Thomas Sr, Kim, Tori, Shannon, Sheila, Tom Jr (pictured from L to R)Thomas, Sr, Founder and CEO of London Connection collects fine 18th century furniture and oil paintings, jewelry, portrait miniatures, historic documents,18th and 19th century silver, Oriental, English porcelain, Persian rugs, and friends. He and Stephanie have five children, 13 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Thomas visits London often, and makes sure each visit to dine at Da Corradi in Mayfair’s Shepherd Market; “their lasagne is the best anywhere, including Rome!” Thomas tells us The Ivy in Covent Garden has exquisitely prepared and presented fine food. He enjoys gathering there with friends and his London Connection team. Rules, established in 1798, is “Old England” and serves all the traditional British dishes. Thomas enjoys getting back to those comfort dishes that can be found at Rules Restaurant. Tom, Jr, is Co-owner and CFO of London Connection. He has been involved with the company almost since he was born, and took over much responsibility here following his university degree in business administration and finance. He loves cycling in the mountain trails near his home, and throughout Utah. It’s good he loves to travel and does so with his family whenever possible. He and Staci have three sons.
(Tom and his family on a recent visit with his maternal grandmother in Boston)Tom likes to find food that he can't get at home. He stays away from franchise and chain food. When he finds what he likes, he tends to repeat it a lot and does not venture from the same meal at the same place. When traveling to London for business (without his family), he spends his nights at a Lebanese restaurant called Cyprus Mangal. “I walk down about 9pm most nights and spend time with a group of friends that are all London taxi drivers. I love the bread and chili sauce to start and a mixed grill entree. We sit for hours and hours talking.” Tom also loves Chicken Tikka Marsala from Punjab on Neal Street and carries it back to the flat. He says the garlic Na'an bread is amazing. And for something to snack on the whole trip, he gets a pizza from HomeSlice in Neal’s Yard. A few small places he likes for breakfast and lunch are Earl's Cafe on Shelton Street and TimberYard on Upper St. Martin's Lane. Kim has been with London Connection for over four years as Travel Coordinator/Accounts Specialist. She assists upcoming guests with their reservations and payments, and seems to know the answers for any questions that arise. When she’s not working she’s with her family: her husband Tucker, almost 2 year-old-son, and their puppy. They love to just spend time together laughing and playing. Kim enjoys gardening, sitting in her backyard around the fire with friends and family, and baking cookies and eating them warm right out of the oven. The London restaurant that Kim will never forget is The Kings Arms in Waterloo. “It is Thai food and I dream about it, the food was so good.” It is very simple farm-style seating, the service is so kind, and the food is incredible. It's an easy walk from the Waterloo Station as well, which is nice. She also really likes the Porcupine; she stayed right next to that pub last time she was in London and ate there a lot. It is reasonably priced with yummy food and right in the center of everything, so it was always close to get a bite to eat. The inside is super fun as a traditional old pub. Kim states that she was never disappointed with any pizza she found in London. She also suggests if you can find a Ben's Cookies — they are amazing! Warm huge cookies are perfect for a snack while walking around window shopping. Shannon is the Travel Coordinator/Arrival Details Specialist for the past two years. She communicates with upcoming guests with details of their flat, their arrival, and touches base with them following their stay. Aside from work, she loves playing cello in the Chamber Orchestra Ogden, in a string quartet, and as a private teacher; she also plays the piano. Shannon is always up for an adventure. She enjoys hiking, astronomy, reading, history, and spending time with her family. She and Steve have two daughters, two sons, and their first grandchild (a girl) on the way. When Shannon and Steve were most recently in London, she really enjoyed the shrimp tortellini at Da Corradi; “the ambience is cozy, and you’ll never be disappointed.” Directly across the way from Da Corradi, is Yazu Sushi, a tapas style sushi bar that is a fun alternative to more traditional sit down restaurants. If you enjoy sushi, it's definitely worth a try. Shannon also enjoyed the Porcupine, which is a pub in Covent Garden on the corner of Charing Cross Road and Great Newport St. Traditional upstairs dining with lots of comfort food choices. The restaurant that took her breath away even describing it months later is The Mayfair Chippy. "Everyone wants to try fish and chips while in London, and this was voted as as one of the best!" Online reviews agree with Shannon, and even suggest you try the curry sauce. Sheila started with London Connection the beginning of 2017 as a university intern, and