I’m sure finding a great lunch in London is not hard – unless you’re trying to find restaurants from the top of a tour bus. When we were doing our Big Bus Tour in London last summer, we had just forgotten to plan a lunch somewhere. I guess we thought we’d simply get off the bus somewhere whenever we would get hungry… The problem? The distances between stops is really pretty far and with traffic thrown in the mix you’ll be on the bus for quite a while. By the time you realize, you’re hungry, it might be a while until you see a decent lunch spot. And then chances are you see some really cute places after your bus has left the nearest stop and long before you stop again. Note to self, when doing a bus tour in a new city, find out which areas are known to have good restaurants and plan your stop there.
After our bus had left the Paddington Station stop, we realized it would have been the perfect place for walking around and picking a restaurant among the many, many choices there. Well, it wasn’t meant to be and the next stop was quite a ways away – too far to walk back at least. Despite the not-so-lunch-friendly-looking location, we got off at the next stop, Baker Street, and started walking around in search for a not-too-touristy lunch place. After about 15 minutes, we found The Apollo, a nice pub/bar on 28 Paddington Street in Marylebone, London. What a find! I had a blast just looking at some of the menu items 🙂 I also realized that while English food might be delicous, the English call their food weird and not so appetizing names that might account for some of the bad reputation English food gets abroad. Why would I ever want to order something called spatchcocked poussin or bacon butty? And what is a succulent joint served with Yorkie puds? And these are just from this menu alone. In other places, we saw things like spotted dick, ox tongue, jellied eels, and pickled scotch eggs. My diagnosis? The English definily have a marketing problem with their food – and they eat some weird things. However, as I said in my guide to great English food in London, if you know where to go, there are also some real delicacies out there! In our few weeks in London last summer, we really didn’t have one bad meal.
We hadn’t had some of the classics of English cuisine yet, so at The Apollo Marco and I decided to go with the bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes) and a chicken and ham pie, respectively. Other people in our group had the some delicious-looking mac & cheese (not the weird yellow kind sometimes served in the US), a big bowl of chili, and the staple food beer battered fish fingers (not quite as good as the catch of the day at the awesome fish restaurant The Grapes of course, but still good). If you ever find yourself looking for lunch in London and are near Baker Street, check out The Apollo. We really enjoyed it there! And that wasn’t just because we were starved by the time we found it and they funny-sounding menu items 😉
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