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“I wish they would make people dress better.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Rules Restaurant

Rules Restaurant
Ranked #349 of 22,375 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $36
Cuisines: European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Covent Garden
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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“I wish they would make people dress better.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

I use Rules because it still feels like an event when you eat there. It still feels special.
The food is traditional and well executed. It is good and worth the the upmarket prices.
The drinks and wine selection are reasonable and there is a price niche for all.
My only complaint is the dress code.
There are surely times when it is not too much to ask the public to match the elegance of the fin de siècle outfits of the staff with a jacket at least for gents.
Jeans and trainers and even a replica football top simply waste the visual eclectic delight that Rules represents. I am sure readers will feel I am being snooty, but there is a time and place for all clothes.

So, dress up a bit, feel grand and enjoy the history.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank bluediamondtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,245 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

Visited in December and the Xmas decorations were lovely.

The service was impecable but friendly. Only had a main course as we were also going out for dinner in the evening. The wait for the food was about 40 minutes but this was no problem as the people watching was great, as was the beer served in silver tankards.

My grouse was exellent as was my wife's rabbit.

This was my third visit and I have enjoyed them all.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1 Thank Welcw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not by Their Rules!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

Met friends there, and loved the atmosphere. Truly lovely restaurant, and while the menu wasn't huge, the food was very good. HOWEVER! The service was very slow, until after almost an hour, we asked the waiter how much longer! Then as we were finishing desert, a manager came and told us that they needed our table, and when we explained how slow the service was, he replied, "Yes, it's always that way!" So we asked for our coffee to be sent to the bar, and were told that that was not allowed, nor could we take the youngster we had with us there. So, basically, pay and get out (in a nice way!) When the bill was presented, we saw there was a service charge of 32 GBP! Needless to say, we said "No" to that, and went elsewhere for coffee!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
2 Thank OddieShanghai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
412 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
“Go Before Downton Abbey is Shown in America”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

My wife and I ate here twice while we were in London for some plays. Both times the food was excellent, the service was friendly and efficient and the surroundings were impressive. Since they still had up their holiday decorations it was very festive. Our local food critic had written that it had become overrun by tourists and that the food was not as good as before. We found just the opposite. We seemed to be the only non locals (and our adjoining tablemates were very sociable) and both meals were great. The pheasant and duck confit were delicious. Obviously, if you don't like traditional English food, then you probably would not appreciate this restaurant. The only downside is that an episode of Downton Abbey was filmed at Rules. Julian Fellowes apparently eats here often. The result is that it probably will be harder to get a reservation after that episode is shown in the U.S. Not inexpensive, but worth it. Nice to see that some good things don't change.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
2 Thank gatorboyOrlando_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
175 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“A little bit of Old England”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

I really do mean that! Entering the restaurant is like going back in time to an age when, for those who could afford it, the comfort and cosseting involved was of such a high standard. And carried on into today. The visit with a companion was to celebrate his promotion. We only booked a couple of days before the visit and so had to take a later than usual lunch date. We were early and waited in the upstairs bar until our table became available - just a short time. The food was delicious. I had haddock and potato soup followed by rump of lamb which was slightly pink in the middle - and came with boulangere potatoes and green beans. My companion had the game soup and then the steak with wonderful chips on the side. We shared a pear tarte tartin - just enough and then some coffee to finish. The service is sedate and there is quite a bit of theatre involved. But so enjoyable! I would have given 5 stars had they catered for someone like me who finds stairs not easy - no lift. And there were two climbs needed during the stay! (The toilets are on the first floor only.) Staff were great. An experience we might try once a year - unless my companion gets a few more promotions!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bryan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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