December in England (Bath, London, Liverpool, York)

My wife and I are taking our two boys (ages 14 and 10) to England this December. Both boys are good and adventurous eaters. We will travel primarily through Bath, London, Liverpool and York. I’ve started researching posts on this site, done some additional internet research, and have compiled the following, partial list of places we are likely to check out.

The places I list are dinner reservations we have or will make when the bookings open. Please let me know if you think I’m missing a must try destination. We are traveling from Los Angeles so don’t necessarily see a need to search out Japanese, Thai or Korean options of which there are many in our area.

Also, we will spend a good deal of time checking out the local museums and tourist sites, particularly in London (think British Museum, NHM, Tower of London, changing of the guards, etc.,) so bonus points for good quick lunch options close to the usual tourist stops.

We have a number of reservations at restaurants described as modern British cuisine and would love to add some ethnic meals to our mix.

Bath (3 dinners). We have reservations at:

Soto Soto,

Circus Restaurant, and

The Hive (for Sunday Roast). Note, I’ve also stumbled across the Sunday roast menu at Hare & Hounds and we are debating swapping out The Hive.

During the day, we will consider Boston Tea Party, The Grand Eastern and Ole Tapas. We would also like to do an afternoon tea either here or in London and are debating tea at the pump room.

London (5 dinners). We are staying in Kensington and have two dinner reservations, Noble Rot and Pig & Butcher.

We are also considering Barra Fina, The Barbary, Hide, Bala Baya, Gunpowder, Six Portland Road, Café Spice (for a lunch near the Tower of London) and afternoon tea at Kona at St. James.

York (2 dinners)

We’re looking at Fish & Forest, Los Moros and Mumbai Lounge but have yet to make a reservation.

Liverpool (3 nights). Frankly, we haven’t properly researched Liverpool yet but Bakchich, Lunya, and Mowgli have caught my eye. We’re heading here to take in a match at Anfield.

Finally, we have one night in Oxford and have reservations at Antep Kitchen.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and naturally we will report back with details upon our return.


Welcome to the forum, Eric. It’s good to read of American tourists who are getting out of London to actually see something of our country. And that you’re including Modern British cuisine.

You mention Cafe Spice. Is that actually Cafe Spice Namaste? If so, then it’s an excellent choice, although the restaurant is now in Docklands, rather than its original location almost next to the Tower of London. May I suggest their lamb dhaansaak. The owners are Parsees and, when I ate there, Mrs Todiwala told me it’s a dish as important to Parsee family life as a Sunday Roast is to Britons. And its very, very good.

In Liverpool, Lunya is excellent for tapas. Mowgli is an OK smallish chain restaurant. It’s too long since I ate in Bath or York to have any meaningful suggestions.


Hello Eric and welcome. With regards to your afternoon tea, my inclination would be Bath, rather than London. Though that may because I’m a Londoner and wouldn’t really consider afternoon tea in London. But the pump room seems a lovely setting for it.

I was in Bath a couple of years ago and had an excellent lunch at Henry’s. Not all bells and whistles just good ingredients, looked after with dishes you want to eat. Dinner is tasting menu only so set lunch maybe the way to go. They also have an interesting wine list. I had an excellent Reisling from Washington State on my visit.

Henry’s Restaurant Bath

For The British Museum, I would heartily recommend Master Wei. I have posted by 2 visits on here. I don’t seem able to copy the exact link, unfortunately. It just points to the UK board.

I’m not sure how many Malaysian restauants you have where you are but Kensington is not far from Bayswater & Paddington, with a number of them. I can give you some recommendations, if you like.

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This one?

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That’s the one. Ta very much. Must be getting old

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London is so dense that Docklands may be out of the question for someone who wants to hit the tourist trail, but I think it’s a great opportunity to see the new London if a restaurant visit is the goal. You can hit The Museum of London Docklands, small but mighty. Further off the tourist trail is the Museum of the Home at Hoxton, an old stomping ground, with its many nearby Vietnamese restaurants (although I’d rather go to Blacklock than any of them - British chop house. The museum is a great opportunity to see London lifestyle as it is and was and it’s much more child-friendly than most. And the streets and street art around Hoxton are nothing like you’d get in the USA. Ask me more if you want to take the chance of seeing London as it is rather than how it presents itself to visitors.


Agree about Bath being a better choice for afternoon tea than London. I’d look at to see what they have on offer but then I love a bargain. I’m an eastend girl so can’t recommend anything west of Whitechapel, but talking of Whitechapel (if you doing a Jack the Ripper tour) I recommend Needoo Grill - miss their dhal and aubergine, kebabs and delicious lassi and naan.


