Holiday abroad been cancelled? We’ve rounded up 20 restaurants that’ll mentally transport you somewhere with sunnier climes, sandy shores and fruity cocktails without having to fork out for a hefty plane fare out of London.
From our favourite Italian inspired trattoria in London to the Portuguese restaurant that delivers on both the food and interiors front, here are 21 restaurants to get your holiday fix here in London.
Treehouse Hotel London has been hot on everyone’s lips since arriving at the beginning of the year, and rightly so, it’s fun, quirky and literally inspired by the humble treehouse.
Inside it’s adorn with whimsical interiors, foliage overhead and an exceptional modern Mexican restaurant that’ll whizz you off to the country powered by chilli and spice. Not to mention their hip rooftop bar too, just perfect for a summer cocktail overlooking London’s skyline.
14-15 Langham Place, Marylebone W1B 2QS
Circolo Popolare is a firm favourite among the foodie set, from restaurant reviewers raving about the authentic Italian fare to influencers getting the perfect ‘gram shot of their 20,000 spirit bottles lining the walls. Part of the Big Mamma Group, the Fitzrovia restaurant brings big energy through its dinner service and al fresco dining area that’s both cosy and quirky, bursting with the typical Big Mamma Group styled interiors.
As soon as you step out onto the outdoor dining area you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped foot into a traditional Italian restaurant on the Amalfi Coast. Settle in for big bowls of creamy spaghetti, cured meats and a big helping of mozzarella loaded pizza.
40-41 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia W1T 1HX
Amazónico arrived onto the scene in 2019, bringing with them bold, flavour packed dishes that’ll transport you on a sensory journey through Brazil, Colombia, Peru, as well as noting influences from Japan, China and India. Their signature Ensalada Amazonico, made with fresh mango, confit tomatoes, avocado and kalamansi citrus, is a must try.
Inside the interiors are entirely rainforest inspired, with scattered peacocks, water features and hanging foliage overhead. As soon as you step foot inside the restaurant, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported thousands of miles from the grey, dreary London weather you’ve left outside.
The Italian experience is all about homemade food, fresh coffee and scoop on scoop of gelato. With holidaying abroad off the card this summer, experience this Italian way of life right here in London at the city’s newest food market and restaurant concept, Eataly.
The first of its kind to arrive in the UK, Eataly is home to over 5,000 quality Italian and local food products, an outdoor terrace, three restaurants (soon to be open…) and Italian street food inspired counters. Head here for an authentic slice of Italy.
135 BISHOPSGATE, EC2M 3YD
International holidays may be off the cards but book into COYA Mayfair for your very own Peruvian holiday experience in the heart of London.
Their flagship Mayfair restaurant has recently undergone a huge revamp, bringing with it a sense of adventure explored through the designed interiors, bold flavours and exotic cocktails. Sample one of their signature pisco cocktails before tucking into small Pervuian plates designed by Chef Director Sanjay Dwivedi in partnership with COYA Mayfair’s head chef Alessandro Scala.
118 Piccadilly, Mayfair WIj 7NW
Forget your dream Tuscany holiday this summer and settle in for an authentic slice of Italian paradise here in the heart of the city at Alto by San Carlo.
Tucked atop of Selfridges rooftop, the restaurant will make you feel as though you’ve stepped foot inside a traditional Italian trattoria. Expect lemon vines overhead, sun soaring through the wooden beams and a beautiful Italian style feast. The menu itself is filled with light bites, including grilled artichokes with mint sauce; fritto misto; panzerotto pugliese; and carpaccio of Angus beef.
THE ROOFTOP, SELFRIDGES, OXFORD STREET W1A 1AB
Travel the world in 80 bites at The Cellar, the restaurant tucked inside West London’s members’ space Kindred.
Head chef Romulo Silva has created a menu inspired by ‘London fusion’, showcasing a range of dishes that blend diverse flavours and ingredients from different communities across London. Travel the seas through the seasonal menu. Hero dishes include Harissa Spiced Lamb Leg with Moroccan couscous, pomegranate & Mint, Vegan friendly Spiced Cauliflower & Bao buns with Soy beans & chilli, and Churros dusted with sugar and cinnamon, served with an indulgent chocolate sauce.
With holidays abroad off the cards this summer, reunite with loved ones in style at Sea Containers London. Right now the restaurant terrace is open for cocktails and light bites, but pitch up this for the night when the hotel reopens for some real London magic. All of the rooms come equipped with their own ivy-clad patio and outside seating, just perfect for al fresco dining (and pretending you’re sipping on cocktails in the Med).
The restaurant boasts views overlooking the Thames and St Paul’s, both inside and out on the terrace, and serves up an all-day dining menu that celebrates seasonality and ingredient-led cooking.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PD
Enjoy a slice of Italy with a little help from the capital’s favourite riverside restaurant, Tavolino. Meaning ‘small table’ in Italian, the restaurant is headed by Louis Karovilas, formerly head chef of Bancone and a Giorgia Locatelli alumnus, and champions the best of Italian cuisine, knocking up fresh bread, pasta and gnocchi daily.
The restaurant also boasts an impressive 100 seater terrace, overlooking some of London’s finest landmarks, including Tower Bridge. Where else would you want to spend your summer evenings?
2 MORE LONDON RIVERSIDE, SOUTHWARK, SE1 2DB
Forget your jungle adventure holiday to the Amazon, head on over to Zuaya for an unforgettable Latin American experience.
