Going to London, Preston and York this July. What should I not miss?


My teenager and myself are attending a Women’s Conference in Preston for 6 days in early July. Afterwards will be spending a day in York shopping and having tea on the Countess Pullman car, then down to London. The next day We’ll be heading to the Armory in the Tower, the Fashion exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum and we’re staying in Wapping. I love quirky, but the teenager, not so much. The more budget friendly options the better!

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Where’s home for you please Angela?

San Francisco Bay Area. Looking for good tea spots, curry, decent British pub food, fish n chips and the occasional pizza/burger for the teenager.

Bukhara, on the outskirts of Preston, has a good local reputation. But it’s menu has never suggested I should make the one hour drive to try it. But, other than that, the town itself is a culinary desert - which is a pity as the county has quite a number of decent places (but you’ll need a car to get to them).


Yeah, no car. Food desert aka bog standard as the onsite coordinator put it. Just have to make the best of it and find something interesting in London.

I only visit the central area of London as a tourist so my restaurant knowledge is limited. But, for South Asian, you might like to consider Tayyabs or Cafe Spice Namaste. The former is very popular and gets a lot of play with tourists (particularly the foreign ones) - but, in truth, the food is fairly run-of-of the-mill for those of us who live in other parts of the UK where we have signifciant south asian communities.

The latter is a favourite of mine - short menu of genuinely Indian classics. The chef and Mrs Chef (who runs front of house) are Parsees and they plug their lamb dhansak describing it as their equivalent of a British Sunday roast. It’s a thing of beauty!.

John, thank you. The second place sounds lovely. If it’s anywhere near our travel route for the day, I’ll be sure to check it out. Any recommendations for York?

Angela - I’m afraid its too long since I last ate in the city to make any personal recommendations. But check out the “Star Inn the City”.

You are expected to read that as the “Star in the City”. It’s owned by Andrew Pern, a well known Michelin starred chef whose main restaurant is at the Star Inn at nearby Harome. It is a more casual experience and will probably suit for lunch. I’ve eaten at his main place and had a great time.

I see you’re having tea at the railway museum which sounds like fun and then travelling to London (same day?). If so, I hope youre going with large appetities if you’re having lunch then tea.

Yes, we’ll have quite the busy day doing York and then down to London. Tea is at 2:00 pm and I have a voracious teenager in tow, so might just do both a small early lunch & tea. Sightseeing in London will be the following day and flying home the day afterwards.

Or, that could be the day for a big breakfast which keeps you going till the tea, then something later on when you hit London?

Just sorry we’re not able to feed you well while you’re up here in the northwest. Come back and see us again and we’ll do better.

Perhaps a big breakfast if I can get the teenager out of bed early enough. Definitely planning on coming back with the hubby at some point to see the beauty in your neighborhood. I’ll keep you posted.

I can second Harters’ recommendation for cafe spice, and its location is between the tower of London (I guess this is the Armoury in the tower) and Wapping, easily walkable if the weather is fine.

Yes! Thank you John & Lex. I forgot how much I missed talking to other foodies. I’ll be around the boards a lot more often now.

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For London - if you like curry and think you need breakfast you could go to Dishoom in Shoreditch. It’s a bit different. Everyone knows I like Meraz on Hanbury Street. Bit of Bengali/Bangladeshi fusion. Cooked fresh. Casual. Very budget- friendly. Most of Brick Lane is rubbish but Meraz is my go to. Tayyabs is very popular but tends to feel stuffy so maybe not too teen-friendly.

Afternoon tea? I look at afternoontea.co.uk for deals since tea is stupidly expensive. However, I hear good things about Andaz Liverpool Street - https://londonliverpoolstreet.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/1901-wine-lounge.html.

For something casual and quirky but also traditional in its own way Blacklock , City http://theblacklock.com/city/menus/ - it won’t scare a teenager. Its mostly meat, after all.

For truly non-tourist English & quirky in London look no further than Simpson’s, about a mile and a half west from Wapping:


It’s in the heart of the financial district known rather confusingly as “The City”, so it’ll be full of City office workers (like me!).

