101 Bucketlist Restaurants

London has the richest, most diverse and fun eating-out scene in Europe, if not the world. Whether you’re 40 floors up, enjoying perfectly formed tasting dishes while ogling at the endless views, or you’re munching down street food in a South London market, there is no end of incredible food, a constellation of Michelin stars and a lifetime to enjoy them. So what are you waiting for, here’s our take on the best restaurants in London.

Tottenham Court Road

Dalloway Terrace

City of Westminster

Alain Ducasse

London

Angler

Mayfair

sketch

London Bridge

Hutong

London Bridge

Aqua Shard

Hyde Park and Green Park

Céleste

City of London

Sky Garden

City of Westminster

Boisdale of Belgravia

Piccadilly

Aqua Nueva

Kings Cross and St Pancras

The Gilbert Scott

Southbank

Skylon

Old Street

Palatino

London

Rules

London

Pidgin

London

Popolo

London Bridge

Roast

Mayfair

Scott's

Piccadilly

The Wolseley

London

Brat

London

Hide

London

Cub

London

Petrus

Soho

Umu

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101 Bucketlist Restaurants
  • Park Chinois

    Park Chinois plays homage to the opulence and decadence of 1930’s Shanghai, with exquisite regional Chinese food and exceptional live entertainment in the heart of London’s Mayfair. Behind the intriguing red doors is an interior inspired by the aesthetics of Chinoiserie; the French love affair for the mystique of the Orient. The result is intentionally theatrical dining rooms, encouraging guests to participate and immerse themselves in an unparalleled dining ambience.

    The cuisine is largely Chinese yet the ingredients and techniques used are chosen by merit from around the world allowing a progressive approach to the menu and the delivery of London’s best Chinese food. The diverse Dim Sum Lunch Menu is second to none, providing a great selection of dim sum classics as well as excellent express lunch options satisfying those who want to feast and those who want it fast. The cocktail list devised by leading mixologists complete the dining experience in London’s most dazzling dining rooms.

    17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EA
    020 3327 8888

    Twitter: @parkchinois
    Instagram: @parkchinois
    Facebook: @parkchinois

    www.parkchinois.com

  • Dalloway Terrace

    Twentieth century intellectuals famously circled round the squares of Bloomsbury and chief amongst them was Virginia Woolf. So its only fitting that the Bloomsbury Hotel would name their restaurant after one of Woolf’s most memorable characters. We think high-society Mrs Dalloway would approve as much as we do. The selection of dishes is varied and tasty, ranging from fish’n’chips and the Bloomsbury Burger to pan-fried sea bass and super food salads.

    The setting, a terrace with a retractable roof, is flooded with natural light and blends being outside and in with plants and creepers. Definitely worth writing home about, or maybe inspiration for another novel?

    www.dallowayterrace.com

  • Alain Ducasse

    Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is the British outpost of legendary French chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurant empire, interpreting the haute cuisine that he’s renowned for with a modern take.

    The decor follows suit, reinterpreting the grandeur of Ducasse’s French restaurant in a distinctly British style.

    This is some of the best French food you will ever taste, so the restaurants three Michelin stars come as no surprise.

    www.alainducasse-dorchester.com

  • Ella Canta

    Martha Ortiz has taken London by storm with her new restaurant on Park Lane, and quite rightly too!

    Her Mexican cuisine is second-to-none, drawing on her experience with her Mexico City restaurant Dulce Patria, consistently ranked as one of the very best in Latin America, Ortiz hits all the right notes with her Mayfair opening.

    The signature dish is guacamole with a golden grasshopper garnish, proving that there’s far more to Mexican food than chilli con carne!

    One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7QY
    020 7318 8715

    Twitter: @ellacantalondon 
    Instagram: @ellacantalondon 
    Facebook: @ellacantalondon

    www.ellacanta.com

  • Annabel’s

    After more than 50 years at the heart of London’s nightlife, during which Hollywood stars and royalty alike descended under the striped canopy on Berkeley Square, Annabel’s opened the doors to its much-anticipated new home in March last year. Almost a year later, the club continues to delight members and their guests with superb service, exclusive ambience, first-class cuisine and unparalleled entertainment.

    Annabel’s, reimagined in an 18th Century, Grade One listed Georgian mansion house at 46 Berkeley Square at 26,000ft, comprises considerably more space than the original Club and for the first time offers an all day and all night experience. The Club is filled with restaurants, bars, private dining rooms and a cigar salon, spread across four spacious floors. The Garden, an enchanting restaurant with a retracting glass roof, offers year-round al fresco dining.

    The nightclub is located in the basement of the mansion house and pays homage to the decadent essence and abundant energy of the original Annabel’s. The Club also hosts a year-long cultural events programme covering an array of subjects, from wine dinners and book readings, to yoga with string quartets and kirtan chanting.

    www.annabels.co.uk

  • Angler

    If the name didn’t give it away, City-based Angler is a Michelin starred fish restaurant, and one you’d be cray-zy to miss.

    The setting is spectacular, with the light and the shimmering mirrored walls giving the impression that you’re lurking a couple feet below the surface of a highland river. In reality we’re several storeys high, ‘perched’ above the South Place Hotel.

    Executive Chef Gary Foulkes’ fishy menu is even more delectable than the stunning setting and we’re sure you’ll be as hooked as we are.

    www.anglerrestaurant.com

  • 27 Restaurant & Bar

    Some restaurants are the product of opportunity; others feel like they are shaped by their history. 27 is very much the latter. Crown London Aspinalls (or just Aspinall’s) is a Mayfair private casino, established by the infamous John Aspinall back in the 60s and family run ever since. Given the global origins of its loyal patronage, 27 is faced with the culinary task of curating a ‘round the world’ menu (the abridged version, at least), and steps up to the plate with relish.

    The discreet decadence of the club itself differs from any other venue in London and service is smart and traditional. The restaurant boasts a menu hailing from all four corners of the globe and makes for a truly high-end true feasting experience. But this is no dining dilettante – Executive Chef Nicola Ducceschi is passionate about using only the best seasonal ingredients for each cuisine, and his team of global specialists create a culinary journey you’ll remember for a long time to come.

    www.crownlondonaspinalls.com

  • Theo Randall at the InterContinental

    Theo Randall made a name for himself at the River Café, working as Head Chef for 17 years and helping win the restaurant win its Michelin star before jumping ship and setting up on his own. The result was Theo Randall at The Intercontinental and it’s been a 10 year success story since he founded it.

    The decor is light and a mixture of wood and muted colours, and you simply forget that there are actually no windows! The food, as at River Cafe, is Italian and Randall really delivers an exceptional meal at this Park Lane restaurant.

    InterContinental, 1 Hamilton Place, Mayfair, London W1J 7QY
    020 7318 8747

    Twitter: @TheoRandall
    Instagram: @theo.randall
    Facebook: @TheoRandall 

    www.theorandall.com

  • sketch

    “Jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today” pronounced the White Queen to Alice. A visit to Sketch is like tumbling down the rabbit hole with Lewis Carrol’s most famous creation, except that it’s always “Jam today”! From the whacky to the downright unnerving, the world of Sketch is mad and wonderful and a wonder to behold. Set on Conduit Street among the super strait-laced  townhouses of Mayfair you are met with a feast of colour, creation, art and invention with each part of the labyrinthine venue offering new sensory overloads.

    Thankfully Executive Chef Pierre Gagnaire doesn’t overload the senses but instead treats and stimulates them with a truly varied and experimental menu that always delights. With two Michelin stars they must know what they’re doing.

