35 Maiden Lane
Covent Garden, London
Tel: 020 7836 5314 Covent Garden 0.1 miles

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Rules reviews

Stumbled across this on a rainy day and was welcomed by a warm fire and great comfort food. A great institution!

Useful review?
 by JJNorth (2 reviews), 01 Feb 2010
In my experience, Rules deserves a 5-star rating. I'm very fussy about restaurants. If a place is pricey they had better give me value for money. Rules delivered. I went with my husband for a birthday dinner. As soon as we walked in they greeted us cordially, took our various coats and umbrellas to hang up and led us to a lovely corner table. Service was prompt but not rushed. The meal was excellent, from the foie gras appetizer to the lamb chops and cottage pie, through to the sticky toffee pudding and bread pudding. The wine we chose - a modest burgundy - was very good. All in all, together with the lovely setting, good service and delicious food, it was definitely value for money. I wouldn't hesitate to go back for another special occasion.

Useful review?
 by sgb, 09 Feb 2009
I have eaten in Rules around seven or eight times over the last 3 years as a special treat. I have always been thoroughly satisfied with the food and the service. The atmosphere is always enjoyable and although it is pricey I have yet to be disappointed. Roll on December when I am going there again.

Useful review?
 by Kathy.Hardy, 15 Oct 2008
Yesterday I had the worst meal of my life. I had the Rules Restaurant vegetarian/fish set menu dish, which tasted like toothpaste with a tiny piece of a prawn in it. It was so bad that I could not eat it, and it left a foul taste in my mouth for hours. The lady next to me who ordered this also could not eat it. Both the white and red wine served were so vile they would likely have dissolved the lino from the toilet floor. I was with nine others and the price for all this (with drinks) was £147.10 each! I would rather jump off Waterloo Bridge than go to this place again.

Useful review?
 by tom m, 29 Feb 2008
Believe the other reviews! Worst service I've ever had in London. Staff got our reservation mixed up and we had to wait half an hour for a table, along with several other disgruntled customers. We waited even longer for drinks, then at the end had no time to properly finish our meal and were made to feel uncomfortable by staff wanting to go home. Rudeness and disinterest from the manager. Everyone around us looked cross and unimpressed. One pair were cramped into a small space next to the opening and closing toilet door. Food (we had roast beef) was absolutely delicious, but service a major let-down. Won't be going back.

Useful review? 1
 by somelikeithot (6 reviews), 09 Jul 2007
I so wanted this to be a great evening with two Australian relations who came to London looking for "a good old-fashioned chop house". With a small group of 5 deciding to push the boat out at a very up-market chop house, Rules could not have made us less welcome.

5 is not a good number for restaurants, apparently, and boy did they let us know. The waiter was Super-supercilious, turning his nose up at the wine order and ridiculing one of our number over a simple request for a glass of tap water.

The food, moreover, was dull and hard work, served with whatever the opposite to humility is. If there was one thing that lifted the evening (if we don't count the gravy, which one of our Aussies had never encountered before and liked!), it was that the miserable waiter omitted a pudding from the final bill.

Difficult to find a gap in this year's diary (or next, come to that) for a return.

Useful review? 1
 by Boris (2 reviews), 30 Apr 2007
I'm surprised by all the bad reviews. The first time I went to Rules was in January of 2006, and the food and service were quite good. We were one of the last people in the restaurant and were not made to feel like "get out"; instead they insisted on us taking our time.

I recently went to Rules again, and had an even better experience. The waitress was very nice and friendly, the food excellent and the atmosphere great. My only criticism would be that despite having a reservation and arriving 5 mins early we had to wait about 15 mins - I couldn't really understand why, since our table seemed to be ready.

Overall I really recommend this restaurant, especially post-theatre, as it is open late for dinner and within easy distance of most theatres.

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 11 Sep 2006
I've eaten at Rules 3 times, with various friends who wanted to try it. The food was okay. The service is a bit slow and rather unfriendly. The Americans love the place because of its age and no smoking policy. I'd go again if I were invited, but not if I was paying.

Rules used to have a great reputation - which I think is now wearing a bit thin.

Useful review? 1
 by Bamford (4 reviews), 25 May 2006
I visited Rules with friends on the 28th February 2006. We did not have a reservation but they made us feel very welcome. We enjoyed the fact the restaurant and menu was very personal and had character. The food was of a very good standard and so was the service. I would be pleased to go again.

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 02 Mar 2006
Visited the restaurant June 2005. Food was good, overpriced, but the waiter made the experience very disappointing. He was rude and demeaning with us. I would not recommend the restaurant.

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 09 Aug 2005
Visited Rules last Wednesday, 29th April 2005 for a special birthday treat for my partner, I must say I was very disappointed with the food, also on arrival the person in charge who was allocating the tables seemed very flustered and was making some comments which should not have been used in front of customers.

The food was overpriced and mediocre at best, vegetables were all charged extra and my very poor quality spinach which tasted awful cost £3.50 for a couple of leaves. The steak was tough and tasteless and we were not offered any rolls and when ordering our floater coffees no 'little' chocolate was given as in most restaurants, a real disappointing meal and as far as I am concerned a big RIP OFF!!

I will not recommend this restaurant to anybody.

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 30 Apr 2005
Having wanted to visit Rules for a number of years, I decided to take my mother for her birthday treat... what a mistake! Contrary to the reviews I had read, the service and food was APPALLING especially as it was not even at a busy time of the day.

The food was cold, not just a little warm but STONE cold... when we complained all we got was a raised eye-brow followed by the swift departure of the waiter.

The service consisted of 4 different waiters during our 1.45 hour visit, one of whom could not understand English, and all of whom could not even raise a smile.

As I frequently eat out, I can honestly say this is the worst meal I have had in 6 years of eating out in London, and will never look forward to visiting a new restaurant again.

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 07 Dec 2004
I've had a few meals here and would suggest that Sunday lunch has been my favourite. The food is above average, service satisfactory. Depending on where you are seated the tables can tend to be a little too close to each other.

Useful review? 1
 by Sox, 20 Sep 2004
Very old school, with traditional food served on starched table clothes. Good option for an early pre-theatre supper if you're entertaining elderly relatives.

Useful review? 1
 by powerpuff (8 reviews), 08 Mar 2004

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