Late night eats

Today we have a guest post from Richard Allen at Steak Group voted by the Sunday Times as one of the Best Small Companies to Work For 2012. If you have the inclination to write a post just follow this link.

Late night eats:
London’s best spots for a late bite

Where can you get decent grub in the wee hours? Here are some top tips for getting hungry after hours.

[L]ondon is a fun place to be, and it can be easy to get carried away with things in the city – suddenly one drink turns into three, a quick coffee turns into a full-blown night out, or an impromptu trip to some free show or exciting extra.

So often, we find ourselves in the situation of quite intense hunger – at all times of night. And where to go? Is it possible to still have a sit-down meal at the stroke of midnight?

Whilst London doesn’t have the late-night dining culture that New York boasts a little more proudly, it does have a number of late-night eateries (many Brit-brasserie types, or US-influenced burger places, alongside the Soho and West End Asian favourites).

Flying visits often benefit from this kind of insider knowledge- where to go when things overrun. Picking a hotel that is well-located – or is easy to find in case the tube stops before you head home – is also wise, for the late-night diner.

Where to stay:

Good value London hotels can be found with chains like Holiday Inn – especially good if you’re a frequent business traveler or are likely to make use of the same chain in several cities or inner-city locations. These are good places, rather than the cosy townhouse or boutique hotel, to rock up late, because the door policies tend to be 24-hour, and you’re less likely to disturb other guests. The Holiday Inn London – Kensington Forum hotel is a great choice as perfectly located in a convenient and prime location, close to Gloucester Road Station tube station.

But enough of the practicalities: I’m hungry! Let’s get down to business – where you can grab that satisfying meal past 11pm.

Late night restaurants:

Central London’s late night dining centres around the Soho area, which has always had a reputation for staying up later than most. Its neat location, close to the West End’s main theatres, and housing the sleazier, cosier and more private bars and members’ clubs that keep up its late-night reputation, should make it your first port of call.

Top tips – try Café Boheme on Old Compton Street. Recommended by Square Meal for its friendly, good value ubiquity – everyone in Soho has a story – this spot stays open and serving food til 2.30am, so you can make like the Spanish and dine late.

Just down the road, if you want a little more spice and aroma, is Bincho, also on Old Compton Street, serving Japanese cuisine and specialising in its tidy little skewers or meat and fish – great for sharing, great for late eating when you’re no longer in the mood for a heavy three courses.

If you want somewhere to take a client or date, but can’t start dining til 10 or 11pm, then try Hakkasan, near Tottenham Court Road tube. This classy Chinese spot, once a bit of a celebrity hang out, serves food til 12.30am Thursday to Sunday, and its darkened, sleek atmosphere is a great city dining experience all of its own.

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