We all know how expensive London can be. For those of you not living in the city Hotels.com have you covered with hotels near Covent Garden, but I’m here to show you how you can eat and drink you way around Covent Garden on a budget of just £75 for two people!
Nestled in the very heart of Covent Garden is Chez Antoinette, a French cafe most popular for their tartines. These are basically open sandwiches, so no slice of bread on top. James opted for their avocado and beetroot hummus tartine (£6.50). It’s an Instagrammers dream. So colourful! I’m not a fan of beetroot, but James wolfed it down in a matter of minutes. It may look small but he said it was surprisingly filling! I went for the croque monsieur (£8.50), and it may just have been one of the best cheese & ham toasties I’ve ever had! The cheese was so creamy and moreish. We washed this all down with a bottle of Vedette (£5) each.
Covent Garden is awash with pubs & bars. It’s worth researching where has Happy Hour deals as drinking in the city can become quite expensive. We decided to just keep it simple with a pint of beer (£6) for him & a fruity cider (£5.55) for me in the Lamb & Flag. It’s a small, but pretty pub with a lot of history. It’s said to date back to 1772 and is rumoured to be a favourite of Charles Dickens’. There’s also a blue plaque to commemorate an attack on poet John Dryden after he wrote something quite distasteful about Charles II’s mistress.
I seem to have a thing for French dining, which I only realised after our dinner at Boulevard Brasserie. Unfortunately we were a little too late to take advantage of their pre-theatre deal, but their menu is reasonably priced enough anyway that we were still able to keep well within our budget. You’ll find hundreds of restaurants offering pre-theatre menus all around the city just by doing a quick search on Google, but back to what we ordered from Boulevard Brasserie. If there are mussels (£15.95) on the menu, then chances are, I’m having them! This classic dish came with the usual serving of fries, and let’s be honest, the best bit is dipping them into the creamy garlic sauce. James was very happy with their vegetarian offerings, taking a little longer to decide what to have, but he eventually settled on the quinoa falafel (£14.95). This can be ordered as either a starter or a main. As James’s was a main it also came with a bowl of fries (which he then cheekily dipped in MY creamy garlic sauce!). A tip for if you’re eating out on a budget but want to visit multiple places is to just go for some free tap water with your food, saving some dosh for a pint/cocktails elsewhere, which is what we did here.
Now, we’ve cheated a little and shared a dessert, but there was no way either of us could’ve finished this particular dish to ourself. Not even me, with my very big sweet tooth, could finish The Ivy Market Grill‘s chocolate bomb (£8.50) dessert. It’s a hollow ball of chocolate on top of a bed of wet meringue. Before I had a chance to snap it in all it’s spherical glory, the waitress poured hot salted caramel over it and I watched in awe as it melted to reveal it was filled with vanilla ice cream, more caramel & popping candy. So, yes, this is definitely one to be shared!
All of this came to a grand total of £75.95, so only slightly over our budget. I think that’s pretty good going for 2 people! I’d love to hear your tips for saving money on food & drink around the city.
* The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but rest assured, all words and opinions are my own 🙂