Into hushed and hallowed quarters – Karen* takes us through a gilded door into a bygone age – welcome to London’s oldest, classiest, most storied restaurant – “we get to go in just before they open and get the feeling of the backstage that goes on before the curtain rises” – the ultimate green room – celebrity diners, poets, painters, politicians, musicians, actors, writers, scientists, statesmen, you name it they’ve dined at Rules – partridge, pheasant, jugged hare, roast beef – the naughty table for two in a private alcove – British cuisine at its best – gem in London’s crown – “you feel like you’ve walked into a wonderful velvet-coated Victorian interior” – up narrow stairs and into that private alcove tucked round a corner – the painting of a half ajar false door disclosing an extraordinary scene – soul of discretion – that glass conservatory – apple crumble with cream as well as custard – royal tea – once inside you feel like you never want to leave.
*How good is Karen? Travel and Leisure, the august American travel magazine, devoted an issue to The Greatest Guides in the World. Just 15 of them, from right around the world. One of the 15 is from England. She guides in London. Her name is Karen. Our Karen. Karen who takes you into Rule’s on her Inside Covent Garden Tour. Travel & Leisure’s choice. The Guide of the Year Judges’ choice. The People’s Choice. We get it all the time at London Walks: the chant goes up regularly, ‘We want Karen’ – (for private bookings I mean).