A meal at Rules, Covent Garden

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Rules, July 2013Sometimes special occasions deserve the right treatment. Not sure if a ‘something’ birthday is such an occasion but I was treated to a fantastic dinner nevertheless. Until we got out of the tube station, I wasn’t quite sure where @bmcboy was taking me, although when he had mentioned it was a classic, such a place had come to mind. 
When we started walking towards Maiden Lane, I knew he had booked London’s oldest restaurant, Rules. I had never been there in my 19 years in the city but I knew of it, and I remember when I used to work next door to it, on a minimum wage salary and would not have been able to afford even a glass of water there. Times are thankfully changed a bit since.



@bmcboy had even gone to the trouble of selecting a specific table which would allow us some privacy and also a full view of the stunning interior. It was still occupied when we arrived (not really good but hey it’s my birthday) so we decided to enjoy an aperitif in the upstairs bar. Despite being a really hot day, it was still a beautiful setting to enjoy a Martini. Old fashioned, wood paneled rooms with stained glass windows, an extensive drinks’ list and unobtrusive service, definitely a place to escape from the hassle and bustle of Covent Garden on a winter’s evening. 


Rules, July 2013The dining room downstairs is equally beautiful – it feels almost like you are in a very rich someone’s living room. Recent TV hit Mr Selfridge come to mind. Opulent and slightly baroque and grotesque décor, hunting trophies and Virgin Marys, period painting and old quirky things such as a telephone by our table, it surely is a feast to the eyes without being too cluttered.  

“Rules was established by Thomas Rule in 1798 making it the oldest restaurant in London. It serves traditional British food, specialising in classic game cookery, oysters, pies and puddings.” (Rules website). 

Rules, July 2013

The service was maybe a little lax – we had to wait a bit for our orders to be taken and the waiter brought the wrong bottle of wine, yet it did not really matter. The food was very good and of high standards which I guess have ensured that Rules is still popular (at least with Americans judging by our loud next table neighbours). 

The menu is British classic with a nod to French cuisine, again I am guessing in keeping with the history of the place. Yet I felt the dishes we enjoyed were not ‘stuck in the old days’ but modernised in their looks as well as in their ensemble. I loved my starter of Smoked Duck salad, and @bmcboy enjoyed his of Dorset Crab on toast.


My main of Roast saddle of rabbit was tender and light, paired nicely with a cold pea puree and celeriac.@bmcboy went for a classic (Steak and Kidney pie) and was in heaven!

Rules, July 2013We shared a dessert and we could not quite decide, so many are on the menu. We opted for a Millefeuille of vanilla and cherries and it was divine, crunchy but light and just pure fruity heaven on the palate. 
We chose a Soave San Michele, pricy at £33 but enjoyable nonetheless. 

Considering @bmcboy paid £150 for such a meal, I am not sure why it has taken us so long to try Rules. Here’s to another 200 years of cooking for the hungry Londoners!


Sustainable? They answered my query on fish provenance promptly and with a precise answer (sea bass was wild caught in Cornwall). Not the most sustainable choice but at least is of British, day boat provenance.







Square Meal

Rules Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 comments A meal at Rules, Covent Garden

Rosana says:

I had Birthday drinks (not mine!) at Rules bar upstairs, back in July what a fantastic experience! Looking forward to trying the restaurant next!

it is fantastic, isnt it! 🙂

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