    No wonder Alice obeyed the ‘eat me’ sign.

    www.sketch.london

  • 34 Mayfair

    Situated on South Audley Street, 34 has only been opened since 2011, although you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is much older than that. Burnt orange banquettes, parquet floors,  immaculate tables dotted with small lamps, an open kitchen and dramatic bar, give it an understated elegance, you can imagine that Mayfair’s residences have been eating here for years.

    Favourites at 34 vary from the Scottish dry-aged Australian Wagu, organic beef reared on the islands of the Parana river in Argentina, to Lobster Macaroni and Tandoori spiced monkfish with pickled carrot and mooli salad for the more avant-garde diner. The presence of salads and lighter dishes on the menu cater to the less robust appetite. Meats, fish and some vegetables are cooked on a state-of-the-art charcoal grill imported from South America, which runs on natural fuel and adds to the complexity and flavour of the dishes.

    Diners at the Mayfair restaurant are invited to relax and enjoy delicious food in a backdrop of art deco luxury, with a striking collection of contemporary art giving the room a warm and charming atmosphere. A main feature of 34 is a baby grand piano in the award-winning bar, playing host to either a house pianist or jazz trio every night of the week. 34 offers an indulgent brunch and dinner menu with diners invited to enjoy main dishes like lobster, monkfish and meatballs as well as starters and puddings both in the evening and pre lunch.

    www.34-restaurant.co.uk

  • Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

    Two Michelin stars don’t simply fall into your lap, and Marcus Wareing has evidently put multiple fat-traps full of elbow grease into ensuring his restaurant remains at the pinnacle of London’s Michelin mountain.

    With an exquisite British-influenced modern-European menu, and light and airy surroundings we promise you’ll love this most elegant of restaurants.

    www.marcus-wareing.com

  • Sexy Fish

    Sexy Fish sits on the south east corner of Berkeley Square in the heart of Mayfair, and opened on 19 October 2015. Designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and decorated with artwork from Frank Gehry, Damien Hirst and Michael Roberts, the look and feel is glamorous and opulent. Sexy Fish is split-level with a private room – The Coral Reef Room – on the lower ground floor, and the restaurant and terrace on the ground floor.

    The food takes its inspiration from the seas of Asia, with a focus on Japan. The bar holds the world’s largest Japanese whisky collection at 400 bottles, as well as offering a hard-to-resist cocktail list. The wine list is balanced and thought-provoking – collating vintages and cépages from all over the world.

    On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights Sexy Fish offers an exclusive late night experience; serving food and drink until past 1am and allowing guests to enjoy the DJs’ tunes and the bar’s extensive drink options well into the night.

    www.sexyfish.com

  • Novikov

    The Mayfair favourite houses two beautiful restaurants – the Italian and Asian, as well as a stylish lounge bar. A real feature of the Asian restaurant is its open kitchen. Fronted by an impressive display of seafood and vegetables, it evokes the atmosphere of an Asian food market. What’s more, you cannot miss the indulgent cheese wheel in the Italian restaurant and the beautiful wood-fired oven. The menu offers regional Italian fare with a contemporary twist. Also, the lounge bar offers an extensive cocktail menu, live music and performances by some of the world’s top DJs.

    www.novikovrestaurant.co.uk

  • Corrigan's Mayfair

    Corrigan’s successfully combines being an unrelentingly grand establishment with a celebration of chef Richard Corrigan’s humble roots in rural Ireland.

    The food is British and Irish classic dishes with a real emphasis on seasonal produce. The surroundings are sumptuous and reflect the Mayfair location. The menu puts us firmly in the Irish countryside, though.

    www.corrigansmayfair.com

  • Hutong

    Despite having London quite literally at your feet, it’s difficult not to be transported to Northern China when eating at Hutong (hutongs are the name given to the narrow alleys that criss-cross Northern Chinese cities).

    The Chinese cuisine is exquisite, inspired by the dishes served in the imperial palaces of ancient Peking. Or why take in the vista while sipping on a selection of cocktails inspired by ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine?

     

    www.hutong.co.uk

  • Aqua Shard

    Dining at altitude normally involves an international air fare and an inedible meal. Or you can book a table at Aqua Shard for a fraction of the price and with an infinitely better menu.

    The dark and elegant interior contrasts with the wide open skyline and the British menu, curated by Head Chef Dale Osborne means there’s more than the view to write home about.

    Before or after, or both, make sure you enjoy the cocktail bar attached, the selection of drinks is great and we assure you you’ll need to spend some time taking in the vistas.

    www.aquashard.co.uk

  • Céleste

    The cuisine at Céleste draws on traditional French ‘savoir faire’, whilst championing the authenticity of the finest British organic produce. Interiors by Alberto Pinto take the restaurant back to the Regency heritage in line with the rest of The Lanesborough.

    Within Céleste, 250 different mouldings were created to achieve the historic scene in bas-relief that surrounds the frise under the sky dome. English crystal chandeliers illuminate the delicate detailing, with the largest weighing 200kg and stretching two metres wide. The conservatory roof allows daylight to flood in for a light lunch and the mood evolves throughout the day for an indulgent dinner experience.

    Céleste is recognised for “classic French cuisine delivered in an original, modern style” under the leadership of five Michelin starred Parisian Chef Eric Frechon.

    www.oetkercollection.com

  • Nobu London Old Park Lane

    Simple but devastatingly effective, the Japanese restaurant launched by Nobu Matsuhisa 1997 is a bastion of new style” Japanese cuisine.

    Infusing South American influences, Matsuhisa never misses a step, drawing on his classical training as a sushi chef but always with a new take or angle.

    The restaurant overlooks Hyde Park, which adds a little drama, not that Nobu needs it.

    www.noburestaurants.com

  • The Greenhouse

    The Greenhouse is sleek yet discrete, set in a calm Mayfair mews, but its the food that really sets Bignon apart with creative pairings and attention to detail.

    Unafraid to be creative the menu, the food and the setting are always stunning.

    www.greenhouserestaurant.co.uk

  • Sky Garden

    Set at the very top of the so-called ‘walkie talkie’ building with it’s yawning great plate glass vista across London 37 Fenchurch was only ever going to impress. Thankfully this restaurant, one of three dining options in this incredible space, can fend for itself despite any competition from its surroundings. The modern British menu is put together by Head Chef Dan Fletcher and emphasises seasonal fresh food.

    Arrive early and wander round the cavernous hanger in the sky before dinner, the views and the space are truly captivating. But so, too, will the food be.

    skygarden.london

  • Bibendum Restaurant

    Overseen by the transverse of the merry Michelin man stained glass window, this achingly elegant French restaurant well deserves its place on any list of leading London restaurants. The menu is full of playful flourishes that are as ingenious as they are delicious and daring.

    With the recent arrival of Chef Claude Bosi as much light is now shining out of the kitchen as floods in through the huge windows. Bosi has earned two Michelin stars for his previous projects and this year was awarded the first star for Bibendum, which is fitting for the former home of Michelin tyres.

    www.bibendum.co.uk

  • The Goring

    The Dining Room at The Goring is about as British as a red phone box drinking a pint of Spitfire at the Last Night of The Proms. Away from the pomp and circumstance, though, the menu is modern, the delivery is slick and the result is fantastic.

    With a nod to the past but firmly looking forward Chef Shay Cooper ensures that this doyen of the restaurant scene is historic but never fusty. Which presumably explains the Michelin star, not to mention the two AA rosettes.

    www.thegoring.com

  • Madison Restaurant

    Madison sits atop One New Change, offering a taste of Manhattan while overlooking St Pauls. The sleek penthouse restaurant channels New York sophistication with a lineup of live DJs and a menu of US classics with an international twist to celebrate the Big Apple’s diversity.

    Madison’s secret weapon is the roof terrace, with unparalleled views across London’s skyline.

    www.madisonlondon.net

  • Boisdale of Belgravia

    Boisdale feels like an institution, the pillarbox red frontage and the tartan and green interior feel like they’ve been here forever. In fact the Scottish themed restaurants only landed in London in 1988, planting the saltaire firmly in the centre of Belgravia.

    If you choose then there is all the hearty fare you’d expect, with a menu featuring more than it’s fair share of delectable offal in the form of haggis, black pudding and so on. However, the menu features plenty of opportunity for more delicate dishes such as the plenteous fish on offer.

    The food is rich, the whiskey list is unparalleled and the surroundings are warm and friendly.

    www.boisdale.co.uk

  • Galvin at Windows

    You might have wanted a table by the window, but what we have here is an entire restaurant by the window. Galvin at Windows certainly doesn’t disappoint on the view-front, and unlike competitors further East, where skyscrapers jostle for space, Galvin is on the 28th floor of the Park Lane Hilton in an area nearly devoid of tall buildings, so savour the uninterrupted viewz.

    The food, on the other hand, stands nearly as tall as the Hilton with the French cuisine of Chef Patron Chris Galvin bumping up against the Korean heritage of Head Chef Joo Won to create an inspired menu taking in influences from both as well as wider afield.

    www.galvinatwindows.com

  • Searcys at The Gherkin

    It may now be dwarfed by some of its neighbours, but The Gherkin remains close to our heart as London’s loveliest tall building, at once quirky and graceful. At the pinnacle (the husk?) is Searcys At The Gherkin, a panoramic skytop feast for the eyes.

    And for the body, Chef Barry Tonks makes sure that Searcys 39th floor restaurant is not lacking. His seasonal dishes provide ample distraction from the 360 degree views.

    Given the film set venue, the fabulous food and the fact that it’s run by the same people who brought us Searcys at St Pancras Station, not to mention the Pump Room in Bath, there are a myriad of reasons to visit this exquisite spot. And, some fabulous news; the restaurant was once only open to paying members and tenants of the Gherkin. However  from summer they swung open their doors to the public for the very first time and now everyone is welcome – hurrah!

    www.searcysatthegherkin.co.uk

  • Sexy Fish

    Sexy Fish sits on the south east corner of Berkeley Square in the heart of Mayfair, and opened on 19 October 2015. Designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and decorated with artwork from Frank Gehry, Damien Hirst and Michael Roberts, the look and feel is glamorous and opulent. Sexy Fish is split-level with a private room – The Coral Reef Room – on the lower ground floor, and the restaurant and terrace on the ground floor.

    The food takes its inspiration from the seas of Asia, with a focus on Japan. The bar holds the world’s largest Japanese whisky collection at 400 bottles, as well as offering a hard-to-resist cocktail list. The wine list is balanced and thought-provoking – collating vintages and cépages from all over the world.

    On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights Sexy Fish offers an exclusive late night experience; serving food and drink until past 1am and allowing guests to enjoy the DJs’ tunes and the bar’s extensive drink options well into the night.

    www.sexyfish.com

  • Aqua Nueva

    Tapas in turbo best describes Aqua Nueva, the Spanish restaurant perched above Regent Street. The dark elegant interior gives way to a rooftop bar with unparalleled views down Oxford Street.

    Head Chef Yahir Gonzalez arrived via Mexico and Spain giving a noticeably authentic flavour to some of the best Spanish food this side of the Iberian Peninsula.

    www.aquanueva.co.uk

  • Sartoria Restaurant

    If the name didn’t give it away, Sartoria is based on London’s most sartorial street, Savile Row. Which perhaps explains why the elegant surroundings, muted colours and are so cleanly cut and seamlessly executed.

    Under Chef Patron Francesco Mazzei the attention to detail in the kitchen is no less exacting than it is in the cutting rooms and workshops up and down the street, with stunning Italian dishes fitting every occasion like a new pair of gloves.

    www.sartoria-restaurant.co.uk

  • 1 Lombard Street

    It’s fitting that 1 Lombard Street should have been set up by a banker, the building is in the centre of The City, used to be a bank and serves more than it’s share of bank employees. But if that makes 1 Lombard Street sound square then think again.

    The restaurant, dominated by Italian architect Pietro Agostini’s stunning glass dome, serves modern European food under the expert eye of Head Chef Juri Ravagli.

    www.1lombardstreet.com

  • The Gilbert Scott

    They don’t make dining rooms like this any more. The surroundings of The Gilbert Scott are epic and sumptuous, with ceilings taller than a most peoples’ houses it harks back to an earlier, grander, time.

    Named after the eponymous architect of the wonderfully gothic Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras, in which its set, The Gilbert Scott also proves that surroundings can be deceptive; there’s nothing old fashioned about the menu.

    As a Marcus Wareing restaurant diners can expect to be treated to seasonal British produce and cooking as impressive as the spectacular surroundings.

    www.thegilbertscott.co.uk

  • Quaglino's

    ‘Quags’ has been a fashionable hangout since 1929, and at nearly a century old she’s still got it!

    The St James’s subterranean restaurant exudes style and sophistication and as you descend down the sweeping staircase you arrive into a cavern of culture and excess.

    The ‘updated’ art deco style are both a reminder of the restaurant’s history, but at once feel incredibly modern. Likewise the European menu nods back toward a golden era, there’s plenty of venison on offer, but with a thoroughly up-to-date take and execution.

    www.quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk

  • Le Pont de la Tour

    Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, we could sit and stare at it for hours. Which is good news, because Le Pont de la Tour (no translation required) lets us do just that given it’s right next door!

    Sitting out on the terrace you can watch the ships come and go and the world pass by. Or you can tuck into some of the fabulous creations from the predominantly French menu.

    Inside the decor is light, with walnut furniture and plenty of sunlight streaming through the windows.

    www.lepontdelatour.co.uk

  • Skylon

    Skylon’s British menu is thoroughly contemporary and yet without being unapproachable. The food is delicious, whether you’re eating from the main restaurant or the more chilled-out grill. The two are separated by the bar with one of the best cocktail selections in London.

    Not to be outdone, the surroundings of the Royal Festival Hall are impressive and hark back to Skylon’s namesake, the Skylon tower erected for Festival of Britain in the 1950s and the site of the Royal Festival Hall.

    www.skylon-restaurant.co.uk

  • Palatino

    As the saying goes, ‘When in Rome… fly back to London and instead go to Palatino’.

    This Roman restaurant is Chef Stevie Parle’s work and it shows. Specifically focusing on Rome means the menu isn’t simply a list of Italy’s greatest hits, but rather Parle seeks to draw out the essence of Roman cooking, partly inspired by the city’s Jewish heritage and partly the centuries old local traditions. The result is delicious and individual.

    The aesthetic, meanwhile, celebrates a modern Rome, stylish and chic without being ‘fabulous fabulous’ in your face. Which is a perfect balance, for a near-perfect restaurant.

    www.palatino.london

  • Bond Street Kitchen

    I’m all for popping to use the loos in the Asda cafe after a big shop, but I wouldn’t go there on a date; that’s not how shop restaurants work. But at Fenwicks, the Bond Street department store, things are a little different.

    The Bond Street Kitchen is brought to us by now-defunct popup artists EventOracle, except this popup hasn’t popped down, probably because it’s so very good. Behind the wheel is Jamie Draper from Roux at The Landau so we know that the modern British menu won’t fail to disappoint.

    Meanwhile the muted decor is elegant and decidedly fancy. Asda cafe it is not.

    www.fenwick.co.uk

  • Rules

    We hope you like meat, because you’re getting meat. At the oldest restaurant in Britain you’d expect nothing less than a brace of grouse and a dollop of mash, but Rules not only delivers on that, but does so with such skill and delicacy as to leave you wanting to come back every week end.

    Founded in 1798 the history at Rules is nearly as rich as the menu, and while most restaurants only manage to last for one or two Head Chefs, David Stafford is the latest in a lineage going back centuries. And it’s a history that he doesn’t shy away from in delivering a classic game cookery, oysters, pies and puddings.

    wwww.rules.co.uk

  • The Ritz

    It’s a word synonymous with quality and luxury, even the mention of The Ritz sets the hairs on the back of our necks a-tingle. Which is the same feeling when walking into the restaurant at the most famous hotel in the world with it’s sky high ceilings held up by marble columns and dripping with chandeliers.

    The grandeur may be jaw dropping, but Executive Chef John Williams MBE sees to it that so is the food. With a French style that is only fitting for such a Sun King setting the food is classic but fabulous.

    www.theritzlondon.com

  • Peninsula Restaurant

    Sitting watching the lights across the water in Canary Wharf it’s reassuring to realise that each one symbolises somebody still at work. While you’re sipping champagne at the Peninsula Restaurant.

    Head Chef Tomas Lidakevicius is the genius behind the stunning modern European menu and while the views are great it’s what’s on the plate that really makes The Peninsula special.

    The perfect restaurant before or after an event at The O2, as it’s just next door, but also absolutely worth the trek out East as a destination restaurant.

    www.peninsula-restaurant.com

  • Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

    Gordon Ramsay may hold the keys to a swathe of London’s notable restaurants, but only one has his name above the door. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is the start of the Gordon Ramsay story, his first restaurant, opened in 1998 at the age of 31. Within three years it had gained three Michelin stars, which it retains today.

    The French menu is under the direction of Head Chef Matt Abé, who’s clearly doing more than just holding the fort for the big man.

    Set in a Chelsea townhouse, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is intimate and special. The birthplace of a legend but in no way stuck in the past.

    www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com

  • Trinity

    Clapham Old Town plays host to Trinity, a Michelin starred restaurant on the edge of Clapham Common.

    Founded by Adam Byatt in 2006 dining at Trinity is sublime. Gone are any central London pretensions or grand hotel majesty, and instead Trinity brings us back to delight in simple basic ingredients and a not-too-showy decor.

    www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk

  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

    British Historical is, unsurprisingly, a widely overlooked genre of cuisine. If anyone was going to dig it out then there would be no prizes for guessing that Heston Blumenthal would run with it. What is perhaps a little more surprising is not that he did, but that it was such a huge success.

    Opening to huge acclaim in 2011 and located in Knightsbridge’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel the restaurant took the world by storm. It’s easy to understand why, the food, developed alongside Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, is meticulously researched and beautifully presented, from dishes familiar to the court of Henry XIII to those inspired by Victorian novelist Lewis Carroll.

    www.dinnerbyheston.com

  • Restaurant Story

    Tom Sellers has rightly received high acclaim for Restaurant Story. After five months he’d gained a Michelin star, aged just 26, and it’s utterly obvious why. Sellers’ British menu consisting of small, perfectly formed, dishes, each with it’s own memory-evoking story (geddit?).

    The interior of this Bermondsey restaurant is cool and simple, almost Skandi. It was purpose built on the site of a former public convenience, we think Restaurant Story offers a far greater public benefit.

    www.restaurantstory.co.uk

  • Pidgin

    Supper clubs are all the rage, but a couple years ago James Ramadan and Sam Herlihy converted theirs into one of the most exciting restaurants to hit Dalston, if not London, with Pidgin. They have hit upon a winning combination.

    The menu is a fixed four courses and it changes every week. What’s lost in flexibility is more than made up for in quality, which is simply undeniable.

    The location and the surroundings may be low key, but the food is anything but.

    www.pidginlondon.com

  • Duck & Waffle

    There are no prizes for guessing what’s on the menu at Duck and Waffle, but that’s okay because the food is reward enough. The signature dish of duck leg and duck egg on a waffle and doused in maple syrup is only the start of it. The seasonal menu is versatile and fun and the work of Executive Chef is Daniel Barbosa.

    And we’ve not even mentioned the view! On the 40th floor of Bishopsgate’s Heron Tower the views are endless and breathtaking. Inside the decor alternates between artsy grungy graffiti in the bar and modern cool in the restaurant. But it could be plastic picnic tables for all you’ll care after the food and views are taken into account.

    www.duckandwaffle.com

  • Chez Bruce

    Sleepy Wandsworth Common in South London is probably not the first place people might search for a Michelin starred restaurant, but if you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a great surprise. Chez Bruce is exceptional.

    Founded by Bruce Poole (it’s Bruce we’re ‘chezzing’ with here) and Nigel Platts-Martin in 1995 the restaurant has managed to remain consistently at the top of all sorts of lists, including that of those people at Michelin.

    The Modern French food is fantastic, the atmosphere is always buzzing and we can’t recommend Chez Bruce enough!

    www.chezbruce.co.uk

  • 108 Garage

    We’ve seen a couple former garages-turned-restaurants on these pages, think The Wolseley or Bibendum, but this is the real thing. A proper actual garage that’s no a restaurant, and leaves no doubt as to its heritage. It’s as though the last carbuettor was fitted just before the evening shift started and the tables have been hastily brought in to disguise the fact.

    What isn’t possible to disguise, though, is the quality of the food which is excellent. It may be a little out of the way and a little funny looking but the kitchen is all-guns-blazing top end thanks to Chef Chris Denney who has really made his mark with 108 Garage.

    108, in case you were wondering, is the street number.

    www.108garage.com

  • Hawksmoor

    There are more and more Hawksmoors (the latest just opened in Manchester) but the old ones are always the best and Spitalfields remains the spiritual home for this maestro in steak.

    Founded in 2006 it feels like Hawksmoor’s been around forever and London’s restaurant scene wouldn’t be the same without it. Try the Sunday roast and you’ll know exactly what we mean.

    www.thehawksmoor.com

  • Chotto Matte

    Nikkei cuisine, that cross-over between Japanese and Peruvian food, is pretty big right now and ground zero has to be Chotto Matte, three floors of Nikkei goodness on Soho’s Frith Street.

    A large bar dominates downstairs while upstairs is ‘where the magic happens’. The whole place is loud with a distinctive buzz and the pedigree is assured given it was opened by the man who brought Nobu to the UK.

    Under Executive Head Chef Jordan Sclare, a seasoned (no pun) Japanese food specialist who spend months in Peru preparing for the role, the food is excellent and Chotto Matte’s a vibrant and busy lunch or dinner option.

    www.chotto-matte.com

  • Clos Maggiore

    Billing itself as ‘London’s Most Romantic Restaurant’ Clos Maggiore exudes a sexy French vibe, best shown through the decor, with foliage dangling and wood panelling on the walls. If you’re looking to propose, treating a loved one or you’re investing way too much on a first date then book Clos Maggiore and insist you’re in the scenic room with all the dangly bits on the ceiling, lest you miss out.

    Either way, though, you won’t be missing out on some excellent French food. The excellent dishes are courtesy of Head Chef Marcellin Marc who, along with the magical surroundings, carries Clos Maggiore to a next level where the haughty staff and noisy tourists on the table next door simply don’t matter any more.

