Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



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27 October 2010

Visit Rules, London's Oldest Restaurant

Founded by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules, on Maiden Lane in Covent Garden, has a claim to the title of London's oldest restaurant. The story goes that Rule had made a promise to his family that he would say goodbye to his wayward past and settle down, and opened the restaurant as an Oyster Bar, serving British Cuisine alongside.

The restaurant has only passed through three families during its history, famously changing hands just before the First World War when a Charles Rule decided to move to Paris and swapped restaurants with Tom Bell, a British chap who owned a Parisian restaurant. It remained in the Bell family until his daughter sold it to John Mayhew, the current owner, in 1984.

During its history, Rules has entertained an array of famous names, including Charles Dickens, John Galsworthy, H.G. Wells, Henry Irving, Laurence Olivier and probably Evelyn Waugh. The fantastic John Betjeman apparently described the ground floor interior as "unique and irreplaceable, and part of literary and theatrical London", and helped save it from demolition in the 1970s.

Your author has been in, and had a few drinks upstairs in the pleasant cocktail bar (but more about that another day) but has sadly never eaten. Perhaps one day someone will treat him.

For more, see http://www.rules.co.uk/

1 comment:

  1. I was there about a month ago. A very tasty meal and a very good, friendly service. Solely the presentation on the dish could be better, but maybe that's only for germans important. :)