In Liverpool we like Kasbah Cafe which is on lively Duke Street. We also love Mei Mei on Berry Street close to the Chinatown gate (oldest Chinatown in Europe) since the food is very much like what we are used to in Canada. I know Liverpool really well and it’s not the Beatles era Liverpool anymore, that’s for sure, but I loved the Beatles city tour bus - my friend who worked for ‘the lads’ had good fun listening to the young bus commentator but managed to keep her mouth shut. Mathew St is unrecognisable. The docks a whole other story.


Although I don’t like a lot of their touted menu, Dishoom is a lot of fun to visit anywhere you find one just for the decor. All I order is the chai (free refills) bhel, and the black dhal (heavenly stuff). Don’t bother eating anywhere on Brick Lane but by all means visit there - there’s the original Dishoom close by. Their breakfast pleases everyone - bacon (and egg) naan or the chili cheese toast, with chai of course.


Quick word - and I’m clogging this thread, sorry - but I have a rule not to eat anywhere near any tourist spot. Unless you want to settle for Pret or a meal deal from a supermarket or chemist. And never ever eat fish and chips anywhere but a local chippy - I think most would agree with me there.


Talking of Whitechapel I was in Lahore Kebab House recently. Their lamb chops don’t seem as good as they once were. But their methi lamb, my word, absolutely delicious.

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I certainly recommend a Jack the Ripper tour.

I’ve never been to the Needoo, Jan. Presumably you’d rate it higher than Tayyabs ,which I have been to a couple of times and, whilst quite good, I didnt find as good as some of the best “oop norf”.

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I took my friend from Leeds to Tayyabs. He said it was alright but they had loads of places in Bradford as good. Staying loyal to Lahore Kebab house, as I first went there over 20 years ago. May check out Needoo as I work in Stratford and Whitechapel is a quick hop on Crossrail ( sorry Elizabeth line, so as not to confuse people, still don’t like calling it that).

Mumtaz in Bradford used to be a favourite of mine, although its now some years since I’ve been. It’s about an hour’s drive for me and it’s not really worth it with the improvement of South Asian places round Manchester.

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Hey John! Well, Needo is very close to Tayabbs but mostly it’s friendlier, less fussy, and cheaper. The thing is that most people gravitate to Brick Lane for curry and a few steps further the food is better. As well, it’s a great opportunity to see a bit of local colour. The area may be cleaner now but it’s not really changed much - SO FAR. Go a street or two further and it’s all North American style luxury flats.


Had a disappointing biryani from there (one day I will find an excellent one - I like the style with fruit and nuts in it really and the meat tender and juicy, nor dried out) and scurried back to Needoo and Shalamar again. There was a lovely little kiosk run by a mother and daughter in Dalston. They did an excellent job on everything and have disappeared :frowning:

Chris, not everything is good there of course and we stuck to vegetarian as a rule. My order was always the same - the dhal and aubergine, the punjabi tinda (really unusual, not seen it elsewhere), a lamb samosa for the ride home with my take out, and their lovely mango lassi and reliable naan. A few doors north was Shalamar, where all the hospital staff eat, cheap as chips and with kabobs as good as anywhere at such low prices we’d buy just those and half a dozen.


We had a nice low key bistro meal at Bennett’s bistro next to York Minster’s (Cathedral) yard in York. Down to earth.

I loved the old fashioned tea rooms in York, and would check out the old fashioned tea rooms if I was to return to Bath.

In London, I’ve become repetitive in my middle age.

I seek out
Rules (Harters recommended it and I’ve been back several times)
J Sheekey
The Wolseley for a nice breakfast if it isn’t included at your hotel.

I love the food halls inside the fancy department stores in London. I also stop at Fortnum & Mason , even if it’s only to browse.

In Oxford, stop by the Covered Market. I always visit. There is a Pie Minister location there, and a local backers they sells lardycake and other regional Midlands specialties.

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We were in London in May and returned to three of our favorite restaurants-Barrafina for Spanish tapas, The Barbary for Mediterranean/North African/Middle eastern and Koya for Udon noodles. They were all delicious and we were able to reserve online for the first two restaurants which was a big plus.

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How many times have I said that in London. This place in Manor Park is good.
Dhaka Biryani Kitchen

I’m assuming you’ve been to Royal Chef in East Ham? Also a decent biriyani but their chicken curry is seriously good.