I'm a bit behind in posting, the pitfalls of my actual job as a professional photographer. This post is actually from last year, Christmas time, as you can tell from the interior photos. Still, it should be a good read.
When looking for restaurants to book in London in and around Christmas time, my wife and I immediately thought of Rules; London's Oldest restaurant. We had heard amazing things about it from Simon Majumdar's book; Eating for Britain. There's no question what Simon thinks of this restaurant, and although he does seem to adore anything fleshy, whereas I'm into my veg as well, I know his tastebuds are very similar to mine. We both have a fierce admiration for classic English dishes and it does not get any more classic than Rules.
Situated on a small side street in Covent Garden, Rules screams old word charm. Everything from the classic awning, to the doorman out front is in keeping with traditions of the past. And inside is no different. When we went, their Christmas decorations were up and I commented to my wife that I had never seen a place more Christmasy. Wherever there was room for a decoration there was one, wherever a Santa hat could sit, it sat. We loved it.
In most well established and well thought of restaurants, there is almost always a certain snootiness associated with it. The Maitre'd, who perhaps makes £10 an hour thinks that he owns the place and treats you like the piece of crap you are. Well, I found that to be the exact opposite at Rules. Every single person treated us like we were an extension of their family. "Hello sir, may I take your coat?" "Ah, hello sir, would you like to walk around and take photos of the rest of the restaurant? Please be my guest." "My friend, would you like my first born to come and live with you and work on your farm?" Ok, that last one didn't happen, but the others did. In a time when uber-trendy, snooty restaurants are popping up like bad Van-Damme films, I am glad Rules exists.
Now onto more important things; that is, our exquisite Potted Shrimp... drool... drool... groan... groan. Who knew that small sea creatures could taste so good? It was like eating a cloud sprinkled with fairy dust. And our mains were even more impressive.
I had heard many rumors in dark foodie corners about the famous Rules Steak and Kidney Pie and Puddings. Men that have secret handshakes and periwigs have long touted their succulence and downright mouthwatering deliciousness. And they were right! Not being able to settle on which one to have, the Pie, or Pudding, I had the Pie and my wife had the Pudding. Both were... well, there aren't many things to say about them that already haven't been said. So I won't try, instead I will blatantly plagiarize what Simon Majumdar says about Rules in Eating for Britain; "One thing is for certain: a simple steak and kidney pudding will never taste quite the same again."
No sir, it definitely will not!