Just returned from the Canary Islands last week and transited through London on our way home to Boston. We decided to stay in London-proper (in Belgravia because we wanted to be close to Victoria Station), rather than staying out near Gatwick as we did on our outgoing leg.
Our first meal was a VERY late dinner (10 pm-ish) at the Alfred Tennyson. After a series of delays both on Gran Canaria and on the Gatwick Express, we headed out around 8:30 pm rather research-less. While we could’ve settled on fast food, B and I certainly craved adult drinks and a civilized meal. We had walked past Boisdale on our way from Victoria Station but it was packed to the gills. Using @kake’s Randomness Guide to London (which is a fun read), we settled on Star Tavern, hoping it would still be kid-friendly at that hour on a Tuesday evening). After a pleasant walk looking at all the surrounding embassies, we arrived to a very full pub. The affable crowd was quite amused by spring onion, authoritatively looking for a table. No such luck. So we wandered and came across The Alfred Tennyson, which looked cozy and had a free table (a booth no less). Very nice server who I could tell was a mom and perhaps worried about a spring onion being out on the town so late. Unfortunately, the food was a big disappointment. Granted, they were hosting a large private party in the upstairs function room so that could’ve affected our food. Spring onion didn’t like his sausage and mashed (although B tasted and said it was delicious) but worked his way through about half. My beetroot and parsnip tart was kind of sad. The cubed up veggies were tossed into a pastry shell with not much flavor/sauce to speak of. And B’s fish and chips were just adequate. And spring onion’s food took forever to come out of the kitchen, with the manager even apologizing. Oh well. It was a pleasant room and the wine and beer were fine.
The following morning, we had breakfast next door to our hotel at tomtom coffee house. We had to sit outside because it was full inside. We put our order of a cheese and tomato toastie on Poilane sourdough, avocado toast with poached egg, and pancakes. Flat white and cappuccino. Coffees came first and were divine. Then we waited. And waited. My toastie came first and it was like the best grilled cheese sandwich ever. Waited some more. Lots of apologies from the (again) very nice server. Finally, B’s and spring onion’s meals were delivered. Every component on B’s dish was superb - a perfectly poached egg and a sweet chili jam that complemented the avocado toast quite well. Spring onion’s pancakes were picture-perfect, if a bit dry (but I’m not much of a pancake lover). While waiting, we got a kick out of watching all the young women taking selfies in front of Peggy Porschen (whom we’d never heard of before that). The self-absorption of these women was astounding to observe.
Finally, we made it to Star Tavern for a late lunch (2:30 pm and the kitchen closes at 3 pm). My fish and chips made B jealous, while his cottage pie hit the spot. Spring onion, who never eats fish and chips, happily shared mine. Or maybe he was just out-of-his-mind starving by that time.
Dinner was sadly leftover Canarian cheese and newly-bought bread and wine from the nearest M&S, eaten in our hotel room. Earlier, spring onion enjoyed a good hot dog while watching the carousel outside the Natural History Museum. And then off we went the next morning after free breakfast at our hotel. We had a more than decent lunch at Wagamama Gatwick.
I’ll try to get around posting about the Canary Islands portion shortly.