traveled to London for the first time over Spring Break in March. She accepted a position to stay with the company as the Publicity Specialist following her recent college graduation. She writes the blogs, newsletters, and helps to manage the London Connection Facebook page. Sheila has been singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for over 15 years and loves to hike, camp, read, and travel. She and Jeff have eight children and 12 grandchildren. Lunch at the cafe in the Victoria & Albert Museum is fresh and inviting, according to Sheila. “The mosaic tile ceilings, arched stained-glass windows, and the elegant chandeliers create the perfect ambience — a welcome chance to rest mid-way through a long day at the fascinating museum.” Cafe in the Crypt of St. Martins with its low arched ceilings (IT IS REALLY THE CRYPT) has a more traditional English menu — the pot roast is delicious. Pepe’s Pizza and La Gelateria, both in Covent Garden, are a delicious take-home treat following the theater. Tori is the newest staff member; she is our “Girl Friday” and is the Reservations Specialist and also helps to manage our social media through Instagram #LDNCXN. She is currently a full-time university student, and a recent newlywed. Sports combining water and outdoors are her favorite, such as boating and water-skiing. She learned to surf behind a boat this past summer! She also enjoys travel and spending time with her family. She and Brayden had their first trip to London n August, just before her next school semester began. Tori's favorite restaurant was Cantina Laredo in Covent Garden. They ordered the fajitas to share, and LOVED the fabulous "Papas con Crema y Chile Ancho," which were creamy potatoes with cheese that got "crunchy" on the top as they baked. She has looked for recipes since returning home, and just hasn't found anything close to how good these tasted that day in London. Dessert was prepared at the table on a hot stone that included a chocolate brownie with nuts, ice cream, and a sizzling caramel sauce. She has tried to find a similar dessert, and no success with this either! Tori also enjoyed the Cyrpus Mangal Lebanese restaurant which Tom, Jr had suggested to her. She seems to be dreaming about London food since she has returned. No wonder she and Kim get along so well! Next, we consult the London Connection team who reside in London. They are truly experts of where to dine with Londoners. Since they most often eat in their own kitchens, they also gave us the favorites of those that travel to London. We will begin with Cristina and Ricardo (pictured above). Cristina has been the London on-site manager for almost a decade. She enjoys reading a good book, traveling (especially to experience new cultures) and spending time with family and friends. She and husband Luis have one daughter and one son. Although she doesn’t have a “favorite” restaurant, Cristina recently dined at Gauthier in Soho and found it very interesting. It is a converted townhouse with quiet, separated rooms and very personal service. She suggests the ambience would be very good for couples, as well as wine-lovers (since a wine expert comes to your table with suggestions of wines to suit every course of your chosen meal). Brasserie Zedel is a very good choice for pre theatre, the ambience is very nice and good French menu. On the go, she would choose Pret A Manger for sandwiches, salads, soups. You will find them all over London. For sushi and Japanese hot and cold food she suggests Wasabi or Itsu. The chains Prezzo, Cote Brasserie, and Bill's are all quite good as well. Cristina reports that In the guest comments book, a few names come up quite often:
David has been London Connection’s Transportation specialist for over 10 years. He enjoys dining at Fumo on St Martins Lane, which is Italian. David tells us it is more of a formal nice restaurant with excellent food and “not silly London prices.” Next choice for David would be Burger and Lobster — which are all over London. It is normally no booking, so turn up get a table and eat either of those two. “It's very good food quick and hassle free.” When visiting London on the weekend, he also likes The Enterprise pub on Walton Street. They have a great menu and do lovely roast dinners on Sundays. David and his wife have two sons.Now you will be able to put a face with that voice you hear over the phone when you call London Connection. Their U.S. and London teams work together closely to meet the needs of each guest. And since they also love to live or travel to London, you can try their suggested restaurants the next time you visit London. Give them a call or send en email and share your dining experience. You can choose to eat outside at a street market, in an elegant ambience, or anything in between. The restaurant employees are welcoming and efficient. Every cuisine imaginable can be found in most every neighborhood. Whatever your preferences are, you will find a restaurant to suit your fancy and please your palate in London. And like Kim, you may even find yourself dreaming about your meal long after you return home.