the quickest when I visited recently, and that was on a Sunday late afternoon, hardly a busy time - food was good, though, and reasonable value. I find that you have to go a long way to beat Pizza Express for swift service, quality and value for money, although the menu's somewhat limited. I've used the St Martin's Lane PE on a couple of occasions recently, and there's one on the Strand (Covent Gdn end), although I usually try to go somewhere else when I'm in London as we have 3 PEs here in Cambridge, so I try for a bit of variety!


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alison

06-12-01, 01:28 PM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #23
 
   I've found the Floral Street PE rather slower than it used to be recently - possibly it's just demand. The first time I went there, I had 45 min before the start of the performance and managed to have a main course *and* a dessert. Now that's what I call "Express". Recently, I've had to give up on ideas of dessert on several occasions (good for the figure, but since I'm addicted to their fruit salads - and ice cream ...).


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alison

04-12-01, 01:23 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #0
 
   There's also a new Pizza Express opened up on the south side of the Strand, close to Somerset House. It's rather nearer to the ROH than the Charing Cross branch (I nearly missed the start of a performance when I misjudged the time it'd take me to walk from there. Actually, now that there's a Piazza entrance to the ROH I find that places in St. Martin's Lane (including yet another P.E.) are only about 5 minutes' walk away.


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eugene merrett

04-12-01, 03:08 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #14
 
   Try Belgo's. I think it the biggest restaurant in London. It has great fish, lobster and spit roast chicken. It is on Neal Street - north of the Garden

You might want to consider "Sways" which is next to the New Connought Rooms. It is a bit far out - near Kingsway but it is close to Holborn tube station!

They have great spit roast chicken and country fries.

Also consider Gerrard's. They serve a great Fillet steak and bernaise source!

I remember the Mongolian Barberque - but that appears to have gone (sigh!!)


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Robert

04-12-01, 05:04 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #15
 
   The Sofra in Tavistick Street does an excellent pre theatre menu that I could certainly recommend. I have always wanted to eat at Rules in Maiden Lane, I think it is probably the oldest restaurant in the country, probably not suitable for a pre theatre meal.
Having to travel in to London by train we usually have a Boots Shapers Meal Deal bought at the station, whilst travelling. It sounds a bit sad but it is low in calories healthy cheap and convenient.
Any time now someone is going to say what a pathetic crowd we are discussing food rather than the latest ballet news or scandal, oh dear.


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Pete

04-12-01, 06:28 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #16
 
   My, what a pathetic crowd you all are.....(thought I'd get in there first before any 'trolls')

..seriously though, some great ideas. I've been to three around the ROH, Sarastro which is a fun setting (saucy paintings in the bathrooms!), good food and lots of it, Pasta Browns opposite the ROH I agree with Jessica's comments about that and Cafe du Jardin which Anneliese commented on, we went there pre-matinee so it was quiet.

Maybe we should all go out for a meal at one of these restaurants, perhaps the next poll could help decide which one (please ignore me Ann!) I know that some of the founder members of ballet.co used to dine out and it would be great to meet up and have a natter.


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jhanner

05-12-01, 12:52 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #17
 
   thats a really good idea Pete as I'd love to put some names to faces


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alison

05-12-01, 01:22 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #17
 
   >Maybe we should all go out
>for a meal at one
>of these restaurants, perhaps the
>next poll could help decide
>which one (please ignore me
>Ann!) I know that some
>of the founder members of
>ballet.co used to dine out
>and it would be great
>to meet up and have
>a natter.

Trouble is, I think there are too many of us now! I remember we did one about 4 years ago which had well over 20 people, and most restaurants have difficulty in catering for that many. It would be nice, though ...


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Anneliese

05-12-01, 04:06 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #15
 
   I have heard nothing good about the Covent Garden Belgo - and I've heard a lot of reports about it! (looks back longingly to the time when it was still Smith's).

Chez Gerard is somewhat overpriced IMO but certainly convenient.


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Pete G

07-12-01, 00:11 AM (GMT)
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25. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #21
 
   I've eaten in the Strada a couple of times. Pizzas at the far end of the road that Bloomsbury flowers is in. Always found it very good.

Bit further afield, but I usually stay overnight in the Bloomsbury area and, if you don't mind a bit of a hike, Verdi and Amalfi (both Italian) and Le Piaf (French-ish) on Southampton Row are all v. nice.


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Charles

07-12-01, 01:00 PM (GMT)
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26. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #25
 
   This thread more than any other I've encountered here proves how divorced from reality ballet and its patrons are, how ballet is an elitist, risible pursuit and reflects nothing of life and culture as it is lived by the vast majority of Britain today.

As to dining out for the sans culottes who can't afford the erudite pursuits of high art? Let them eat cake.


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Anneliese

07-12-01, 01:03 PM (GMT)
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27. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #26
 
   Oh, how we've missed you these past few months! I'm unashamedly white, middle aged, middle class and Anglican - but hey, at least I'm a woman!

More trolls than Tromso, this website has. Always good for a laugh, though!


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Helen

07-12-01, 01:51 PM (GMT)
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28. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #27
 
   Anneliese, I have met you and you are not middle-aged!


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Fiore

07-12-01, 04:54 PM (GMT)
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29. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #28
 
   hmmmm when I m next standing through the next ballet after managing to afford a trip to the ballet and a trip to London and possibly a jacket potatoe (!) I shall remind myself of that post on elitism! lol
Bless you Charles!


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Pete G

08-12-01, 08:12 PM (GMT)
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33. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #29
 
   You could try Food For Thought in Neal Street if you want a change from baked potato. Good veggie food and a good place to eat if your on your own (and not over-dressed).

Pete


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Bruce Madmin

09-12-01, 01:40 AM (GMT)
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34. "Food glorious food"
In response to message #33
 
  
Normally there's no time for anything before a show so I treat myself to a bag of chips (I'm a veggie), at £1 on, the way home. If I'm feeling adventurous, or rich, I might splash-out 50p on some mushy peas as well!


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Anneliese

07-12-01, 09:40 PM (GMT)
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30. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #28
 
   Helen, I have met you and you're not old enough to have seen Markova!

(depends how you define middle aged, doesn't it?)


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Katherine

07-12-01, 11:03 PM (GMT)
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31. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #0
 
   "Bistro" at 33 Southampton Street serves good food (Mediterranean) and is cheap (for London prices anyway!) - £7.99 for 2 courses, £8.99 for 3 courses. I've been there a few times this year and have always enjoyed it.


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Martha

08-12-01, 00:29 AM (GMT)
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32. "RE: Dining in Covent Garden"
In response to message #31
 
   Wagamamma is also rather cheap and tasty. The food in Covent Garden is mediocre let's face it your paying for the view.


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