Starting as a tiny pop-up kitchen before being showered with awards and acclaim, this superb ‘wild food’ restaurant has bedded down for the long haul. Offering foraged, game, rare breed, local and seasonal produce (the menu changes according to seasonality), it serves classic British foods, like hare, pigeon, clams and mushrooms. It’s also remarkably good value. Home is Neals Yard, the alternative epicentre of London.
3 Neal's Yard, WC2H 9DP
020 3638 8214
Find an eye-poppingly spectacular dining room filled with paintings at this creative venue, inside the equally beautiful London Edition hotel. It’s won multiple awards for its interior and would be a worth a moment for that alone if were not for the fact the food is just as good: Chef Jason Atherton’s team offer brasserie classics cooked to perfection.
10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
020 7908 7979
WINTER GARDEN AT THE LANDMARK LONDON HOTEL
Although it offers reliably good all-day cooking, that’s not what sets the Winter Garden apart. It’s the fact the restaurant sits in the centre of an eight-storey glass roof atrium, complete with fully-grown palm trees, banks of flowers and wrought iron balconies. We particularly recommend its award-winning Afternoon Tea, offering an assortment of sandwiches, freshly baked scones and French pastries. Look out for the Chocolate Tea.
222 Marylebone Road, NW1 6JQ
020 7631 8000
Sure, it’s completely over the top, expensive and filled with the beautiful people, but frankly that’s part of the fun. From the stable of Richard Caring (J Sheekeys, The Ivy and many more) this stunning restaurant with unbelievably lavish interiors by Martin Brudnizki and artwork from Frank Gehry and Damien Hirst (plus a vast coral reef aquarium), offers sushi, seabass and caviar by the bucketloads. Do try the cocktails.
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square W1J 6BR
020 3764 2000
HIX OYSTER AND CHOP HOUSE
Mark Hix has several restaurants dotted over the city, and this smart, sophisticated eaterie is our favourite. The classic combination of meat and oysters has been wonderfully reinvented here for a modern audience, featuring shellfish from around the British Isles, and a selection of meats and steaks on the bone. If you want to see how The City eats, then this is the perfect place.
36-37 Greenhill Rents, EC1M 6BN
020 7017 1930
The legendary La Gavroche has been setting the standard on the London culinary scene since 1967. Under the watchful eye of Michael Roux Jr, it’s the last bastion of classically-cooked French haute cuisine in the city and should be on any gourmand’s bucket list. It’s famous for its sweet and savoury souffles but this two Michelin-starred venue never puts a foot wrong – naturally it does have the price tag to match.
43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
020 7408 0881
One of the hottest openings of the last few years, Balthazar flew in from the USA and made a splash with its New York-style take on a French Brassiere. Discover classic all-day dining in a room that’s all red leather booths, brass and superb service. It’s a sexy spot and a place to see and be seen, so expect a cool crowd swigging cocktails – something we recommend you do as well.
4-6 Russell Street, WC2B 5HZ
020 3301 1155
Years before Nordic noir became cool, or the term ‘hygge’ was one everyone’s lips, Icelandic chef Agnar Sverisson’s Texture was gaining its long-held Michelin star. It serves light, clever and unusual northern European dishes like asparagus with goat’s cheese ‘snow’, and chargrilled pigeon with bacon popcorn. The blond, stripped-back dining room is – as you might expect – incredibly comfortable.
58-59 Poland Street, W1F 7NR
020 7993 3251
THE DINING ROOM
This refined yet relaxed venue is nestled inside one of London’s most traditional but least stuffy hotels, The Goring (where Kate Middleton stayed before coming the Duchess of Cambridge) The Michelin starred venues describes itself as ‘impeccable yet fun’ and whizzes up delectable cuisine made from high-quality British ingredients like Romney Marsh lamb and Cornish fish. The breakfasts are spectacular and renowned.
15 Beeston Place, London, SW1W 0JW
020 7396 9000
SAVINI AT CRITERION
If you’re looking to be visually dazzled then this Piccadilly spot is the perfect place – the sheer opulence of the place will have you bowled over. This Grade II listed palatial setting was designed by Royal Albert Hall architect Thomas Verity in 1837, and it has lost none of its splendour. Enjoy well-turned-out Italian classics in the Grand Café style from a famous Milanese institution.
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224 Piccadilly, W1J 9HP
020 7930 1459
This high-end Indian restaurant is a bit of an institution: the perfect fusion between a gorgeous book-lining dining room (Grade II listed Old Westminster Library), charming service and simply glorious modern Indian cooking: it has to be tasted to be believed. Indian food is almost as much a part of British culture as British food. You might pick some government gossip as well – its Parliament’s unofficial dining room.
30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
020 7222 2555
London first high-end Moroccan restaurant (it opened in 1995) still wows, from the stunning Moroccan interiors, to the seductive waft of tagine lids being lifted. The menu has changed gently over the years: alongside the duck tagine, savoury pastries and wonderful pastilla, you’ll find light ceviches and tartares. For an enticing evening out with your significant other or a group of friends, this eaterie should still be a serious consideration.
25 Heddon Street, W1B 4BH
020 7434 4040
SKETCH LECTURE ROOM & LIBRARY
The dream behind sketch was to have a destination for food, art and music, which this utterly original venue does amply, with a contemporary art gallery, alien pod toilets (they have to be seen to be believed) and off the wall interiors. Pierre Gagnaire has charge of the food and by golly he’s earned the two Michelin stars: try surreal dishes like Fruit of the Earth: foie gras, cranberry ravioli smoked in a hay cocotte. Do check in with the superb sommelier and winelist.
9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
020 7659 4500
Tucked away in a quiet mews, this charming, discreet restaurant is perhaps most famous for being a dining spot of none other than Her Majesty The Queen (and she very rarely goes to restaurants). Bellamy’s is the ultimate example of refined dining in the capital, with a menu that ranges from oeuf en gelée to Welsh rarebit. The service is dreamlike with an amazing ability to gauge your desires. No wonder the likes of Elizabeth Hurley and David Hockney have also stepped in. Don’t forget to visit the bar next door!
18/18a Bruton Place, W1J 6LY
020 7491 2727