When some friends came to visit a couple of weeks ago we went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly for lunch on one of the days. I’ve been to a couple of Hard Rocks across the world but this was the first time I’d been to the London branch which is ridiculous really given that it’s the company’s flagship cafe!
The Hard Rock Cafe empire started back in 1971 when Americans Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton opened up the cafe and began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia. Ever since more and more locations have been popping up across the globe offering the same experience no matter what country you’re visiting.
Hard Rock’s archive includes over 77,000 items, and is the largest private collection of Rock and Roll memorabilia in the world. In the London cafe some of the items in display include; a signed guitar which was smashed by Lenny Kravitz during a performance in Birmingham, clothing worn by Jim Morrison lead vocalist of The Doors and the iconic pink bustier worn by Madonna on the Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990 as well as many other items.
The cafe is very popular with tourists so if you don’t have a reservation be prepared to wait. We arrived at just after 1pm on a Saturday and there was a short queue but we couldn’t have been waiting more than twenty minutes before we were seated.
Let’s be clear, Hard Rock Cafe isn’t somewhere you go for peace and quiet or a romantic meal out, it’s busy and noisy but has a fun atmosphere and plays great music. If you do have to wait you can just pitch up at the bar and since the soft drinks are bottomless you don’t have to spend a fortune either unlike at some establishments.
We were seated in the downstairs areas which is actually quite a bit bigger than upstairs but was still jam packed with people. The choices include pretty standard American style food; burgers, salads and sandwiches, an excellent dessert menu and an even better choice in cocktails!
Having perused the menu the boys settled on some epic looking burgers while I went for the famous Hard Rock fajitas with grilled chicken and shrimp. (That’s prawns to us Brits!) When the food arrived we weren’t disappointed the portion sizes were pretty decent.
I was given four small wraps with my fajitas which was enough for me as that was about the limit as to what I could eat but there was at least enough food left over to make two or three more and for once in my life I didn’t complain about not having enough guacamole! Every bite was delicious but sadly that meant that there was no room for pudding – guess that just means I’ll have to visit again.
The service was pretty slow and it took us quite a while to actually place our order in the first place and indeed get the bill to pay at the end of our meal but given how busy the restaurant was this was I guess this is just to be expected.
Hard rock café
150 Old Park Lane