Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Running out of places to eat? Here is what I would do...

Best restaurants in London

Bored of dining out at your usual haunts? Want to try something different but not sure where to begin? Here are a few suggestions for you.

1. Social media

The high tech version of asking around. Ask for suggestions on Facebook or Twitter. .To get meaningful suggestions provide more details about what you are looking out for. Is there something you would go out of the way to avoid. Or you just want more of the same cuisine but just at a different place? What is your budget? Is there a special occasion? You could be pleasantly
surprised by the responses you get.

2. Reviews 

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, this is probably what you are already doing anyway! I love to check out other food blogs (those on the left column of this site are my favourite) to see if there is something that I have been missing. I constantly check out the food critics' reviews in The Times and Evening Standard for ideas too.

3. Deal of the day

Sometimes I turn to deal of the day sites for inspiration. A friend of mines regularly uses such sites for restaurants which she would otherwise not have frequented. She is big on Chinese cuisine but sometimes wants to try European food but does not want to blow big bucks on something not tried and tested (from her point of view). Sites like Groupon offer good restaurant deals in London, sometimes up to 70% off at certain restaurants so to her it makes perfect sense to try new places out using such deals. Such sites make otherwise expensive restaurants affordable or at the very least bring your attention to some restaurants which might have been around for some time but which do not get their share of the limelight simply because of all the new openings in London. When I checked today, there was a promotion on Groupon for high tea at Mayfair for two from £34. Quite a bargain, considering the location.

4. New openings

If you want to be ahead of the pack and check out the latest restaurant offerings, check out websites such as Timeout or Hot Dinners. the latter (a favourite of L) has up to date news on restaurants opening in London as well as recently opened restaurants. They often have useful information as to whether a particular restaurant has a promotion to mark its soft launch. This was how I found out about the 50 percent discount at Dishoom Shoreditch when it first opened many moons ago. This is also the website which I turn to when I have friends visiting and who want to try the latest that London has to offer.

5. Have a walk in your neighborhood or your workplace

Sometimes it can be just that simple. Perhaps on a closer look there might just be a gem of a restaurant that you have missed. Or something new that you like the look of. I came across La Farola on Upper Street this way. This is also how I chanced upon Beagles at Hoxton which opened to the public today though when I walked past the other day they were having a friends and family do and I was turned away so sadly I have not had the opportunity to try their food (British seasonal cooking) as yet. I did buy takeaway coffee from their little bistro though - lovely service.

How else do you normally hunt for new places to dine?

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