What could top Bodean's?
October 23, 2012 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Christmas-work-meal-filter – where should eight gents go for a Christmas work meal in central London?

Last year we went to Bodean's for a late lunch which stretched on until the early evening. The combination of mountains of tasty slightly out of the ordinary food, large jugs of beer and Bodean’s generally convivial atmosphere meant that this was a hit for all. In fact it was too good, and we haven’t yet managed to find somewhere else that might come close for this year!

To give you a further idea of our taste levels the runner up contender for last year was a Brick Lane curry, which would no doubt be fun but seems a bit predictable.

There are eight of us, ages late 20s to early 50s, and ideally it would be somewhere around London Bridge/City area but we could travel if needed. Would be likely to be somewhere in early/mid December on a weekday.

Thanks in advance!
posted by Albondiga to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you want kitsch, beer, hearty fare and to be close by then you could try the Bavarian Beerhouse in Tower Hill. It won't be brilliant food. It probably won't be cheap and it will be full of people in large groups on Xmas parties. But it will do a job.

If you're still looking for big and hearty + beer, then you could head to Bermondsey and go to the Draft House, part of a well regarded chain that serves good beer and decent food. Another place that is reasonably new, does good beer and food, and has the space to cope well with larger groups is The Artisan of Clerkenwell in Farringdon. Another place round there that does well with groups is Giant Robot. If you can get in - it is very small - arguably the best beer is at the Jerusalem Tavern. It also does some food. I'm biased, but there's a lot to be said for Clerkenwell/Farringdon because it is full of great pubs.

One thing to think about, perhaps, if you want things a bit cheaper, is to head south rather than north. For example - if you head to Stockwell - 20 mins on the tube + a 10 minute walk, you can fill your boots on Portuguese beer and food at Bar Estrela or Grelha D'Ouro. Even closer - The Tommyfield in Kennington would be perfect for you - lashings of beer, and it is known for its pies and fish and chips. It is also part of a well-regarded chain. If you got bored with it, you could pop round the corner and go to the quaint little Prince of Wales - a local gem.

If you want to go a bit more highfalutin and stay in town, Vinoteca is brilliant if you like wine, but might be out of your price range once you factor in an afternoon of drinking. Similarly, 28-50 is very convivial, but not cheap. As is Terroirs, which does great food and has a good wine selection. Terroirs's sister restaurant in the east end, Brawn, is also supposed to be good.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:46 AM on October 24, 2012

For vast quantities of meat and many delicious alcoholic beverages, there's always Hawkmoor Guildhall. I can particularly recommend their mixed grill (and dream of doing the tongue-to-tail at some point...)
posted by halcyonday at 1:54 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I came in here to recommend the Bavarian Beerhouse, but was beaten to the punch.

Another possibility is the MEATmarket in Covent Garden (check out their sister restaurants MEATliquor and The Meatwagon as well).
posted by jonnyploy at 5:08 AM on October 24, 2012

Whatever you do, for the love of god, spare yourselves a Brick Lane curry. Go to Tayyabs or something instead.
posted by Acheman at 5:24 AM on October 24, 2012

I absolutely LOVE Meatmarket, but it's probably not ideal for a Christmas meal like this, it's more of a takeaway joint.

MeatLiquor is a very good choice though, great burgers and great cocktails the only problem is that there are no reservations, so you run the very real risk of not getting a table, especially with eight of you.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:32 AM on October 24, 2012

Fergus Henderson's St JOHN Christmas feasting menu. Because, you know, pig.
posted by cromagnon at 7:51 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Tiroler Hut is a really fun Austrian place in Notting Hill - big steins of beer, giant pork knuckles, cheese fondue, apple streudel, great hosts who put on a cowbell show midway through the meal. Unfortunately it looks like they might not open till 6.30pm, but I still wanted to mention it because I had the best night there.
posted by pink_gorilla at 2:01 PM on October 24, 2012

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