Rules 333

Squaremeal Review of Rules ?

As patriotic as a rousing chorus of Rule, Britannia!, this splendidly antiquated institution flies the flag for British dishes and ingredients with its proudly traditional menu. As London's oldest restaurant (opened by Thomas Rule in 1798), it would no doubt still be familiar to former patrons such as Charles Dickens, who looks down over the plush, panelled dining room from walls crowded with old sketches and paintings. Quality is consistent across the board, with confident renditions of staples such as potted shrimps, steak and kidney pie or golden syrup steamed sponge with custard. Game from the restaurant’s Lartington Estate in Yorkshire is a real draw in autumn, when dishes such as braised pheasant with lentils or roast grouse with game chips, bread sauce and redcurrant jelly make a perfect match for the savoury Rhône reds on the wine list. Expect to be treated like royalty from the moment you're greeted by the top-hatted doorman.

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Rules
10

Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

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by   platinum reviewer (125)

Oct 2012

Rules is not retro, much more, it is as it has always been. There a few winks to modernity which can be found both in the déco and on the menu, but mainly, what we have got here is London's oldest surviving still operating restaurant. Yes it out-dates even the concept of ‘hotel dining’ and probably the idea of a ‘hotel’ itself in today's sense of the word. However, no, it is not a tourist trap. Very, very far from it. The food has something very rare about it. Whilr tasty it is somehow dignified...

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Continental Diner's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 6

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   platinum reviewer (153)

Nov 2011

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Amongst her many inane witterings, Kate Moss once said that she lives by the motto that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. She has obviously never tasted grouse. I am sure that the Daily Heil would argue that the Croydon Cretin’s utterance has led to an increase in teenage anorexia, rioting in her home town in protest and foreigners taking our jobs purely out of spite, rather than us Brits being too lazy to plaster a wall. Frankly I don’t care: Ms. Moss, who’s sole addition to the sum of...

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Richard E.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 7

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   bronze reviewer (5)

Feb 2011

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

I went to Rules for the name, Oldest Restaurant in London, as I love London, I really wanted to try a little visit Only to be really dispointed it was dark I didnt feel very welcome, I was crushed in the corner with my 6'4 boyfriend! the food was average, and EXPENSIVE I am sorry to say I wouldnt rush back

Natalie B.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 3
  • Service: 2
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 4

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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by   (1)

Jan 2011

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Having dined at Rules 3 or 4 times over the last two years or so, and thoroughly enjoying delicious food, we were looking forward to another visit with out of town visitors. Rules always seemed the perfect spot for this due to it's longevity and reputation, despite paying GBP 380.00 for five our last time there. Last week's experience was miserable (25 January 2011). Many of the ‘traditional’ and fun menu items have disappeared. Sausages and mash, fish and chips, etc. These were a happy accompaniment...

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Chris M.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 3
  • Service: 4
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 3

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   platinum reviewer (53)

Jan 2011

For a restaurant to be consistently popular in London for two decades is some achievement, for over two centuries quite astounding. I find it difficult to describe Rules without becoming tangled in clichés but do simply say this. Should you be British, aspiring to become more British or interested in what British Food actually is, take three courses at Rules and a decent Claret and you will leave singing Rule Britannia.

Christopher J.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 7

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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by   (4)

Aug 2010

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The idea of Rules gets me frothing at the mouth. An institution of British tradition, well sourced British ingredients, particularly the meats, and well heeled serving staff that know a thing or two about service and traditional food. I've eaten here a couple of times recently for business lunches and I have been disappointed both times. The service is slow, inattentive and on occasion annoying. My spicy tomato juice was so heavily spiced it was brown in colour and acidic, perhaps I thought a bit...

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Paul E.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 3
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 5

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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by   silver reviewer (25)

May 2010

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Widely regarded as London’s oldest restaurant, Rules still thrives in the heart of Covent Garden, thankfully not succumbing to the tourist trap. The dining room is dark and cosy, with a gentlemen’s club feel to it, but the food is the real attraction, with its focus on seasonal ingredients, with game being a notable highlight.

Emyr T.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 7

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   bronze reviewer (6)

Mar 2010

The only place in town for a proper Sunday roast lunch. The beef was perfection and the horse raddish hit the right spot. Yes it's expensive, however we arrived at 12.30 on Sunday and left at 5.30pm – 5 hours of good food, good wine and superb quality. A perfect Sunday

Eddie's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 6

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty

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by   (1)

Jan 2010

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Went to the restaurant for the first time for a dinner with my boyfriend on Thursday and was very very disappointed. We got deer terrine and fried goat cheese as starters and venison ossobuco and grilled sirloin steak as main courses (recommended by the waiter). Food was awful, extremely low quality (meat was hard and bad tasting, sauces very bland and and again bad tasting) very poor presentation – definitely not what you expect from the oldest restaurant in London as food was similar to Tesco precooked...

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Michela P.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 1
  • Service: 3
  • Atmosphere: 2
  • Value: 1

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Rules

35 Maiden Lane ,London WC2E 7LB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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by   (4)

Mar 2009

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Went for a pre theatre meal. Arrived at 6pm and our order, which was a main of Steak Diane and another of Lamb, no starters, was taken almost straight away. There was us, a few others and lots and lots of empty tables. After 35 minutes nothing to eat, no bread (table next to us got some) and sat with a soft drink and a glass of Pinot Noir. Finally asked the waiter about the food, who grandly infomed me that a (pan fried) steak diane, as my wife had ordered it medium/ well took 35 minutes to cook....

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Mike H.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 3
  • Atmosphere: 3
  • Value: 3

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  1. Published :

    Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes :: Gluten Free Dining at Rules Restaurant, LondonAround the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes

    Rules in Covent Garden is London’s oldest restaurant and after many months of thinking that I needed to check out their Gluten Free Dining options, I made a super last minute Sunday lunch reservation to see what was on offer.

    G and I both have a sweet tooth so we always check what’s on offer in the dessert section first before deciding if we want to order starters – on this occasion there were some fabulous desserts on offer so we avoided the starters in favour of something sweet later on...
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Essential Details for Rules

  • Address: 35 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LB
  • Telephone: 020 7836 5314
  • Website:
  • Opening Times: Mon-Sun 12N-11.45pm (Sun -10.45pm)
  • Cuisine: British
  • Area: Covent Garden
  • Price: £62.00
  • Wine: £24.50
  • Champagne: £67.00
  • Private Dining: 10,18

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