Knew to the area? Check out our Westminster taxi driver’s guide for some terrific ideas on where to dine out or drink in while you’re here. We’ve uncovered all the best restaurants, pubs and attractions so you don’t have to. Just book an Addison Lee and be on your way. It’s that easy. Before we get started, we should be clear about something. When we say Westminster, we’re referring to the area. The wider borough known as the City of Westminster is a bit larger, featuring areas such as Soho, Oxford St and Regent St. And being the suckers for detail that we are, we’re just going to talk about the district of Westminster; running from the tube station down to Vauxhall Bridge and then back up to Westminster Cathedral. All clear? Probably not, but let’s move on anyway. If you’ve not been here before, Westminster is primarily famous for being the political capital of the UK. The stunning Houses of Parliament (or Palace of Westminster to use its proper name) has played home to the British government for well over 500 years. That being said, it has always proven a mite susceptible to fires. Which is why the building you see there today (the New Palace) has actually only been there since the mid 19th century. Addison Lee have been providing London and Westminster with a minicab service to be relied on since 1975. Meaning that we’ve been around long enough to know what our customers value the most about our service. We put safety, comfort and reliability above all else with each and everyone of the 20,000 journeys we conduct across the capital every day. Allowing you the time to get on with your busy life without having to sweat the small stuff. Check out our Westminster taxi driver’s guide for some great hints and tips on the best pubs, bistros and attractions the area has to offer.
Where to drink
The Jugged Hare
If there’s one thing these guys do well it’s game, but we’ll come back to that. This large, ornate pub is a former National Westminster or “NatWest” bank, as we know it today (just got that didn’t you?). Built in the 1800s The Jugged Hare is but a stone’s throw away from some of London’s finest attractions (including The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey). The beers are supplied by Fuller’s brewery so you know they’re proper London ales. While the food is all very meat-centric. Excellent pies and casseroles are key to the menu and as we mentioned earlier, they take their use of game very seriously. Expect big flavours.
172 Vauxhall Bridge Road, SW1V 1DX
St Stephen’s Tavern
As the closest pub to the famous clock tower it’s supposedly named after (Big Ben to you and I), St Stephen’s is bound to be busy. But that doesn’t make it any less of a popular stopping point for local politicians. It even still includes a ‘division bell’ which was used to warn MPs they only had a few minutes left to go and vote. Great beer and some not too bad food make this a desireable attraction to everyone. Although it should be remarked that its proximity to the tube station does make it a bit of a tourist trap.
10 Bridge Street, SW1A 2JR
By now you’re probably starting to notice a trend in the kinds of establishments we’re recommending you. And that’s because being in Westminster, these places do have to play to a quite particular crowd. One that’s largely made up of politicians and civil servants. And what can we say? These folks know what they like. But as The Red Lion proves, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Once patronised by the likes of Charles Dickens, Clement Attlee and Winston Churchill, this is a pub with real history. The Red Lion serves excellent beer and makes for an exciting and interesting spot to wash down all that politics with.
48 Parliament Street, SW1A 2NH
Where to eat
Probably the most famous Indian restaurant in all of London. It’s no surprise that The Cinnamon Club is incredibly popular with lunching members of parliament. Everything from the extravagant Grade II listed former library setting to the stunning menu talk of a place that is well and truly rooted in local folklore. The food is exquisite, using seasonal produce to carve out new flavours to satisfy just about everyone. While the tasting menu will take you on a culinary journey to savour and delight – a far cry from the dour curry houses that have sullied the name of Indian food the country over.
The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
Blue Boar Smokehouse & Bar
There aren’t too many places like the Blue Boar in Westminster. In fact we’d go so far as to call it a real one-of-a-kind. Following the recent trend for ”dirty food” (burgers, ribs, fried chicken etc.), The Blue Boar use British regional ingredients to create a menu that satisfies and pleases anyone that likes to indulge, but would rather do it in a really nice restaurant. The setting is all oak panelling and black leather which may seem a tad incongruous with the menu. But then, why should we suffer uncomfortable plastic seating when we fancy a bit of a feast? The Sunday roast is a real treat and worth travelling for.
45 Tothill St, SW1H 9LQ
In life, we all have to make many hard decisions. Some are so important they can literally change the shape of our future destinies. Others are somewhat more menial. We like to think that the choice between eating a lobster and a burger – as you’re presented at Lobster London – sits somewhere between those two poles. Set on the 28th floor of the Millbank Tower, this pop-up restaurant offers not only amazing food, but also some pretty unbeatable views over the river. Connected to the more established Sky Bar, they also serve up some pretty nifty cocktails to wash it all down with. What’s not to love?
21-24 Millbank Tower, SW1P 4QP
What to do
Houses of Parliament
This seems like an obvious one but as many Londoners will tell you: if you get the chance to visit the home of the British government, you should probably take it. Take an hour out of your day to explore both the House of Commons and the House of Lords using one of the audio tours. See parts of parliament that you don’t hear about in the news, including the incredible Westminster Hall. Which dates back to 1097. There are private guided tours available as well as a tour which includes an afternoon tea. How very British.
Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0AA
Every year over one million people come to visit the iconic Westminster Abbey. Since being built some 700 years ago, the Abbey has been regarded as the heart of the church in this historic area. Open from Monday through to Saturday for visitation, there’s no greater place to witness such incredible architecture and austere religious presence. Feel free to wander about or, if you’d rather, engage in one of the guided tours (they take about an hour and a half). You’ll see the famous Coronation Chair and the Chapel itself. Prepare to be astounded by just how beautiful the Abbey really is.
20 Deans Yd, SW1P 3PA
Churchill War Rooms
When you hear the expression War Rooms you could probably be forgiven for thinking it’s just that; an expression. But no, for as our fearless leader Churchill would have attested, the War Rooms are a very real place. And what’s really cool is that you can visit them. Step into Churchill’s secret HQ and see where he plotted and carefully orchestrated the downfall of the Third Reich and its allies from. Head into the Map Room for a real snapshot of history. It’s not been touched since the day it was last used in 1945.
Clive Steps, King Charles Street, SW1A 2AQ