RecommendationsRestaurants | Accommodation
Recommendations - RestaurantsAs a vegetarian, I only visited venues which provided a good range of vegetarian food. I also have mobility / access needs, and these are commented on if the venue isn't step free with a disabled-accessible toilet.
St Pancras Champagne Bar, London - St Pancras website
Europe's longest champagne bar, and you've got a unique view of the trains! I had a great time here although admittedly I only stopped for drinks. There's a discretionary 8% service charge added to the bill, though staff deserved it, quickly finding a space for me (in my wheelchair) and friend on a busy weekday evening, and noticing when our glasses needed recharging. I didn't try the food but saw it going out - looked good. Although this isn't a restaurant as such, it's worth visiting just to drink fizz, nibble snacks, and watch the trains go by.
A Touch of Novelli at the White Horse, Harpenden - White Horse website
A wonderful gastropub, with various menus from tapas style for snacking on the terrace through a fixed price lunch to a full a la carte. The food is excellent although as ever with fine dining, the portions are sized with the intention of eating three courses; it's not the kind of pub where you would pop in and just have steak and chips. But that's ok, because in my experience booking is essential, so you wouldn't be popping in on the fly anyway. Well worth making the effort to visit, especially for a £15 two course lunch - and it's the only place where I've found the disabled toilet actually luxurious!
Brazz, Taunton - Brazz website
A great place for a brasserie style lunch or dinner. The focal point of the decor is a huge fish tank. Often has live music. Fantastic on all visits except Christmas Day when they were heaving and had temporary staff. Wine list good but overpriced - get a drink from the well stocked bar instead and enjoy it with your meal. Food is competent but not especially exciting.
Simply Heathcotes, Liverpool - Simply Heathcotes website
Ask for a window seat so you can watch the water feature outside. Good food, friendly service - we had a great time on our wedding anniversary. Their own-brand chocolates are unusual and well worth buying to take home.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London - Restaurant Gordon Ramsay website
Simply, the best food I've ever had. Despite Ramsay's reputation, he provides a separate menu for vegetarians and both times I've eaten there, my veggie meal was fantastic and well balanced. The £40 three course lunch menu is amazing value (although of course you can spend the same again on wine). What's more, I felt comfortable there rather than overwhelmed or awkward. I would recommend it to anyone. To book, you must ring at 9am two calendar months before the date you want. [Access issues: one step to enter and no disabled toilet.]
The Ivy, London - The Ivy website
Star-spotting haven. I've been there at the same time as TV presenters and a high up vicar, and my dad's seen Elton John eating there. The trouble is that it's more of a novelty venue than anything else. You also have to book a few weeks in advance (although if you turn up at 5.30pm when they open, they can often fit you in). The food is competent, but if you want great food for the same money, have lunch at Gordon Ramsay's or dinner at L'Escargot's Picasso Room. [Access issues: No disabled toilet]
L'Escargot Picasso Room, London - L'Escargot website
A Marco Pierre White restaurant, but he's never there in person. The food is very well executed but vegetarians tend to only have one option, which you can negotiate if necessary. The wine list is good and the sommelier helpful. The Picasso Room is, as the name suggests, decorated with Picasso's artwork. It's usually quiet; my table is often the only one dining, so it's suited to intimate evenings (as opposed to the busier restaurant downstairs). The bathroom is noteworthy, with glass basins and individual towels completing the feeling of luxury. [Access issues: No disabled access; it's upstairs]
Lock Dining Bar, London - Lock Dining Bar website
Unusually located in Tottenham, this restaurant provides great food (especially the steak for two, which was brought out raw for my friends' approval before cooking). When I asked about vegetarian options, I was told how every meal could be adapted and effectively given a free choice. Fine dining Monday to Friday, with a set price roast lunch on Sunday. Well worth a try!
This veggie restaurant provides reasonable food, but I could have done it myself from their chef Simon Rimmer's book - there were no extras or finesse.
Once somewhere I would visit every week, then it was sold off to Pizza Express and went downhill. The staff who cared for the history of the place went, and the food became average. The champagne bar is still good, though.
Ones to avoid
Tea at the Ritz, London
The food was great, but I was treated disgustingly as a disabled person (manhandled and hauled around by staff despite asking them to stop). There are loads of places to take tea in London, try somewhere else!
National Theatre Mezzanine, London
Food was average to poor, with a very small tart provided for vegetarians when everyone else had a reasonable portion! Service took forever and it was touch and go whether we would get our deserts before the show started. Find another restaurant for pre-theatre food.
This page last updated: 21 November 2009
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