This year the Great British Menu is in aid of the WI and there’s a wealth of fantastic chefs competing to secure a dish at the banquet. A few of them are from jolly old London, heading up the kitchens at some of The Handbooks favourite restaurants. Here’s our guide to all of them:
What: Fine dining from Lee Wescott, London group
Why: Located in Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, Lee Westcott serves up contemporary fine dining using the best local, seasonal British ingredients. The atmosphere and service is relaxed and friendly, yet professional and knowledgeable, with next door bar the Peg + Patriot perfect for pre-dinner and post-dinner tipples. The Handbook recommends the five course tasting menu with wine pairing, which comes in at under £100 making it perfect for special occasions and girly lunches alike.
Where: Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF
Peyton & Byrne
What: Restaurant group co-owned by GBM judge Oliver Peyton
Why: Why not?! There’s over 10 restaurant in the Peyton & Byrne group, including the National Café at the National Gallery, a restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Orangery at Kew. Our favourite is The Keeper’s House at The Royal Academy, which has a restaurant, bar and garden, and the Belle Shenkman Lounge, which is a great, intimate spot to relax and unwind. The Black fig & almond tart and Warm rice pudding with blackberries are great Autumn dishes, especially now the weather’s turning.
Gloucester Road (0.5 miles)
What: Former Kensington dining room for Tim Allen
Why: Nestled in an idyllic leafy Kensington neighbourhood, Michelin-starred Launceston Place achieved its star under the careful guidance and skill of GBM contestant Tim Allen. It’s homely yet elegant décor makes it the perfect setting for a special occasion while also feeling comfortable enough to enjoy a leisurely Sunday lunch, tucking into course after course as The Handbook did over several hours. You can enjoy three courses on a Sunday for only £40 – excellent value considering it’s Michelin-star dining – and leaving you a little extra to add on a selection of French and British cheeses post-dessert. Divine.
Where: 1a Launceston Place, London, W8 5RL
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)
What: Michelin-starred dining with Mark Froydenlund at the helm
Why: One of the judges on Great British Menu, Marcus Waring, lends his name to this Michelin-starred restaurant in the Berkley Hotel, while London and South East contestant, Mark Froydenlund, heads up the kitchen day-to-day. The Handbook loves the Chef’s Table at Marcus, which opens into both the main dining room and the kitchen, where you can watch Mark in all his glory, cooking up beautiful, elegant dishes from the a la carte and Taste menu – try the Hispi with truffle, pork and girolles and the Milkfed lamb with spring onion, olive and curd.
Where: Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL
What: Food from Phil Carmichael in glamorous surroundings
Why: Berners Tavern is an A list haven – butter leather banquettes seat groups of stylish guests, all tucking into their slow-roasted should of Romney Marsh lmab with English peas, broad beans, basil pesto, ham hock and saffron potatoes. It can be hard to book a table at this much sought-after establishment from renowned restaurateur Jason Atherton, so The Handbook recommends chancing your luck with a walk-in table at the bar, which is just as buzzy and beautiful to the back of the dining room.
Where: Berners Tavern, 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP