Rules®. London's oldest restaurant. In the year Napoleon opened his campaign in Egypt, 1798, Thomas Rule promised his despairing family that he would say goodbye to his wayward past, settle down and open an oyster bar in Covent Garden.
Rules serves the traditional food of this country at its best - it specialises in classic game cookery and is fortunate in owning an estate in the High Pennines "England's last wilderness" which supplies game for the restaurant and where it is able to exercise its own quality controls and determine how the game is treated.
Throughout its long history the tables of Rules have been crowded with writers, artists, lawyers, journalists and actors. As well as being frequented by great literary talents - Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, John Galsworthy & H G Wells, Rules has also appeared in novels by Rosamond Lehmann, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, John Le Carré, Dick Francis and Claire Rayner.
On the first floor, by the lattice window, was once the most celebrated "table for two" in London. This was the Prince of Wales' favourite spot for wining and dining the beautiful actress Lillie Langtry.
The past lives on and is captured in literally hundreds of drawings, paintings and cartoons. The late John Betjeman then poet laureate described the ground floor interior as "unique and irreplaceable and part of literary and theatrical London". In all its 200 years, spanning the reigns of nine monarchs and entering its 4th century it has been owned by only 3 families.
Site: Rules Restaurant (2 memorials)
WC2, Maiden Lane, 35
Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of www.plaquesoflondon.co.uk