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Best Cheap Eats in London

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I’ve recently been prepping for my first trip to London. Not wanting to break my American-dollar-based bank, nor wanting to skimp on the experience, I’ve been poring over books, blogs and magazines to create a budget-minded itinerary.

Monday night, I was surprised to find myself curled up on my couch reading the forthcoming Savoir Fare London, Stylish Dining for Under $25, front-to-back like a novel. The book, published by The Little Bookroom, comes out this December and is a tasteful, eclectic compilation of 50 affordable, yet delicious restaurants, bakeries and bars with loads of style.  Author Elaine Louie solicited suggestions from some of England’s top tastemakers, among them Peter Ting, (a crystal and porcelain designer at Asprey who also went to cooking school) and gallerist Libby Sellers. The entries read like e-mails you’d send to a close friend, all packed with insidery details like what to order, where to book in advance and where to people watch.

Here's what made the top of my list:

*Postcard Teas
Designer Peter Ting is a fan of this tiny shop run by tea connoisseur Timothy d’Offay.

*The Clerkenwell Kitchen
An “artsy-media secret" serving British comfort food, it's a favorite of Elias Redstone, the curator of the Architecture Foundation in London.

*Rochelle Canteen
“Something of a trade secret in the design world,” this small restaurant run by Margot Henderson (wife of nose-to-tail champion Fergus Henderson) serves breakfast and lunch and needs to be booked at least a day in advance.

*Books for Cooks
A Notting Hill institution with a five-table café in the rear and a mini kitchen that prepares an ever-changing menu of dishes made from cookbooks it stocks.

    

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