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Rules Restaurant

#517 of 18,488 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Neighborhood:
Covent Garden
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35 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LB, England
(020) 78365314
Website
Today
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Description: Established by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules is a Covent Garden institution...
Established by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules is a Covent Garden institution and the oldest restaurant in London. Tuxedoed waiters glide around the formal interior, decorated with antique sketches, where plush banquettes offer a discreet retreat from the main dining room. The whole-hearted menu of traditional British food specialises in classic game cookery, oysters, pies and puddings, featuring game birds, roe deer and Belted Galloway beef fresh from the establishment's own High Pennines estate. The wine list is a French-led affair, or there are native draught beers served in silver tankards.
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Good for:
Romance
Doing business
Local cuisine
Special occasions
Entertaining clients

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,757 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1025
    Excellent
  • 432
    Very good
  • 167
    Average
  • 83
    Poor
  • 50
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Traditional British food at its very best.

Rules is my favourite restaurant in the world, and I have been there more times than I can count over the last 15 years. It is the oldest restaurant in London, and maintains its own estate "up north", which provisions the restaurant with many fine cuts of meat. The place: Rules epitomises... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 25, 2015
Thieving_Gypsy
,
London
Good for:
  • Romance
  • Doing business
  • Local cuisine
  • Special occasions
  • Entertaining clients
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Delivery
  • Late Night
  • Dessert
Add Photo Write a Review

1,757 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015 NEW

Rules is my favourite restaurant in the world, and I have been there more times than I can count over the last 15 years. It is the oldest restaurant in London, and maintains its own estate "up north", which provisions the restaurant with many fine cuts of meat. The place: Rules epitomises tradition - both in the food and the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
London, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015 NEW

Interesting venue....it had been over 20 years since I had dined there. The signature dishes of Steak and kidney puddings were still there so that's what we chose. No Nouvelle portions here! Real man size puds! Service was excellent..the ambience of this venue has to be experienced to be believed! A really different experience if a bit on the heavy... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015 NEW

I think there are some very good things about this restaurant and if there was a good rating I would give it good...but not very good. I don't eat meat, (I eat fish) and so the choices here are limited. So there were two fish dishes one had bacon on it and the other one was £40! So I decided... More 

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Biarritz, France
Top Contributor
322 reviews 322 reviews
211 restaurant reviews
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015 NEW

Certainly not one of the best meals I've ever had but once you add together the service, location, interior it is an experience not to be missed. Be careful if you go before theatre as it can get very busy. Since they have their own game reserve I suggest you have something from that menu.

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Uk
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW via mobile

Firstly, not be greeted by the uniformed gentleman outside was a glorious welcome and made us instantly feel we were in for a treat. How right we were! Rules is a fabulously charming old establishment, and terribly English in it's tradition, frequented by many regulars and visitors alike from all over the globe. Our starters of Caesar salads and cauliflower... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW

The oldest restaurant in London with its own game estate and a colourful past (Edward Vll 'entertained' Lilly Langtree in an upstairs room) Rules flies the flag for British cooking amid the bustle of Covent Garden. To be fair, it's French-influenced cooking too. Our enchanting Spanish waitress made dinner memorable. Reason enough to go back for her good humour alone.... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW

This restaurant is a sad and distant reflection of past glory. The cooking is simply amateurish and the service is dismissive. I would definitely recommend giving this a miss.

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Rochester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015 NEW

I love Rules; you can get better food in London, better service, better value - but I would challenge anyone to get a better overall dining experience. The restaurant has a hint of self parody, but it does what it does well and delivers with great style. Despite the dismissive comments of modern diners, Rules is a serious restaurant with... More 

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1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015 NEW

Lovely original decor. This is the oldest restaurant in London. The flagship dish of steak and kidney pie was very disappointing. Pastry overdone and meat too tough. Combined with warmish vegetables this was a 6/10 meal. Was looking forward to something better.

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Girona
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015 NEW

Excellent food like my mum used to cook, excellent service, and above all a stunning room to dine in. Couldn't be better: Rules management, Pay Attention ! please change nothing (including the friendly bloke greeting customers outside the door) because when you've got everything just right, any change is going to spoil it.

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 35 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LB, England
  • Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  England  >  London>  > Covent Garden
  • Neighborhood: Covent Garden
  • Phone Number: (020) 78365314

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 0 - 36

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients

Description

Established by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules is a Covent Garden institution and the oldest restaurant in London. Tuxedoed waiters glide around the formal interior, decorated with antique sketches, where plush banquettes offer a discreet retreat from the main dining room. The whole-hearted menu of traditional British food specialises in classic game cookery, oysters, pies and puddings, featuring game birds, roe deer and Belted Galloway beef fresh from the establishment's own High Pennines estate. The wine list is a French-led affair, or there are native draught beers served in silver tankards.
Open Hours
Sunday
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Monday
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tuesday
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wednesday
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thursday
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Friday
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Saturday
12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Rules Restaurant and other visitors
2 questions
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Winchester, United Kingdom
new jersey
2 months ago

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from Rules Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Things to do Nearby

Neighborhood Profile
Covent Garden
Whether you're headed here to check out the multitude of shops, theaters, cafes, pubs, and restaurants, or simply to be among the multitude of people who pass through this pretty part of town, you'll love soaking up the festive and historic atmosphere in and around Covent Garden. Even if you don't have tickets to the opera or a show at one of the many famous theaters here, don't be surprised if find yourself captivated by some impromptu act of a street performer wowing the crowds in Covent Garden's Piazza. If you do have tickets, you'll be pleased to note that many of the local eateries accommodate theatergoers with prix fixe menus, early dinners, and later than usual opening hours. 


Explore this neighborhood