    Our advice would be go for the later sitting, get the right table and soak up the equisite dishes and wondrous environment.

    www.closmaggiore.com

  • Dishoom

    Bombay: the most vibrant city in the world, a melting pot of cultures, sights smells and tastes and the inspiration for Dishoom. Based on the Irani cafes of old Bombay Dishoom evokes a real feel of India, the art deco influences, British heritage and overwhelmingly Indian spirit. It’s no surprise that this St Martin’s Lane restaurant has spawned into a small chain and anyone who hasn’t been needs to grab their coat and rush toward Covent Garden immediately.

    The food is a relatively faithful recreation of the menus back in Bombay, the lassis are excellent and the curries are, as you’d expect, delicious. The decor, too, is a fun impression of Bollywood charm and the only thing holding you back should be the long queues snaking out of the door as they don’t, for some reason, take bookings.

    www.dishoom.com

  • The Henrietta

    The guys behind the Experimental Cocktail Club have added a further feather to their cap with The Henrietta, an 18 bedroom boutique hotel and, most importantly, a brilliant new restaurant.

    Previously led by Ollie Dabbous the restaurant, is now overseen by chef Sylvain Roucayrol. Inspired by southwest France, Corsica and Basque country the menu serves up bright, playful dishes.

    www.henriettahotel.com

  • Hakkasan Mayfair

    The sun never sets on the Hakkasan empire, the Cantonese restaurant that’s taking over the world’s most glamorous cities. Bombay, New York, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Jakarta have fallen, even Las Vegas has a Hakkasan that also doubles as a super-club. But for the real thing London is the birthplace, and while Hanway Place holds the title as the epicentre of the Hakkasan earthquake it’s Hakkasan Mayfair that holds a place in our heart.

    The dark, dramatic, luxorious interiors sets a tone of understated opulence, putting Chinese fine dining centre-stage on the global scene.

    Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee is responsible for an innovative Cantonese menu and won the restaurant its Michelin star.

    www.hakkasan.com

  • Jamavar

    For a nation obsessed with Indian cuisine, not to mention London’s palce as a city at the cross-roads of international trade and culture, the suprise isn’t the rise in seriously high calibre Indian restaurants in the capital, it’s that it took so long to come together. The last decade has seen some excellent Indian restaurants coming onto the scene and Jamavar is near the top of the crop.

    The food is excellent, the small plates especially, and the flavours evoke all the best of Indian cuisine.

    The surroundings are smart, we’re in Mayfair after all, and it’s easy to be reminded that Jamavar’s sister restaurnat is in an Indian palace. A lovely meal and luxorious surroundings.

    www.jamavarrestaurants.com

  • M Restaurants Threadneedle Street

    The entrance is, puzzlingly, behind the counter of a wine shop on Victoria Street and the incognito arrival is marks the start of what is rather a fun destination. The bar is loud and brash, dark and sociable with booming music, but move through into the restaurant and suddenly everything’s demure and stylish, an utter juxtaposition but one that allows you to focus on the most important part, the steak.

    There’s plenty on the menu, all of it excellent, but gravitate toward the steak because Chef Michael Reid is an out-and-out doyen with the insides of a cow. Credited with bringing the highest grade Kobe beef in the world to M, under his lead this restaurant is worth a visit; add in the efforts of his head sommelier and you’ve got a perfect evening.

    www.mrestaurants.co.uk

  • Kricket Soho

    The founders of Kricket clearly wondered if London really needs another Bombay inspired restaurant, and then decided that it definitley did. And thank goodness they did because Kricket approaches Indian food from the opposite end to some of its stablemates at the top of the Indian fine-dining tree; while others bring Michelin star experience to bear in crafting their wonderous creations, Kricket began life just a couple years back as a shipping container in Brixton.

    The streetfood mentality continues now they’ve got their ‘bricks and mortar’ establishment in Soho, just off Regent Street, and the result is fantastic, authentic and delicious.

    Chef Will Bowlby, along with his college friend and co-founder Rik Campbell, run this place in such a way as to feel like its still in popup mode, and this makes it all the more enjoyable.

    www.kricket.co.uk

  • The Palomar

    The Israeli/Palistinian venn diagram seldom ‘venns’, but the crossover that’s most excitig is when it comes to food, and Palomar puts itself right in the centre of the diagram.

    Serving the food of modern Jerusalem, the menu is as much a cultural hotchpotch as the city itself, with influences from Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant and all this masterminded by co-owner and chef Assaf Granit, who’s also responsible for Jerusalem’s MachneYuda, along the same lines.

    The mix of foods is mouthwatering, with all the flavours you’d expect, and some you wouldn’t but you’re glad they put in an appearance. All in all it’s excellent.

    www.thepalomar.co.uk

  • Padella

    Padella serves some of the best pasta in London, if not the world. Forget everything you think you know about pasta, that it comes encased in plastic from Sainsburys and you pour some orange looking sauce over it and knock it back in front of corrie; no, this is proper pasta, and Padella are the pasta-masters.

    Set just outside Borough Market all the pasta is handrolled and fresh. Further, all the sauces and fillings are inspired by Italy and founders Jordan Frieda and Tim Siadatan’s trips there. And the result will have you standing by the ready-meal section of your local supermarket handing out flyers like pasta-Jehova’s Witnesses, pleading with shoppers unaware of what they’re missing out on.

    www.padella.co

  • Ormer Mayfair

    Shaun Rankin won a Michelin star for his restaurant Ormer in St Hellier, Jersey, so when the restaurant at Fleming’s in Mayfair came available, it was a natural move to bring the whole shebang to London, and how lucky for us that he has.

    Ormer, named after the crab variety, is inspired by Jersey, where the fish is so fresh that it might as well be swimming. Mayfair seeks to recreate this and does so with style with the same combination of sustainably-sourced, locally foraged seasonal produce.

    With Rankin at the helm this restaurant is a joy; elegant and a showcase for the very best of Jersey.

    www.flemings-mayfair.co.uk

  • Popolo

    These ‘popolo’ (Italian for ‘people’ in case you’re not conversant in Italian) have come up with a great little creation in Popolo, a small Italian that really packs a punch. The menu is Italian, but influenced by Middle Eastern and Moorish influences.

    The format is small plates and sharing is actively encouraged, but belive us you won’t want to share anything! The food is delicate and delicious, the pasta’s hand rolled before every sitting and the wine is provided by small Italian growers producing natural and low intervention wines.

    www.popoloshoreditch.com

  • Chicama

    Chicama is a costal village on the Peruvian coast and also the name of this Chelsea restaurant serving food inspired by both Peruvian cuisine and the sea. To this end fresh fish is delivered daily from Cornwall and are delectably prepared by Head Chef Erren Nathaniel.

    www.chicamalondon.com

  • Roast

    Borough Market is the home to so much street food and tasty bites served from market stalls, but in the midst of the bustle there’s a discrete entrance to a wonderous fine dining restaurant, set above the commotion below and serving exactly what it says on the tin, roast. Except this roast certainly hasn’t come out of a tin.

    Founded by Iqbal Wahhab, also responsible for Westminster’s Cinamon Club, Roast sets out with a simple goal: to produce the best roast dinners in London. And it’s fair to argue that they’ve succeeded.

    Bathed in light from the enormous windows it’s the most sublime Sunday lunch destination, or equally perfect for dinner; perhaps less so if you’re a veggie…

    www.roast-restaurant.com

  • Scott's

    The king of Mount Street, this venerable old restaurant started plying their oysters in the 1850s and has been on Mount Street since the late 1960s. What Scotts hasn’t learnt about fish in 170 years probably isn’t worth knowing.

