RestaurantsLondonCovent GardenWC2

survey result

Summary

£83
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“What’s not to like about the oldest restaurant in London?” – in continuous operation on the same Covent Garden site since 1798. Of course, it’s “popular with tourists”, but its “quintessentially British” style makes it an “old favourite” for many Londoners too, and it provides “a beautiful, traditional experience”. The atmosphere of the beautiful dining room is “exceptional” and the “old school cuisine, with an emphasis on meat and game”, is very dependable; and backed up by an “extensive, if quite expensive wine list”. Top Menu Tip – “lovely steak ’n’ kidney pie”.

Summary

£83
 ££££
3
Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“It could so easily be a tacky tourist trap and is a bit pricey”, but there remains a whole lot of love for this Dickensian landmark in Covent Garden (London’s oldest restaurant to operate continuously on the same site – since 1798). The “beautiful” period dining room is “steeped in West End history and character” and the menu is “proper old-school” too – “no surprises, nothing extraordinary, but well-cooked and professionally served” grills, game, pies and puds. “And they do wonderful cocktails upstairs” too in the “splendid bar”. Top Menu Tip – “well worth it for old favourites like steak ’n’ kidney pudding followed by sponge pudding”.

Summary

£83
 ££££
2
Average
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

For a “quintessentially British” meal, it’s hard to beat this Dickensian icon in Covent Garden (London’s oldest restaurant to operate continuously on the same site – since 1798), which has a “beautiful” Victorian interior; and which delivers an archetypal mix of grills, game and stodgy puds. To an impressive extent, it has avoided pure Tourist Trap status; and many regulars have “so many happy memories here, going back decades” thanks to its “comforting” formula. No denying, however, that it has become “very overpriced” in recent years and increasingly risks “living on its old reputation”. But, for the time being, the overall verdict remains that “it’s one of a kind and the world would be poorer without it”.

Summary

£77
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“If one wants to wow a visitor to London” then this superbly atmospheric Covent Garden “old timer” – the capital’s oldest restaurant to operate continuously on the same site (since 1798) – is just the ticket. The “amazing”, “traditional” panelled interior is “very impressive”; and although the “classic British cooking” (rib of beef, game in season, steak ’n’ kidney) is decidedly “not cheap” and doesn’t please everyone, it mostly makes a decent fist of flying the native culinary flag. Given its prime location, it can inevitably be “overrun with tourists” at times, but it’s still a big hit with many locals too.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Rules?

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair,Portions
10, 18
No shorts
133
Yes

Rules Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Rules Restaurant in WC2, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Rules restaurant.
S R
Very nice restaurant. Well cooked food. Aut...
Reviewed 4 months, 19 days ago

"Very nice restaurant. Well cooked food. Authentic british kitchen. No fuss. And a very very nice warm place. "

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stuart r
From the moment you step inside, you are tr...
Reviewed 7 months, 30 days ago

"From the moment you step inside, you are transported to a different era. There’s no denying that history that engulfs Rules but it is not just style over substance. The food is great. Some classic British menu items (the steak and kidney pudding was glorious). Only minor quibble is that they did let us know (two diners) that there was a 1.5 hour limit on the table. When we were approaching this limit, we fancied pudding and the restaurant was pretty empty but they didn’t offer us the possibility of pudding. Only minor blemish was this lack of flexible practicality. Still, we’ll happily return soon and of course visit the hidden gem of upstairs cocktail bar."

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Antony L
Sumptuous food, really nice staff, and they...
Reviewed 9 months, 5 days ago

"Sumptuous food, really nice staff, and they gave us some souvenirs! Perfect venue for an extravagant couple’s treat. Highly recommended"

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Prices

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£12.30 £30.50 £9.95
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £35.00
Filter Coffee £3.50
Extras  
Bread £0.00
Service 12.50%
35 Maiden Ln, London, WC2E 7LB
Opening hours
Monday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑10 pm

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