Twenty years ago, going out for a sophisticated meal in London would have involved dressing up in your finest outfit, to arrive at a restaurant full of attentive waiters, starched tablecloths and the prospect of several rich courses ahead. Now, however, our notion of traditional ‘fine dining’ is arguably on its way out. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that the esteemed chef Phil Howard recently left his two Michelin-starred The Square after 25 years, to open Elystan Street in Chelsea. His reasons for doing so, he explains, “was because the food I want to cook has changed, Mayfair has changed and it was time for me to try something new.” And he is not alone. London now has a wave of innovative restaurants (Clipstone, Lyle’s and Oldroyd to name just a few) that have reinterpreted formal dining for a modern audience. Stuffiness and pretension have been replaced by a simple approach and a wholehearted focus on food, championing everything from quality and sustainability to seasonality and provenance.