    The quality of fish available is consistently stratosphericly high and under Head Chef Dave McCarthy the cooking is equally exciting.

    You may be too engrossed in your oysters to notice, but the surroundings are pretty grand too. Dominated by a central marble-topped seafood bar surrounding an ice-filled fish display that’s tantamount to an altar to Neptune, the restauraunt is beautiful and comfortable.

    The tables outside are where the stars come to be seen or, in the case of Charles Saatchi, to strangle their wives, while inside the clubby feel is impossible not to love.

    www.scotts-restaurant.com

  • Jean-Georges at The Connaught

    Jean-Georges Vongerichten has Michelin stars coming out of almost every orriface, his New York restaurant simply named Jean Georges had, until recently, three all to itself. 2017 was the year he landed at The Connaught, revamping the restaurant at the front of the hotel and joining Hélène Darroze who runs the restaurant round the back and has already ammased two stars herself.

    The cuisine is French Asian, with a British twist, and the fact that’s not nearly as muddled as it sounds is entirely down to Jean Georges, who is quite probably an actual wizard. The food is splendid, the menu comes together effortlessly in a creschendo of undeniable deliciousness.

    The new look is also noteworthy, light filled with wraparound stained glass and looking out onto Mount Street, perfect for people watching as you sit at the low tables and enjoy your meal. That one hotel should have one restaurant of this quality is impressive, to have two is plain greedy!

    www.the-connaught.co.uk

  • L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

    When mash potato is your signature dish you know it’s not going to take itself too seriously and despite its Michelin Star l’Atelier doesn’t have the same high self regard as some of it’s peers, and this is refreshing and attractive.

    Set in Covent Garden this is an outpost in the late Joël Robuchon’s empire and the dark interior is the perfect place for a delicious meal.

    www.joelrobuchon.co.uk

  • Kitty Fisher's

    Possibly the most famous prostitute of them all, Kitty Fisher was an 18th century pin-up girl, painted by Reynolds and famed for her numerous high-society affairs. So perhaps an ideal name for a restaurant based in Shepherd Market, which still retains something of it’s historic red light district and sits close to Fisher’s old house.

    That’s about where analogy ends, there’s nothing seedy about Kitty Fisher’s. Reputedly David and Samantha Cameron’s favourite hang-out it’s got a chilled out vibe, no fussy tablecloths, it’s got a slightly olde-worlde feel but a thoroughly up-to-date menu, British with a Spanish twist.

    www.kittyfishers.com

  • Chiltern Firehouse

    The most sought after restauraunt for a year or two, Chiltern Firehouse has now come of age and while it may be less of a celeb magnet, the food on offer has, in our opinon, only got better, or perhaps it just seems it when half the guests aren’t looking around to see the Beckhams or one of the One Directioners.

    Set in a Marylebone grade II-listed Victorian fire station and under the expert eye of Nuno Mendes, who came from Viajante, the food is excellent, inventive and pleasing.

    The hotel remains exclusive and mysterious and adds to the allure.

    www.chilternfirehouse.com

  • The Araki

    Most people can seat more in their sitting room, but at nine guests per sitting The Araki really rocks the ‘less is more’ principle.

    The Japanese set menu restaurant serves a highly curated selection of food and wine from the genius mind of 3-Michelin-starred Mitsuhiro Araki. It may be the world’s most expensive sushi, but if you’re one of the 18 people an evening (there are 2 sittings) then you’ll certainly remember it!

    www.the-araki.com

  • The Dairy

    Clapham may be better known for its nightlife, its common or the busiest train station in the world, but the restaurants are worth a look in too, and none less than The Diary. The Diary is low-key, recycled furniture and a thrown-together feel but the small-plates menu is anything.

    The food is seasonal British and the places is run by husband/wife team Robin and Sarah Gill and you’re gauranteed to feel very looked-after.

    www.the-dairy.co.uk

  • Aquavit

    If you thought you’d learnt everything there is to know about Scandinavia from Ikea and The Bridge then think again. Philip Hamilton opened Aquavit last year on the back of the original New York restaurant which has now got 2 Michelin stars.

    The setting is informal and bistro-ish, with Skandi classics like pickled herring and vennison taking centre-stage. Obviously there’s also meatballs and mash with lingonbery jam, should you be missing it. All this is led by Swedish chef, Executive Chef  Henrik Ritzen.

    www.aquavitrestaurants.com

  • River Cafe

    River Cafe was iconic in the 80s and 90s, the height of chic in daring Hammersmith. Now come of age it remains a must-eat restaurant which hasn’t failed to remain relevant 30 years later.

    The Italian restaurant, by the Thames (hence ‘River’), still serves some of the best Italian food this side of Milan and the wharf warehouse setting is a trumph of design, thanks to architect Richard Rogers who happens to be married to River Cafe owner and Head Chef Ruth Rogers.

    www.rivercafe.co.uk

  • Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

    Hélène Darroze is one of the world’s legendary chefs and her 2 Michelin Star restaurant at The Connaught deserves every accolade that’s been thrown its way (Darroze was named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef, for instance).

    Set in the stunning hotel alongside Jean Georges who has recently arrived at the other side of the building, the food is inspired by Darroze’s native South West France and combines the very best of the region.

    www.the-connaught.co.uk

  • Coal Rooms

    In the world of gastronomy, Peckham doesn’t normally get much a look in. But it’s well worth the pilgramage for Coal Rooms which opened this August. Located in the old Peckham Rye station’s 1930s ticket office its on-site buchery provides the staple of a menu dominated by meat.

    Everything is grilled in a special coal oven and the effect is fantastic and is seriously worth going to visit.

    www.coalroomspeckham.com

  • The Five Fields

    Quietly hidden round the back of Sloane Square, The Five Fields has an intimate feel and is immsensely comfortable. With only 40 covers it’s a tiny marvel that brings something special to SW3.

    The Chef/owner is Taylor Bonnyman who came from Corton in New York, which has 2 Michelin Stars, and he brings some of that flair and a lot of the experience to Five Fields.

    www.fivefieldsrestaurant.com

  • The Ivy

    Imagine being the place that The Queen goes for dinner! She was down at The Ivy the other month and was just one of many ‘famouses’ packing out this venerable venue on any ordinary evening. It’s had a revamp lately and looks even better than it already did, dazzling and luxurious and with a menu to match.

    The food is British traditional, with a much loved shepherd’s pie, sausage and mash or fish and chips sitting alongside more complicated dishes. Fit for a Queen!

    www.the-ivy.co.uk

  • Benares Restaurant and Bar

    Set on Berkely Square, Benares is stunning to take in as you arrive with a dark but stunning bar area and the restaurant beyond.

    The menu serves a modern take on Indian cuisine, much of it made on the restaurant’s two charcoal tandoors and it’s clear from the first mouthful that Atul Kochhar has more than earned his two Michelin stars.

    Dark, intriguing and with some of London’s, if not the world’s, best Indian food.

    www.benaresrestaurant.com

  • Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill

    Say fish in London and you might as well say “Bentley’s” because they’re pretty much synonymous (not a hard-and-fast rule: you can’t buy a Bentleying rod). Bentley’s has been around for just over a century, in the same spot since 1916, and that’s a long time to practise until you’ve got it perfect, and thats what Bentley’s have managed.

    Their oysters are as exquisite and supremely fresh, they literally shuck them at the table in front of you. And the freshness doesn’t end there, the range is decent and the cooking second-to-none.

    Upstairs, the grill serves non-fishy fare, but why would you bother?

