Eat Like A Londoner: An Insider's Guide to Dining Out by Tania Ballantine {book review}

When I visit London food is always a part of the plan. It’s essential that it’s somewhere good! But no matter how much I troll the internet I feel a bit overwhelmed by the shear volume of places to go and end up winging it with varying results. That or I end up at a chain that I recognise and am comfortable with. 

Which goes against my adventurous foodie nature! This book fills a need I wasn't aware I had until the day I started reading it. It categorises restaurants into various chapters, I will go into more depth in a second, which allows you to choose the chapter to which suit what you're looking for. 

There is of course an address for the restaurant along with locations of branches and sibling restaurants, those owned/run by the same people and therefore worth a look! At the end of the chapters there is a list titled "see also" which means they could have fit in that chapter, but fit better elsewhere. The index is broken down into London districts so if you know you're going to Soho it's got a list of places in Soho. Tania Ballantine even includes lists for vegatarians and last-minute places where you might have to wait, but a reservation isn't necessary. There is even a map in the back! It's a very well thought out and well organised. 

Chapter Breakdown: 

Cult Classics are the places that were once a hot new restaurant everyone had to try, but after the hype  died down they stayed strong! 

Small & Buzzy are exactly that small little places that are rarely empty! These are the sort of restaurants you can visit on your own and not have to feel alone.

Perfect Pitstops are for your full day of running around London either working or playing and you just need to grab something to go! Bone Daddies and Dosa N Chutney are two places I have tagged to try next time I'm wondering around London! This chapter also mentions popular market places. 

Late Night gives you the tips on the places that serve full meals into all hours of the night. There is always a place for late night meals! 

Special Occasions is self explanatory, these are the places you go to celebrate something big or small! This could be anywhere from a group birthday or special date night! 

Something for the Weekend suggests places that serve the best breakfast or brunch! Along with places to get a great roast dinner! Everyone loves their Sunday roast, but not everyone wants to cook it! 

Sensational Settings are where the ambience is just as important as the food. With it sub-divided into rooms with a view, alfresco, and rooms to remember you won't be short of choice when looking for the wow factor! 

You don't need to travel the world to find great tapas or sushi when you live in London, the Around the World chapter gives lots to consider when looking for something different! I have noted all the sushi places because I love sushi and am looking for the "one." 

Like dessert served at the end of the meal a short list of Sweet Stuff is listed in the chapter of the same title. This could have had a few more places, in my opinion, but perhaps that's the author's second book: Where Londoner's Go for High Tea or something like that? This is just of course a personal preference and she does list some amazing places like Paul A. Young for chocolates it's a definite must! 

Short list of restaurants I will plan on visiting next time I am in London, well not all in the next visit, but in the next several visits! 

  • Burger & Lobster
  • Spuntino
  • Bone Daddies 
  • Dosa n Chutney 
  • Herman Ze German
  • Dirty Bones
  • Sushisamba
  • Dozo
  • Phoenix Palace
  • Konditor & Cook
  • Ottolenghi

This is a great little book, literally, it's just 15.9 x 1.9 x 16.2 cm and would be perfect for any traveler visiting London as it fits easily into the oversized bags that are popular at the moment. I would even suggest it to Londoner's as they can read it and agree or disagree with the suggestions - everyone loves a bit of debate! That or they might discover somewhere new and exciting! 

notes: Eat Like a Londoner by Tania Ballantine (SRP-UK £9.99 US $14.99 Canada $17.99 - not currently available as an ebook) was given to me to review by the publishers Frances Lincoln - Quatro, no other compensation was given - all opinions are my own, for more information please see my contact/policy page above. 

Pssst ... it's that time of year I've been avoiding mentioning, but as it will be here sooner then later I might as well say that this would make a great gift for foodies and travel lovers alike! And just a head's up I have some other great foodie books to review and giveaway! Visit again soon to find out more! 

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