Tuesday 9 November 2010

Dining Rooms

More from the Popular Guide to London, 1862 ... this time, where to eat:

DINING-ROOMS.—In the matter of dining London presents many aspects. The visitor may dine well and respectably for a shilling, or luxuriously for a guinea. He has all the choice between a quiet chop or dish of meat and vegetables, at rooms like the Clarence, in Leadenhall-street, for about a shilling or fifteenpence; and a "three-course and dessert" spread at the Cafe de I'Europe, the St. James's, or Verey's. If he wishes to take a middle line, neither expensive nor too saving, he may go to Dicks, the London, the Rainbow, or the Mitre, in Fleet-street; Simpson's, in the Strand; or John o' Groat's, Rupert-street, Haymarket. If his taste and business take him to the City, he will find himself well served at Lake's, in Cheapside; Cheshire Cheese, Wine-offlcecourt, Fleet-street; His Lordship's Larder, Cheapside ; or, indeed, at any of the Cheapside or Bucklersbury houses. For a first-rate chop or steak go to Joe's, in Finch-lane, Cornhill; for admirable boiled beef, there is Williams's, in the Old Bailey ; for a capital dinner, well served with real turtle and cold punch, there is Painter's, the Ship and Turtle, in Leadenhall-street; for a rapid meal, well cooked, there is the Thiee Herrings, Bellyard, Temple-bar; for a good, pluin, cheap dinner or luncheon, quickly served, go to Reeves', in Pope's-head-alley, Cornhill; everything is capital there. But if you want anything very cheap, and not particularly nice, you may find it in almost every bye-street, where hot joints smoke and steam in the windows, and you may get your appetite appeased by the scent of the dishes before you have put a morsel in your mouth. Remember Mr. Punch's advice to diners—What to eat, drink, and avoid: Turtle, Champagne, and Ham Sandwiches for a penny!
    Many excellent hotels and taverns have a luncheon-bar, at which during the day you may have a chop, or a snack and a glass of ale for sixpence, or a plate of hot meat, with vegetables and bread, for about eightpence. These are plentiful in the Strand, Fleet-street, Cheapside, and Holborn. For a good cup of tea and a chop try Wyatt's at the corner of Wellington-street, Strand ; or Purcell's, pastrycooks, Fleet-street; or Birch's, pastrycooks, Cornhill ; or Button's, Chancery-lane, at which there is, as also at Purcell's, a reading and chess-room ; and if you want to smoke, play chess, take coffee, and lounge at one and the same time, go to the Divan in the Strand, nearly opposite Exeter Hall. Most of the pastrycooks have now a wine license; and for a light meal, when you have a lady with you, there are several admirably conducted houses between Brompton and the Bank.
By all means dine once at Billingsgate; and once at Strange's—the Saloon Dining-room at the Crystal Palace; and before you leave town do not neglect to take a chop and hear the singing at " Paddy Green's," Evans' Hotel, in Covent Garden. Chops and steaks are among the specialities of this and most good London taverns.

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