Thursday, 24 March 2016

#LondonEating Fleet Street El Vino, @Pret & @leonrestaurants

NEW! Where to grab a bite or a drink after a London Walk?

I've asked my London Walks colleagues to chip in their suggestions and I'll share them here regularly on The Daily Constitutional.

The Rules: All "reviews" were conducted anonymously and we paid our way. No kick-backs, no payola, no deals: these are the places that we London Walks guides - and London Walkers – choose when eating and drinking out and about in London. No buckshee burritos, nary a gratis granola bar was received in exchange for these recommendations.

And I promise never to use the word "eaterie". Seriously: have you EVER heard anyone SAY the word eaterie?

The Criteria: As well as the one-offs, the unique cafes, bars and stalls that make London so special, I'll be featuring reliable chains along the way. They have to be in London and within five minutes of the end of a London Walks tour.

I hope you enjoy them.

Have your say: As usual we'd like to hear from you – drop us a line with your own London foodie (and drinkie) tips.


A.S-G London, March 2016

Angela and Shaughan have got Legal London covered in terms of what and where to eat after the tour – a reliable chain, a sturdy boozer (that's the pub itself, not Shaughan - nor, indeed, Angela) and something a bit more special…

Angela first…

I'd like to recommend the Pret opposite Royal Courts of Justice at end of Legal and Illegal. I know it's a chain but I think Pret is the best of them (check out crayfish and rocket sandwiches!), but also this one has a great interior. It used to be a branch of NatWest so it's big, light and rather luxurious.

They have filtered water on tap (fill up your bottles) with proper glasses and proper mugs if you're drinking in. They have a good range of cakes and pastries and for my money they're rather better quality than other chains and the coffee is cheaper! I always head there on Friday after my walk! I'm there right now!

Thanks Angela, we'll trouble you no further. Enjoy the crayfish!

Shaughan adds…

After the Legal London walk the Old Bank Pub is near at hand and across the road there's the famous El Vino's wine bar on Fleet St.

Thanks Shaughan. I'll chip in here, too (it's Adam blogging here) to say that all of these recommendations also work well for my Publish & Be Damned tour of Fleet Street's newspaper history (keep an eye on the rep walks for that one).

Indeed El Vino features in the narrative of that walk – the place has a folklore all its own. For example, El Vino did not permit women to approach the bar (the booze one, not the legal one) unaccompanied until the early 1990s! 

If you are a super-organised type, perhaps you could make a day of it with a London Walks walking tour (or book a private London walks tour) and then take in a wine tasting at El Vino. Visit their website at

In the same area, I'd like to add another reliable chain: Leon

The Ludgate Circus branch at the bottom of Fleet Street was once the King Lud pub…

Detail above the door of the former King Lud pub

… and it was here that Jack Kerouac took a repast of Welsh rarebit and a pint of bitter on his brief London sojourn back in the 50s.

Wonder if the folks at Leon would consider putting Welsh Rarebit on the menu and naming it in honour of the great Beat Generation writer? I'll have a coffee and a Jack Kerouac, please. I think it has a ring to it…

Find Leon here…

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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