After the splurge of Christmas, January can be a tough month. Luxuries are harder to justify, saving gets the upper hand over spending. So what’s the best way of getting value out of London’s top restaurants? The answer is simple: lunchtime set menus. By handing over your choices to the chef, and visiting during the day rather than the busy evening, restaurants can give you a delicious meal at an irresistible price. Here are some of London’s best set menu offers, for a great meal without breaking the bank.
What: Graceful Michelin-starred food
Why: One of London’s best-loved and longest-running Michelin stars, David Moore’s Pied à Terre is still knocking out superb dishes day in, day out. Head there for lunch and you’ll find unbelievable value: starter and main course for £29.50. With a seasonal rotation of finely-tuned dishes, you won’t be disappointed.
Where: 34 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 2NH
What: Star-studded old favourite
Why: Quaglino’s has some serious pedigree. From being the first restaurant to be patronised by Her Majesty the Queen in 1956, to being the favoured diner of novelist Evelyn Waugh, Quaglino’s is as star-studded as they come. With that kind of history, you’d expect inflated prices, but no, Quaglino’s set lunch, featuring a whole host of tempting classics, from duck leg to sea bream, is available at just £20 for two courses including a glass of wine. Dine like a monarch, for only a bit more than a Nandos. Fantastic!
Where: 16 Bury Street, London, SW1Y 6AJ
What: Top food in one of London's most iconic dining rooms
Why: You won’t sit down to dinner in a more impressive setting. The Gilbert Scott room is old world luxury at its finest. Its vaulted ceilings, enormous windows and concert pianist elevate the mood every time. At lunch, you can enjoy three courses of Marcus Wareing’s finest for just £30. Steak is a £5 supplement but it’s entirely, absolutely worth it.
Where: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, King's Cross, NW1 2AR
What: Old-school Indian restaurant with a gorgeous conservatory
Why: Traditional Indian food is always a joy to behold, and never more so than when Bombay Brasserie are doing the cooking. The range of their cooking is excellent, from the fragrant dishes of Goa to the sweet vegetable dishes of Gudjarat, and it’s all served in an enormous conservatory filled with flowers. Head there on Saturdays and you’ll find a sumptuous buffet, featuring a whole host of delicious Indian cooking, for just £31 including tea or coffee. How better to welcome the weekend?
Where: Courtfield Road, Kensington, SW7 4QH
What: Height of luxury on the 28th floor of London's Hilton Park Lane
Why: A good view improves any meal, but Galvin at Windows is in a league of its own. Incredible, far-as-the-eye-can-see views across the entire city prove an inspirational accompaniment to lunch. You could eat baked beans up here and still come out smiling, but Galvin at Window’s modern French cuisine pulls its weight (and then some). And you don’t even have to break the bank – two courses from their excellent seasonal menu come to a reasonable £28.
Where: 22 Park Ln, London W1K 1BE