Weekday lunchtimes only. You should get away with £25 each without alcohol.
Note: This is not “Simpson’s in The Strand” which is a much grander affair a mile or so further west.

Back in the days of Chowhound, Mrs Harters was very ill for about a year. Part of the illness meant she had little energy or interest in food. Basically her life was sleeping and nibbling. I found the chatting with other foodies on the CH “What’s for Dinner” thread to be a daily escape from our problems. The contributors there will not have known how much their companionship meant to me.


How long are you in London for? Just the day right? Below is a list of places you could try but it is easy to incorporate some of this stuff by location. For example - I would group afternoon tea and V&A together as the best places are central.

Kona at the St James Hotel https://www.stjamescourthotel.co.uk/pdf/Menus/Afternoon-Tea-at-Taj-London.pdf have a variety of Afternoon Teas at different price points - I have been and enjoyed it.

If you want to splurge, The Goring does a very good one but it is quite pricey.

I would suggest breakfast and a wander in Brick Lane then The Armoury, then lunch either around there or St Katharine Docks then V&A and then afternoon tea. Have a bit of a break as Afternoon Tea is filling then maybe grab a late dinner at one of the suggested places.

Curries and Brick Lane
Personally I’d avoid Tayyabs - scanty portions, overpriced and mildly spiced for what it is. Needoo, which is almost across the road, used to be far superior (and I imagine still is for lamb chops and sheekh kebabs).

Dishoom is decent, its like hipster curry and quite fun inside.

Amar Goan is another place I would try on Brick Lane for seriously traditional homestyle Sylheti cuisine which you are unlikely to get in SF - spicy curries and lots of fish - not for everyone due to some very strong flavours but their rice, dal, keski and green beans and prawn is real comfort food for me. I prefer it to the other Sylheti place Gram Bangla, of which plenty has been written about before on Chowhound. Other, better, South Asian options are around Upton Park and East Ham tube stops where aren’t that far from Wapping but it really depends on how far you’d want to travel.

HOWEVER if you are in London on a Sunday then Brick Lane comes alive - there is loads of street food to choose from plus a fun market with clothes and old music / antiques and independent designers which teenager would probably enjoy. It’s quite a fun experience as a tourist.

Fish and Chips

Poppies, around Spitalfields is popular for fish and chips - also the Golden Hind in Marylebone.


For a pub experience you could do a lot worse than staying around East London again. Bacchus Sundays (http://www.bacchussundays.net/where-are-we) have a list of pubs where they do a truly amazing Sunday Roast. They operate in Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, amongst others.

Alternatively, The Grapes, in the docklands, near Wapping, is quirky and steeped in history - worth checking out for a drink.


For pizza and burger for teenager - you Franco Manca and Pizza Pilgrims which have a lot of branches are both decent and cheap.

Emilia’s in St Katharine Docks is great for Italian, another foolproof one for teenager. Solid and cheap homemade pasta dishes in a picturesque location.

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I’m surprised how rarely (if ever) that market used to get mentioned on Chowhound. We were in the area on a Sunday (my nephew was participating in an exhibition of university photographic students work - an annual event - he won the “best work” award, I’m rather proud to recount). Thought the range and quality of the several food stalls we tried was excellent


Wonderful for your nephew - congratulations!
Yes the quality in street food is markedly higher than it used to be - lots of amazing things to try. I am a particular fan of the poutine topped with The Rib Man’s meat and Holy F*** sauce - very tasty indeed.

The clothes and jewellery stalls from the new designers there are also pretty good - plus an easy walk to Columbia Road to get flowers at silly prices when it closes!

ShekhaV, what a wonderful list, thank you!
We will be travelling to York on a Monday and touring London on a Tuesday, so no cool market or Sunday Roast this time. Any good breakfast places in Wapping that might be willing to accommodate a picky American teenager? Or should we wait and find something in Brick Lane?

It has been over 30 years since I’ve been to London and I’m excited to see things I missed last time and share them with my teenager. Non-food related question: Including the Tube trip from the airport to Euston station, Euston station to Tower Hill, transport to and from the V&A and back to the airport, should I get an Oyster Card? We have Clipper Cards here in the Bay Area and they’re super convenient.