You’ve seen it on film, and now you can eat there. London is one of Hollywood’s most popular go-tos for filming. Partly down to its incredible architecture, iconic locations and picture-perfect views, but mainly because of the generous tax breaks. Either way, here’s where you can eat after the film crew’s moved out.
116 Pall Mall/Gandhi
116 Pall Mall, may also be known as the Institute of Directors, but it’s probably even better recognised as the Viceroy’s office in film epic Gandhi (the Nash Room shared the limelight with Sir Ben Kingsley for the scene). Or, indeed, Dark Knight fans might recognise the venue’s Café Duke as backdrop.
But for the real culture vultures it’ll be 116 Pall Mall’s setting for Mark and Victoria’s extravagant Russian Ball in Made In Chelsea. You know, just after the big news was revealed that Binky was pregnant.
Where: 116 Pall Mall, St James’s, SW1Y 5ED
South Place Hotel/The Bodyguard
Anyone watching the BBC’s hit series The Bodyguard and Googling the fashionable Blackwood Hotel where *spoiler alert* David Bud, the eponymous bodyguard, gets it on with Home Secretary Julia Montague, played by Keeley Hawkes, would’ve had trouble making a booking.
But key in ‘South Place Hotel’ and you’re in business. The sophisticated city hotel houses Michelin Starred restaurant Angler, a Handbook favourite, and may or may not be the best place to seduce a senior government minister.
Where: 3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF
Regency Café/Layer Cake
The stand-out venue from Layer Cake may be Stoke Park, the Buckinghamshire hotel that belongs on eveyrone’s bucket-list. But if you operate a greasy spoon bucket list, then make sure that Pimlico’s Regency Cafe is on it. The Layer Cake scene where Morty snaps and eviscorates old enemy Terry in one of film’s most brutal scenes. Recency Cafe itself is the quintessential London ‘caff’, founded in 1946 and, one suspects, not really updated since.
Where: 17-19 Regency Street, Westminster, SW1P 4BY
A short hop out of London is the splendid Blenheim Palace. Home to the Dukes of Marlborough since the 18th century, the pile is more than just a country pad, with vast parkland, impressive state rooms, a restaurant and, of course, a popular spot for filming. With an IMDB page longer than most Hollywood A-listers, it’s been in teh BFG, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Cinderella, The Transformers: The Last Knight, Gulliver’s Travels, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, The Young Victoria and so so much more. The houses’s role in SPECTRE deserves special mention for simply being so very cool as the European headquarters of secretive baddie network SPECTRE.
Criterion/A Good Year
It’s schmaltzy and doesn’t quite make sense, but Russell Crowe’s 2006 film A Good Year is also one of my all-time faves. It should be yours too, watch it and then move to Provence and drink wine. Forever.
But first, go to The Criterion, like Crowe. Early in the film the Gladiator star and Tom Hollander, playing an upmarket estate agent, have a fancy dinner at non other than Picadilly’s Criteron (recently rebranded (again), this time as the Savini Criterion).
Where: 224 Piccadilly, St James’s, W1J 9HP
Nobu London /Notting Hill
If ‘I’m sure you guys have dicks the size of peanuts’ has entered your daily lexicon then it’s probably down to Julia Roberts’ sassy come-back in Notting Hill. The restaurant scene where Hugh Grant and Roberts take on a table of drunken leering fans was filmed at Nobu on Old Park Lane. Request a window seat and hope you don’t overhear anyone bad-mouthing you.
Where: COMO Metropolitan, 19 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1LB
The Inbetweeners movie, definitely not one to watch with your parents, features one of the best dance scenes on the big screen outside of Dirty Dancing and Grease. The epic dance takes place, not in Malia but in Clapham’s Inferno’s. Meaning you can recreate this epic scene any weekend you like.
Where: 146 Clapham High Street, Clapham Town, SW4 7UH
Searcy’s At The Gherkin/Thor
The Gherkin is one of London’s most iconic buildings, and so where else would Thor want to fight a baddie? The Chris Hemsworth character’s fight takes place on the outside of the Gherkin while diners and staff (they used the real waiting team!) react in Thor, The Dark World.
They can’t promise Thor every week, but Searcy’s iconic view is, at least, guaranteed!
Where: 30 St Mary Axe, The City, EC3A 8EP