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Good for ‘banter and booze’ – and more besides – Boyds is staking its claim as a serious contender at the bottom of Trafalgar Square. What was once the old imperial Hotel Victoria has been
sympathetically restored to its former glory, making the opulent, marble-clad brasserie a rather grand setting for meals set beneath glittering chandeliers. Artisan ‘British tapas’ and fish and
chips have both gone down well, but the all-purpose menu aims to please, roaming through burgers, omelettes, pasta and other international standbys as well as offering flashier ideas such as
shredded duck, watercress and apple salad or grilled sea bream with butternut-squash risotto and broad beans. Drinkers also have some reasonably priced wines to choose from. On busy nights, the
place feels ‘achingly trendy’ as the team of eager staff oversee the show and a happy crowd convenes in the adjoining bar.