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Readers recommend

January 12, 2003

England: Smoke-free meal: Rules, 35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LB; 011-44-20-7379-0258, www.rules.co.uk. "Theater-district restaurant is the epitome of English decor, with excellent food and a nonsmoking policy, which is rare in Britain. Advertised as the oldest restaurant in London, Rules is decorated with drawings and artwork documenting its past as a gathering place for literary and theater notables such as William Thackeray, Charles Dickens, Laurence Olivier, Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable." Open daily until midnight. Main dishes start at $24.

Norah and Bob McMeeking, Santa Barbara

*

New Zealand: Expert guide

Jim Watt, P.O. Box 8711, Havelock North, Hawke's Bay; 011-646-877-8441, fax 011-646- 877-8471, home.clear.net.nz/pages/greatplaces. "We spent two weeks on the South Island of New Zealand with guide Jim Watt. Our group of six was impressed. He's knowledgeable about the region and about geology and biology. He tailors itineraries for small groups and caters especially to people older than 50, arranging self-drive trips or escorted trips in his vehicle." Rates start at about $240 per person per day, depending on type of accommodation. Booked for current summer season. Openings available for season beginning in November.

Connie and Joel Korotzer, Malibu

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