    Taken over, and turned around, by Richard Corrigan over a decade ago Bentley’s is on top of it’s game and looking sprightly despite its age. In summer the terrace on Swallow Street provides excellent people watching.

     

    www.bentleys.org

  • The Wolseley

    To describe The Wolseley as a former car showroom doesn’t nearly do the rarified environs of this Piccadilly restaurant justice, Mick’s Motors it ain’t.

    Named after the Wolseley cars that used to grace the restaurant’s marble floors, The Wolseley is the perfect spot for the most exquisite fry-up breakfast you’ll ever taste, a healthy lunch or a hearty dinner.

    The modern European menu is expertly curated and carefully turned out by Head Chef Aussie mastermind David Stevens.

    www.thewolseley.com

  • Brat

    Brat on Redchurch street brings together Tomos Parry’s (formerly of Kitty Fisher’s and Climpson’s Arch) Welsh heritage with the Basque region of Northern Spain, to create a menu that uses British produce cooked on an open fire wood grill.

    Keeping many of the original 1930s features, the restaurant includes art deco wood panelling, large steel frame windows and the original stairwell. You can also watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen which takes centre stage in the heart of the room.

    www.bratrestaurant.com

  • Hide

    The brainchild of Ollie Dabbous, a Michelin starred chef, Hide is set over three floors, overlooking Green Park and dominated by a magnificent spiral staircase. On the ground floor you’ll discover the a la carte lunch and dinner menus, as well as afternoon tea and breakfast. An open bakery serves freshly baked breads, cakes and viennoiseries. Simple, seasonal fare.

    On the mezzanine floor, you can enjoy a tasting menu and a stage for the real genius of Ollie Dabbous to seize imaginations, whilst below features a wide array of spirits and cocktails. The whole venture is in partnership with Hedonism Wines offering a serious array of choice and, together with long-term Dabbous collaborator Oskar Kinberg, will be giving guests a treat with a carefully curated cocktail menu.

    www.hide.co.uk

  • Frog By Adam Handling

    As far as young chefs go, Adam Handling is at the top of his game, with numerous awards to his name including Scottish Chef of the Year 2015 and being the youngest person to be tipped by Caterer magazine as one of the ’30 under 30 to watch. Then 2016 saw him open The Frog in Covent Garden which unsurprisingly soared to success.

    The Frog is laid back, it’s minimal with bare concrete floors, white washed walls and high ceilings. An open kitchen dominates one end of the restaurant and pendant lighting, clean, bold lines and utilitarian-esque chairs give it an industrial feel. At the opposite end to the kitchen, is a half -covered area, filled with swinging wooden chairs and with dried flowers hanging from the ceiling – in these summer months we say sit here.

    The ever-evolving menu is technical savvy with the best possible produce and a lightly theatrical touch, and can also be enjoyed at various other Adam Handling locations including The Frog at Hoxton Square and Restaurant Adam Handling Chelsea.

    www.frogbyadamhandling.com

  • Kerridge's Bar & Grill

    The instantly recognisable, Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge opened his first London restaurant at The Corinthia, with an equally recognisable ‘does what it says on the tin’ restaurant, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill.

    The bar sits behind a partition of antique mirrors, where you’ll find burgundy leather banquettes, a marble bar and an extensive list of English wines, Champagnes, ales and lagers on tap which you can see in a bespoke glass cellar as you enter the restaurant. Looking for something a little more intimate? Check out the Private Dining Room which will seat 18 and let you watch the chefs at work.

    As far as the menu goes, it’s grilled based and inspired by The Coach in Marlow with the rotisserie menu featuring a daily changing dish. And we know that it will be Nick Beardshaw taking on the role of head chef, who has worked with Tom for a number of years, both as a sous chef at The Hand and Flowers and as head chef of The Coach.

    www.corinthia.com

  • Kettner's Townhouse

    One of the first restaurants to serve French food in London, Kettner’s was opened in 1867 by a certain Monsieur Auguste Kettner, said to be chef to Napolean III.

    Brought to life again by Soho House, Kettner’s Townhouse is a restaurant and Champagne bar with 33 bedrooms; somewhat smaller than the 2017 offering from Soho House: The Ned with its nine restaurants and 252 rooms.

    The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to create a French menu that is inspired by the history of the building, including highlights of Toulouse sausage, octopus and, of course, croque monsieur.

    kettnerstownhouse.com

  • Rochelle Canteen at the ICA

    Shoreditch stalwart Rochelle Canteen decided to whackamole at the other end of town, and in a very different venue. Famous for creating their school bike-shed restaurant in the heart of E2, Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold brought their ‘no rules, and everything will be great – we like parties and we like to have fun’ mantra to the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

    The food mirrors its creative setting with a menu that includes pumpkin soup, braised cuttlefish and fennel, quail escabeche, pheasant and trotter pie as well as an old spot chop with chard and lentils and a feast of whole Pig’s head to share. Herbivores needn’t panic, there are also plenty of veggie dishes including roast beetroot, red onion, soft boiled egg and spinach.

    Also available is a concise wine and cocktail list, with beers from The House of Peroni and an all day bar menu of snacks from pork belly and kimchi buns to Montgomery cheese and chutney toasted sandwiches. The bar and cafe shares a counter, with Alvar Aalto serving Caravan coffee and homemade daily bakes.

    www.ica.art

  • Hoppers Soho

    With a beautiful two-storey venue at the helm, Hoppers Soho offers up moreish Sri Lankan food and inventive cocktails.

    The vibe is that of a family style restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere and a space that seeks to provide the full Sri Lankan dining experience. There are restaurants in both Soho and St Christopher’s Place, both of which are equally as enticing and successful.

    Hoppers Soho is inspired by the village toddy shops, serving a twist on hoppers, dosas, kothus and roasts, complimented by a tropical drinks list with Genever and Arrack at its heart.

    www.hopperslondon.com

  • Cub

    Cub is the highly anticipated restaurant from Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan), his team and Doug McMaster of Brighton’s pioneering zero-waste restaurant Silo. Here, as with Silo, the focus is on sustainability both in the dishes and in the interiors. Its other quest is to blur the boundaries between food and drink.

    The team have had input from Dr. Arielle Johnson, former resident scientist at Noma and current flavour scientist and Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, because at the heart of the Cub menu will be experimentation. Menus are set and don’t give much away – they’re just clusters of ingredients dotted across the page, highlighting that the meal is fluid. So, for example you might see green tomato, fig leaf and white peach or violet carrots, blackberries and fennel tips. There is also no definition between which are dishes and which are drinks, an example of how they are blurring the lines between the two.

    Striking features of Cub include the bright, canary-yellow banquettes which will cheer even the hardest of London hearts, the table tops which might look like marble but in fact they’re made from yoghurt pots, the silvery flecks are bits of foil from the lids and the teeny, tiny open kitchen there’s no chance for angry kitchen drama.

    www.lyancub.com

  • Bob Bob Ricard

    The famed ‘press for Champagne’ restaurant in Soho, Bob Bob Ricard is a stalwart member of London’s restaurant scene. Set amongst a buzzing Soho, this atmosphere is then replicated on the inside in this “place to be” parlour of creative colour.

    Like a great Gatsby party fused with the electric colours of the recent unicorn and doughnut chairs in swimming pools phase. It’s glam, it’s shiny it’s rich in midnight blues and pastel pinks, and it’s ridiculously suave. There’s Prussian blue leather blanketing the restaurant, which works wonders against marble and surrounding tables clad with pastel pink plates and crystal everywhere. Just walking through the door transports you to some Russian oligarch style house.

