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“Great for birthdays!”

The Riding House Cafe
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Ranked #3,256 of 24,264 Restaurants in London
Price range: $26 - $40
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Fitzrovia
Transit: The Riding House Cafe is located a 5 minute walk from Oxford Circus underground and a 10 minute walk from Tottenham Court Rd. The restaurant is served by numerous bus routes within a very short walk. Boris Bike bays are located on Foley St.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

My friend and I booked a table for a joint birthday celebration - a late Saturday lunch for 6. We planned to meet more friends after lunch for cocktails, so upon booking my friend enquired about booking an area in the bar for drinks, but was told that they don't book bar areas (this may have been just at weekends) but that it would pretty quiet at the time we wanted so shouldn't have any trouble finding space. They also phoned my friend a few days prior to the booking to inform her that the table was booked by someone else for 4.30 which was fine by us.

On the day, the previous party at our table were a little late in leaving so we had to wait for 5-10 minutes (we were offered drinks whilst waiting but declined) but we were promptly shown to the table as soon as it was ready, and our friends were late anyway so it didn't matter very much!

The service was really good - friendly but polite and unobtrusive - our water glasses were always full, without me even realising someone had been round! We had some warm bread to start which was very tasty and amazing value at £1.50! We didn't have starters, but our mains were delicious and decent, filling portions. My sweet potato and chickpea cake with halloumi was seriously good, and the deer casserole and burgers also got seals of approval. Wine list starts at a reasonable budget (our end of the scale!) and goes right up to pretty pricey bottles. Mainly European but we had a really nice Chilean cabernet sauvignon.

Couldn't say no to desserts, and mine (cinnamon doughnuts - delicious) came out with a candle and accompanied by a happy birthday singalong from a couple of the waiting staff.

By this point it was almost half 4 so we checked about whether our table was needed and were told we could keep it until 6pm. But then more of our guests turned up so we asked about moving to the bar for drinks - there wasn't enough space at that point, but the waitress said they would keep an eye on it and let us know as soon as there was. Sure enough, within about 10 minutes we'd moved over to the bar, where we lingered for another hour or so, with some lovely cocktails, made swiftly by the attentive barman.

We did leave, eventually, to move on elsewhere. But to sum it up, I would definitely recommend this place. The food was much more interesting than I would have expected, and the menu's not huge but I would think it'd have something for everyone (2 veggie mains plus lots of veggie small plates!). It's not the cheapest but it feels worth the money, for the quality of the food and also the service. It does seem really busy, so definitely book!

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Thank magpiemagpie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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989 - 993 of 1,219 reviews

Reviewed February 3, 2013

Having been invited here for lunch on Christmas eve by some friends, we thought that it would be great to take some family and friends there, my brother is very fussy! We arrived early on Sunday evening and had a fantastic time, our American waiter was delightful and ever so helpful.

We had some small plates to start with, all of them delicious and its a great way for everyone to try a little bit of everything (these are my favourite).

We all had steak for main and these were cooked to perfection, very tasty! We were all full by this point but finished with a chocolate Sunday and some mini dough’s...

P.s the mini dough’s were the best thing I have ever tasted in the world...

Had a great evening here, great food and atmosphere! Can’t wait to go back!

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Thank katiej28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Went there with 3 friends, had an excellent time.

Chateaubriand was tender & masterly grilled exactly as we asked for it. Appertizers were great too and the there was a great atmosphere.

would go there again for sure

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Thank Smartgourmethunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Been with my best girlfriends...during a shopping week end in London. We booked in advance, we found all the staff very efficient and the service very quick. However, as mentioned on the website during the week end days you are not allowed to stay more than one hou and a half. Such a shame! Portions not extremely big (especiially salads) but very tasty and well cooked and presented. There are a lot of options on the menu too.

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Thank 74_Isy_74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

I used to really love this restaurant. On my latest visit, however, I rang and booked a couple of weeks in advance for a Saturday lunch. The day before the day of the booking the restaurant rang and confirmed and the girl made a passing remark that they had allowed "an hour and a half". I said excuse me, I booked this ages ago and I am meeting an old friend for a catch up. I dont want to be rushed. She assured me they would not chase us out.
Nevertheless, despite ordering starters, mains and a £65 bottle of champagne the manageress and another member of staff started asking us to leave after 2 hours. I was furious! I have encountered this sort of fixed seating roster at Michelin star restaurants or places like the Wolsley but never in a cafe in Fitzrovia. I think this cafe has got a little ahead of itself. The waiting staff were lovely, the food is cafe style but reasonable value but nobody likes the feeling of being rushed! I will not be back.

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3  Thank Melanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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