In spite of the name: "Rules," there really aren't any unique rules at Rules. Just show up hungry, order a lot of food and drink and you're good to hang out for two hours (after two hours, cheerio until next time).
Upon arrival at Rules the maitre d' sweeps away your coat, umbrella, and whatever you'll hand him. The ambience is traditional, upper-snuff comfort. Wildlife trophies and old English paintings and portraits hang like wallpaper. Carpet stretches wall-to-wall providing pleasant, oldster acoustics. Think: homey.
I'm not much of an alcohol imbiber per se, but when dining at Rules I've made it a habit to order a Black Velvet. Guinness and champagne served in an ice cold silver tankard comprises a Black Velvet. Highly recommend -- Cheers!
Rules is the oldest restaurant in London. Thomas Rules opened it in 1798. For years I assumed there were "rules" to follow in order to dine at Rules. At least back in the day there must have been? Arrive in spiffy attire, use your finest manners, project a perky attitude...things along those lines.
But as the correct story goes, Rules has nothing to do with following rules at all. The restaurant is simply named after Mr. Thomas Rules, the man whose vision spurred him to open it. Mr. Rules' life didn't continue toward a trajectory of success as one might assume given the restaurant is still running 224 years later.
Sadly, Mr. Rules killed his wife and daughter, Elsie. Following the crime, he was committed to a psychiatric institution. Needless to say, he didn't go on to enjoy the success of his business venture. But, in spite of Greek-tragedy-esque beginnings, Rules lives and thrives 224 years later. Delicious food, drink, and atmosphere are at patrons beck and call.
Does knowing the tragic back story of Mr. Rules murdering his wife and daughter taint dining there? Not really. Being a relisher of "truth is stranger than fiction," who-dun-it-mysteries, and the fact that we are all sinners, Mr. Rules sad story adds a cryptic essence to the 224-year-old culinary experience.
Thank you for reading!