    The executive head chef Eric Chavot has an impressive Michelin star scattered CV, one from Brasserie Chavot and two from The Capital and the menu reflects this marvellously. The menu serves English and Russian classics, a glam take on traditional comfort food, but we were there to sample the select few vegan dishes.

    www.bobbobricard.com

  • SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden

    Both SUSHISAMBA’s are a real treat, from the stalwart original to the new venue that’s opened in Covent Garden.

    In Covent Garden, guests climb the orange marble spiral staircase, lined with a massive street art mural of Japanese mythology, before they are deposited in the large 128-seater dining room with its three separate spaces. The black and white marble floors inspired by Oscar Niemeyer, leads though the main dining area with its living ceiling, covered in South American and Japanese plants and foliage, and on to the exposed kitchen, bustling with action  and drama, framed by Japanese lanterns and with its sushi bar.

    The menu is a tasty extension of their already hit cuisine but inspired by the unique creativity of Covent Garden – home to the Royal Opera House and at the heart of the West End – expect a fresh twist on their traditional menus. Yes their signature dishes like Brazilian Churrasco will still be very much a thing, as will be the samba roll El TopoⓇ, which they’re so proud of they trademarked.

    www.sushisamba.com

  • St. John

    ‘Fergus puts it on the plate and trevor puts it in the glass’ explains Smithfield mainstay St John. It sums up the simplicity of this mecca to meat, where everything is pared back except the quality.

    Amid the almost Puritan black and white surroundings something truly brilliant happens on the plate. Whether you’re chomping on tail, snout or all the gubbins inbetween, it’s impossible not to be impressed (Vegans withstanding).

    Proudly toting a Michelin Star in its trotter, the restaurant has been a hit since the 90s, and unlike almost everything else from the 90s, from Tony Blair to Teletubbies, we don’t look back 25 years later and realise it was actually a bit pants, but instead St John stays the course, remaining as special now as it was then. It’s basically Oasis.

    www.stjohnrestaurant.com

  • The Square

    Bare concrete walls and edgy art makes this restaurant about as ‘urban’ as The Cotswolds. But what the Michelin starred Mayfair restaurant can’t claim in East End grittiness, it makes up for in quality.

    The Square sees kitchen double-act Clément Leroy and Aya Tamura bring their marriage, and their culinary magic, into the kitchen for what is one of Mayfair’s more memorable meals. With typical Gallic modesty The Square bills itself as the height of ‘epicurean excellence’ serving ‘artistic dishes with inestimable flair’ and ‘an unparalleled experience’, so you really do want to see them taken down a peg or three, but when the food arrives you realise you simply can’t find fault.

    Reluctantly admit that this is really is ‘an evolutionary approach to modern haute cuisine’ and book a table.

    www.squarerestaurant.com

  • Petrus

    Love him or hate him; hilarious genius or workplace bully, Gordon Ramsay evokes emotion in most of us one way or the other, but when it comes to the food he deserves to be judged on what’s on the plate. And at Pétrus you can almost guarantee that you’ll leave more than impressed.

    The Knightsbridge restaurant, which boasts a Michelin Star, is dominated by a modernistic floor-to-ceiling cylindrical wine cellar, which houses the restaurant’s extensive wine collection that reminds us of the restaurant’s name (hint, Pétrus).

    Originally located in The Berkeley the restaurant moved in a hail of publicity as Ramsay split with chef Marcus Wareing, finally settling round the corner on Kinnerton Street.

    www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com

  • The Westbury Mayfair

    Yes, this is a ‘bucket list’ guide, but Alyn Williams at The Westbury deserves to be on the bucket list of your bucket list entries.

    The Westbury Hotel has never quite been anything to write home about, the Polo Bar is feeling a little tired and the hotel fails to land the punch its location and size should guarantee. Except for its restaurant. Alyn Williams took over the dining room in 2011 and has created one of London’s best dining destinations. The decor is suave (the private dining room makes up for a slight lack of privacy by being one of the coolest in town) and as you sink into the sumptuous seats you know that what’s on the plate is going to be even better.

    www.marriott.com

  • Gymkhana

    Gymkhana invokes the old-school clubs of Indian high society. A hangover from colonial days, the clubs are Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi’s answer to St James’s and the clubs ooze class. As does Mayfair’s Gymkhana.

    The restaurant won its Michelin Star back in 2014 and it’s certainly got charm, with an old fashioned interior fit for a maharaja. But so is the menu, an Anglicised Indian menu of greatest hits and classics that won’t fail to korma up trumps…

    www.gymkhanalondon.com

  • Core by Clare Smyth

    Core has recently swept up a pair of Michelin Stars just months after opening. Gordon Ramsay’s former head chef is on a roll, she was the caterer for Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception and is leading the charge of high profile women chefs storming the restaurant industry.

    The Notting Hill restaurant serves seasonal British food, across two tasting menus (one five courses, the other seven), and has won plaudits from all and sundry.

    Hailed (we think?) as the “Margaret Thatcher of cooking” by Ramsay, it’s an exciting new addition to the London culinary scene.

    www.corebyclaresmyth.com

  • The Ledbury

    With more than a decade and two Michelin Stars under its belt, The Ledbury has become a Notting Hill institution. Which is good, because like all institutions you’ll want to be associated with it.

    The restaurant, a quiet sanctum of fine dining is the creation of Australian chef Brett Graham and, along with a team headed by head chef Jake Leach, the food really is something special. Leach, who came from Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridge’s, has maintained an incredibly high standard making this a destination worth visiting.

    No trip to Notting Hill is complete without a slap-up brunch at The Ledbury.

    www.theledbury.com

  • Umu

    No, not the flightless bird, UMU is the dark and alluring Japanese restaurant from chef Yoshinori Ishii. The interiors are stunning, but then so’s the food.

    The Michelin Star restaurant serves some of the best sushi this side of the Pacific (or the Urals, depending which way you’re coming), along with some incredible wagyu beef dishes. The fish is sourced directly from Cornwall and Scotland and Ishii is involved in every aspect of the restaurant from flower arranging to making the actual crockery. Control-freakery that may or may not make this a fun environment to work in but pays dividends in the entire experience.

    Oh, and there’s also a nifty futuristic sliding door operated when you touch it.

    www.umurestaurant.com

  • Barrafina

    Everything’s fine at Barrafina. The Michelin Star winning Soho restaurant is such a success that it’s spawned a further three satellites, two in Covent Garden and one in King’s Cross. But the original remains the best, of course.

    Sam and Eddie Hart, two Englishmen, founded Barrafina after being inspired by Barcelona’s home of tapas, Cal Pep, and created Barrafina and it was an immediate hit.

    The kicker, though (and it’s an annoying one) it that they still don’t take reservations. Seriously irritating (they say this is to keep the restaurant as egalitarian as possible, thought the prices don’t necessarily reflect the same idealism).

    www.barrafina.co.uk

  • L'Escargot

    Way back in 1896 M. Georges Gaudin opened Le Bienvenue on Greek Street, the French restaurant quickly became famed for its snails – it was the first restaurant in England to serve them.

    So in 1927 when the restaurant moved up the street to its current location, it’s customers implored  Gaudin to change the name to L’ Escargot in recognition of the snails, he actually changed it to L’ Escargot Bienvenue, but in the last 88 years it has been shortened to L’Escargot. It’s the oldest French restaurant in London and is still serving up wonderful snails.

    The menu brims with typical French cuisine, bourgeois in style with some fantastic French fare on offer including Lobster bisque, chicken liver parfait, steak Tartare, Chateaubriand and of course Les Escargots.

    lescargot.co.uk

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