The restaurant is abrim with tropical trees, hanging plants and the occasional hidden monkey, and the menu follows suit thanks to its exotic flavours and cocktails that pack in a punch. Settle in for an indoor adventure and try a selection of their seasonal dishes; their lamb tacos are a favourite in The Handbook office.
35B Kensington High Street, Kensington W8 5EB
While we can’t promise you 30 degree weather this summer, we can promise you an authentic taste of the Caribbean thanks to Cottons rum shack filled restaurants. Located in Camden, Vauxhall, Notting Hill and Shoreditch, Cottons helps bring a traditional taste of Caribbean cuisine to London.
Book in for fresh, fruity cocktails – we love the Ocean Breeze made up of coconut rum, overproof rum, blue curacao, lime, apple and lychee juice – and load up on tasty dishes. Think Salt Fish Fritters, Pork Smoked 3 Ways and their famous Curried Mutton.
Camden, Vauxhall, Notting Hill & Shoreditch
If your holiday to Japan got cut short, head on over to Showaken, the Tokyo retro bar hidden above the Japan Centre on Panton Street. Enjoy an authentic taste of Japanese cuisine with their Tokyo style miso ramen with chicken broth before exploring the best of the Japan Centre.
Enjoy an authentic slice of Portuguese interiors and cuisine when you dine in at Bar Douro. Expect traditional blue and white tiling to be adorning the walls and the counter bar, all of which pairs perfectly with the Portuguese wines and tapas-style menu. Menu highlights include grilled octopus with blistered peppers and onions; grilled lamb rump with rainbow chard and migas; and their signature bifana, a traditional Portugeuse sandwich made with pork shoulder, white wine and fermented pepper sauce, served in a bola rustica with fennel and savora mustard mayonnaise. It’s traditionally served from roulotes and tascas across the country.
Known best for its electrifying Radio Rooftop with soaring views over London’s skyline from Tower Bridge to the Houses of Parliament, ME London is the perfect spot for a summer staycation in the city.
The rooms are sleek and contemporary. Stop off at their in house steak restaurant, STK for the best steak in London before heading on up to the rooftop for a cocktail with a view.
Strand, London WC2R 1HA
If you’re partial to a holiday with all of the dazzle minus the hassle, head on over to Great Fosters, the countryside retreat that’s got the bubbly, pool views and spa treatments on tap this summer.
Unwind with a Utopia spa massage or let the experts do their magic with a dazzling facial. The hotel is home to over 50 acres of ornate gardens, 43 tudor-style suites and bedrooms and one of the UK’s smallest Michelin Star restaurants. Great Fosters is slotted just outside of London, making it the perfect place for a quick weekend getaway or summer staycation with the kids or the perfect excuse for a bit of ‘me’ time.
Stroude Road, Egham TW20 9UR
While you might not be able to jet off to the Spanish isles this summer, book a table on Aqua Nueva’s terrace to experience the next best thing. Bask under the sun and spend the afternoon picking at the finest tapas London has to offer. Must try dishes include Confit Piquillo Peppers with romesco and Marcona almond; Iberian Ham Croquettes; and YellowFin Tuna with marinated sardines and Gordal olives.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), W1B 3BR
A hotel that feels like it’s nuzzled inside its own little village, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences is home to a mix of culinary delights and rooms, all with hints towards the hotel’s Indian heritage. Level up your staycation and bed in for a night in the Cinema Suite, which plays homage to the rich history of Hollywood and Indian cinema and is a true delight for any film buffs out there. Book in for a Michelin-star experience at Quilon and sample fine Indian South West coastal cuisine.
51 Buckingham Gate, Westminster SW1E 6AF
Located alongside the riverside haven that is Battersea Power Station sits Cinnamon Kitchen, the all-day dining concept specialising in modern-Indian cuisine. Here be transported to India through the aromatic Indian spices found in every dish. These spices are then paired alongside seasonal British ingredients.
Tuck inside dishes such as Lahori Chapli, a grilled lamb kebab, with onion, tomato and smoked paprika raita; Samosa Chaat; and Lucknowi Nawab Style Chicken Biryani.
4 Arches Lane, Nine Elms, SW11 8AB
Book in for a cosy holiday experience at 11 Cadogan Gardens, the five-star boutique hotel located just off the iconic Sloane Square. Enjoy an al fresco dining experience at their on-site restaurant, Hans’ Bar & Grill and tuck into small plates and sharing plates with friends. Plates include ham hock and duck croquettes with apple puree and Waldolf salad; Brixham crab and mango with chilli, avocado, puffed wild rice and coriander; and crisp scampi prawns in a tempura batter with spring onion, garlic and red chilli.
11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea SW3 2RJ
Fall back in love with London with the most quintessentially British stay at The Milestone Hotel & Residences. Because why would you want to escape the city you call home when it’s this luxurious?
Located opposite Kensington Palace, the five-star hotel is fill with glitz and glamour. Spoil yourself silly and book into one of the private residences, complete with your own discreet private entrance, lounge, kitchen and bathrooms. Enjoy a private tour of Royal Albert Hall, a picnic in Kensington Gardens abrim with Champagne and a residence recital with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to end your evening.
3 Kensington Court, W8 5DL
Get off to Japan figuratively at Aqua Kyoto, the contemporary Japanese restaurant and rooftop terrace hidden high above Regent Street. Here you’ll find everything from fresh sushi to robata style dishes, tempura to melt-in-the-mouth wagyu steak.
Head out onto the rooftop terrace and soak up the best of the city’s views with a refreshing cocktail in hand.