Destination: England: London
This French brasserie near Hyde Park’s northern entrance serves everything from coffee and pastries to a serious three-course meal. The restaurant is owned by Thierry Thomasin, the former sommelier of Michelin star Le Gavroche.
This neighborhood restaurant in Notting Hill has long served some of the best Italian food in the city. With less than a dozen tables and a fanatical following, it has been one of the toughest places to get a last-minute table for more than a decade.
For weekday lunch, this classic Mayfair restaurant is delicious fun. Redesigned by Soho House’s Ilse Crawford, the modern, airy eatery with a Venetian feel is just off New Bond Street, ideal for a shopping break. The dining room, with a black-and-white tile floor and green chairs, is at its busiest during the week. Try the cichetti (Italian-style tapas) or the lobster spaghetti.
Located in a renovated Victorian wharf, this casual restaurant is always whipping up exciting new dishes, many of which are inspired by the chefs’ travels. The atmosphere is industrial chic gets cozy and the menu emphasizes what’s in season.
Tip: Don’t miss a visit to the Tom Dixon store on the lower level.
Renowned steakhouse Hawksmoor has three other branches in London, but the Covent Garden one, at Seven Dials, is incredibly convenient and continues the brand’s trend of gorgeous carnivore dishes served in a stylish but cozy setting. Besides the large assortment of steaks (of the grass-fed, locally sourced variety, of course), the restaurant is famous for its burgers that keep fashionable Londoners happy, including the juicy and ever-popular kimchi burger.
Hix Oyster & Chop House
Mark Hix, former executive chef of the Ivy, Caprice and Scott’s, opened this popular restaurant in an 18th-century chop house near Smithfield Market. The menu features British meat on the bone, beef flank and oyster pie as well as various cuts of twenty-eight-day aged Aberdeenshire beef, while oysters of any kind serve as understudies. It has received good reviews and even the notorious restaurant critic AA Gill gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
Awarded a Michelin star, this cozy restaurant off Marylebone High Street, offers delicious and beautifully prepared food in a congenial setting. It used to be a bit of a foodie secret (and was the launching ground for talented chef Marcus Eaves, now head chef at Pied A Terre), but dishes such as creamed chestnut and bacon veloute, and apple and blackberry crumble with blackberry sorbet for dessert quickly gained the restaurant a loyal following. The private dining room seats up to sixteen guests.
The man who stole the crown from Sir Terence Conran as the king of London’s restaurant scene, Gordon Ramsay cannot be accused of cookie-cutter eateries. His restaurant Maze emphasizes sleek modernity in the setting and New World influences in the dishes, but he has toned it way down at Maze Grill, the less formal sister, right next door. However, if the look is derivative, the food stands apart. There is nothing overly precious here, because steak commands center stage. Whether you want excellent Aberdeen Angus fillet, aged U.S. rib eye or Wagyu sirloin, you will eat perfectly grilled meats in a smart steakhouse atmosphere, which is an entirely new act for Ramsay and his talented team—and another winner.
Gordon Ramsay protégé Angela Hartnett, who oversaw the Grill Room in the Connaught, garnered an additional Michelin star at her Mayfair restaurant, Murano. In a slim dining room of white, cream and grey palettes, Hartnett pays homage to Italian cuisine and her family’s heritage. The private dining room seats ten and looks into the open kitchen. A great deal is the set lunch. At dinner there is no a la carte menu, but a prix fixe three- or more-course.
Sam and Eddie Hart, the owners of popular Fino and Barrafina, have revamped this iconic Soho eatery. In its past life, Quo Vadis was run by famous chef Marco Pierre White and artist Damien Hirst. Now its gone British with traditional dishes prepared for more modern tastes.
From Corbin and King, the duo behind the well-loved Wolseley,, The Delaunay opened to rave reviews. Styled in the Grand European tradition, the all-day, chic eatery takes central Europe as its inspiration with sections of the menu entitled ‘Wieners’ and ‘Schnitzels.’ In tribute to the late artist Lucian Freud, a regular at the Wolseley,, there’s an ice cream coupe called ‘Lucian’. In addition to the traditional restaurant, there’s also a section of unreserved tables at the bar and a take-out and deli service.
The Swan Bar & Chophouse
One of the most popular sights on the South Bank is Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, whose Swan restaurant, perched on the third floor, is a great option for a gastropub lunch with lovely views. Also located close to Borough Market, the Swan is perfect for a pre- or post-shopping meal.
Wright Brothers Soho
This outpost of the successful Wright Brothers empire focuses on seafood: sustainable fish and fruit de mer. Come for ultra-fresh oysters, salmon gravlax and moules marniere while sitting on the bustling ground floors whose tables spill onto a courtyard off vibrant Carneby Street. This is a great spot for an early dinner before seeing a play. It’s within walking distance to the Connaught and Claridge’s.
This outpost of the successful Wright Brothers empire focuses on seafood: sustainable fish and fruit de mer. Come for ultra-fresh oysters, salmon gravlax and moules marnière while sitting on the bustling ground floors whose tables spill onto a courtyard off vibrant Carneby Street. This is a great spot for an early dinner before seeing a play. It’s within walking distance to the Connaught and Claridge’s.
Zafferano couldn’t be better placed in Belgravia, one of London’s most fashionable residential districts. Booking in advance is a must; this is the kind of Italian restaurant native Italians go to. From a fresh creamy burrata to veal ragu, the freshest of ingredients are flown in from Italy three times a week. The seasonal menu changes often but the delicious bruschetta is a staple.
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