Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you
RestaurantsLondonCovent GardenWC2

Stop Press!

July 2019: Rules has introduced an afternoon tea; it's served on the first floor where once Edward VII and his mistress Lillie Langtry dined in private.

survey result

Summary

“Like stepping into a time warp” – London’s oldest restaurant (in these Covent Garden premises since 1798) is a magnificent period piece, complete with a gorgeous panelled interior. Inevitably it’s “very touristy”, although many Londoners also harbour a very soft spot for the old place. That said, its “old-school British cooking” has been better in living memory and many reporters continue to find “prices are high for rather indifferent food”: “our American friends were happy, but we were not impressed and the steak ’n’ kidney pudding was not as good as we remembered!” Top Tip – “unbeatable game in season”.

£78
 ££££
2
Average
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Step into London’s history” on entering the capital’s oldest restaurant (established 1798), whose “stunning” panelled premises near Covent Garden have a “timeless feel – Victorian diners wouldn’t look out of place, nor modern, open-collared business folk”. For “so-traditional British fare” (“wonderful game” and “top steak puddings”) it can still deliver “old-school perfection”, and though “foreign visitors love it”, it’s still “an absolute favourite” for many locals. That said, they need to watch the ever-more “inflated prices” here: “step this way and empty your wallet!”

£78
 ££££
2
Average
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“History oozes out of the walls” of London’s oldest restaurant (established 1798) – still one of its most “iconic”, whose “olde-worlde, panelled interior” has a “priceless warmth and depth”. Many a Londoner still considers it “a reliable old favourite” for “traditional British roasts, games, pies and oysters”, but it has seemed more and more “overpriced” in recent times – any more, and it will achieve the Covent Garden tourist-trap status it’s heretofore miraculously avoided.

£78
 ££££
4
Very Good
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Even if you would normally avoid tourist spots like the plague”, London’s oldest restaurant (Covent Garden, 1798) satisfies even sceptical visitors with its “truly historic” interior and “proud-to-be-old-fashioned” menu, majoring in meat, game and “old-school puds”; one caution though – it’s getting “oh oh so expensive”.

£78
 ££££
3
Good
2
Average
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

For 28 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at Rules?

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair, Portions
8, 16
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.
Paul F
As a customer experience its great..... It...
Reviewed 2 months,

"As a customer experience its great..... It’s a very very focussed restaurant, the decor is all about their history and is unique. My waitress was very keen, even complimenting me on my tie! The menus has reasonable choices and quite a lot I would eat. Starter was a spiced grilled Quail, really nicely cooked and presented. Main was a slightly strange veal escalope in a very very slightly odd sweet Marsala sauce that seemed like it had been sitting a while as it had a hint of a “skin”. Dessert was a sensational lemon and raspberry posset Service was great although it took ages to get my bill Toilets very clean"

Report this comment
Clifford B
Everything as solid as the building itself....
Reviewed 3 months, 28 days ago

"Everything as solid as the building itself. No regrets with repeat visits."

Report this comment
David S
OK..a bit touristy, but still a wonderful B...
Reviewed 3 months, 29 days ago

"OK..a bit touristy, but still a wonderful British restaurant."

Report this comment
Gavin W
Reliable old favourite. Trad old-British f...
Reviewed 7 months, 2 days ago

"Reliable old favourite. Trad old-British fare, very well executed, with a hint of the more modern. Some business men at lunch though there can be a feel of it catering more for well heeled tourists. Great service, Very competent, unflustered service. Love the timeless British feel - Edwardian or Victorian diners would not look out of place, nor modern open collared business folk. Glad it is not swamped in the City or Mayfair."

Report this comment
Have you eaten at Rules?
Post your own review of Rules and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review

Prices

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£12.95 £28.95 £8.25
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £32.00
Filter Coffee £3.95
Extras  
Service 10.00%
35 Maiden Ln, London, WC2E 7LB
Opening hours
Monday12 pm-10:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm-10:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm-10:30 pm
Thursday12 pm-11:30 pm
Friday12 pm-11:30 pm
Saturday12 pm-11:30 pm
Sunday12 pm-10:30 pm

Best British, Traditional restaurants nearby

The Savoy Hotel, Savoy Grill
British, Traditional restaurant in Strand
£89
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
Simpson's in the Strand
British, Traditional restaurant in Strand
£76
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
3
Good
Café in the Crypt, St Martin in the Fields
British, Traditional restaurant in Covent Garden
£33
    £
2
Average
1
Poor
4
Very Good

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Simpson's in the Strand
British, Traditional restaurant in Strand
£76
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
3
Good
Kaspar's Seafood and Grill, The Savoy Hotel
Fish & seafood restaurant in Strand
£79
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
J Sheekey
Fish & seafood restaurant in Covent Garden
£75
 ££££
3
Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good