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Rules Restaurant

#226 of 18,444 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Neighborhood:
Covent Garden
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35 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LB, England
(020) 78365314
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Today
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,335 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1374
    Excellent
  • 578
    Very good
  • 210
    Average
  • 108
    Poor
  • 65
    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
Reliably British game and traditional flare excellently presented - expensive

Business lunch that was very pleasant. Game pate and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs to start, steak and kidney pud and grilled salmon. Two glasses of house wine and coffee - £110.

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Sm0ky
,
Petersfield, United Kingdom
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2,335 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Petersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
347 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Business lunch that was very pleasant. Game pate and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs to start, steak and kidney pud and grilled salmon. Two glasses of house wine and coffee - £110.

Helpful?
Thank Sm0ky
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Great food and lovely surroundings.Very intimate style dinning and this can be a little off putting as it may feel a bit too close. Staff are however very helpful and food is of the best quality. A lot of choice on the menu at a reasonable price. Great place for lunch and coketails.

Helpful?
Thank Abra A
Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I wanted to eat here having seen it on television and read about it in novels, but I worried it might be a bit stuffy. Not a bit of it! The staff were welcoming and entertaining, the setting is amazing, the food was gorgeous..... It was a really lovely evening. We had the braised rabbit, the Barnsley chop and the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jill J
leicestershire
Level Contributor
304 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

If British food used to be boring, Rules changes all that. Starters were superb Uig Lodge smoked salmon, game terrine , and salad of partridge breast. The traditional steamed steak and kidney suet pudding was enjoyed by one of our group while others relished saddle and shoulder of hare, and roast crown of wild duck. Desserts were delicious took with... More 

Helpful?
Thank stella317
Aarhus, Denmark
Level Contributor
130 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The story tells you it's really posh and high class, but the minute you step inside it's cosy and relaxing. The staff is fantastic and will help you in any way! I'm not much of a goat cheese man so that was taken of the cheese plate and replaced by a stunning Stelton instead. Just an example of what they'll... More 

Helpful?
Thank ceklarsen
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

From the minute you walk through the door until suitably fed and watered you will enjoy this classic restaurant. Think £80 ahead with wine and pre dinner drinks and more if you go for top price wines. This is an experience that you might not have again so pushing the boat out once is worth it. The rib of beef... More 

Helpful?
Thank Smashy27
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is perfect for a special occasion or if someone's visiting you in London. Beautiful interior, brilliant service, delicious food. The portions don't look big but as all the dishes are quite meat-heavy you'll definitely get full, hopefully with some space left for desert though.

Helpful?
Thank Irina S
Banstead
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

One's first encounter with such a venerable institution can be intimidating but a broad welcoming smile from the front of house manager quelled any frisson of unease. Family pre or post theatre feasts are normally taken at the Clos Magg two streets up but it was full of Russians so 'Let's try Rules' said Milady so we did. The greeting... More 

Helpful?
Thank Skysinger
london
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

My husband has been wanting to go here for a long time, so I booked it as a surprise for his birthday. I expected it to be special. The venue and the staff were both very nice, but the food was disappointing. One of our party was vegetarian, and was offered a menu which was basically a selection of side... More 

Helpful?
Thank NotdunroaminLondon
LondonJames2050
Level Contributor
147 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Embarrassing when your being taken out for a Birthday meal and its not up to scratch. The Waiter had little life. Steak pie was all pastry and with a dry filling .The vegi choice was boring and a small portion. The side dishes were mean for the price for £4.50. The place was a time warp an old boys club... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank LondonJames2050

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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 36
  • Cuisine: British, French

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine

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
10 questions
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New Quay, United Kingdom
16 days ago
Washington DC, District of Columbia
West Midlands
8 months ago

See all questions (10)

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?

Staying in Covent Garden

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