London is one the most in vogue destinations of the world.
The restaurants of the city are some of the best in the world.A lot of chefs are innovating in new flavors and new techniques. The budgets are interesting and for all.
Texture, Portman Place
Icelandic cuisine doesn’t necessarily spring to mind when you think of high-end London dining experiences– or not until Agnar Sverrisson and Xavier Rousset, protégés of Raymond Blanc, set up Texture in 2007 and won a Michelin star in 2010. Searingly fresh ingredients, both British and Icelandic, with lots of fish and herbs, sit alongside a phenomenal wine list.
Location: 34 Portman Street, London W1.
Contact: 020 7224 0028
Galvin at Windows, Park Lane
Chef Patron Chris Galvin’s baby opened in 2006 on the 28th floor of the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, with staggering views of Hyde Park and the capital. Its excellent modern French haute cuisine – gorgeously rich but with little nods to Asia and Britain – recently earned a Michelin star: altogether a very glamorous night out. Lunch menus from £25.
Location: Park Lane, W1, between Hyde Park and Mayfair. Classy.
Contact: 020 7208 4021
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
This light-filled restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental grabbed headlines for its reinterpreted historic British dishes, from 18th-century Salmagundy to Taffety Tart. The food is delicious, the stories fascinating, the service charming – and the views over Hyde Park aren’t bad, either.
Contact: 020 7201 3833
The Wolseley, Piccadilly
It calls itself a café “in the Grand European tradition” and the glamour comes from the buzzing crowd and its setting in an Art Deco former car showroom. The food is perfect for hangover breakfasts, business lunches or taking your parents out.
Location: 160 Piccadilly, W1.
Contact: 020 7499 6996
A tiny restaurant just opposite St George’s Hanover Square that serves thoughtful seasonal food – try the delicious rabbit pork and apricot terrine – and it has a wine list so impressive you wonder where they keep it all.
Contact: 020 7758 9160
Tiny explosions of flavour, most of them under £8, with very reasonably priced wine. Probably not the place to choose if you’re ravenous: for that, nip next door or go to the corner fish and chippie. Lunchtime booking only, dinner first come first served, closed for dinner on Sunday.
Contact: 020 7278 7007
Fernandez & Wells
This cosy little cafe and wine bar opened five years ago on Soho’s Lexington Street and has spawned two sister ventures nearby and two more at Somerset House and on Exhibition Road, South Kensington. It’s simple – wooden counters, cured hams, good coffee machine – with food and drink to match: jamon, parmesan, crusty bread, soups, stews, daily platters. Only open until 10pm, though.
Contact: 020 7734 1546
Restaurateurs D&D know their market and this rooftop restaurant, bar and brasserie on top of James Stirling’s pink-and-terracotta striped building, No 1 Poultry (you can’t miss it; it looks like a Frazzle) does classic French food during the week, but relaxes with jazz and brunch at weekends. It’s a treat being up above the City with stonking views. Top marks too for the £28 Sunday Jazz Lunch.
Location: No 1 Poultry, EC2
Contact: 020 7395 5000
This sleek neighbourhood restaurant opened in 2009, all smooth chairs and banquette seating in shades of café au lait and bitter chocolate. The food is sophisticated and delicious – enough to earn them a Michelin starin 2011 – and they describe it as “English food with French soul”, everything from smoked eel to rhubarb supplied by seasonal producers across Britain.
Address: 11-13 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH
Contact: 020 7937 0120
This large, light-filled restaurant at the top of Kensington Church Street has always had a happy, Mediterranean feel, with long, ocean-blue banquettes and a huge mural. It’s been in Notting Hill for 25 years but was revamped in 2011 by D&D, with new décor, a new head chef, Daniel Loftin and a new menu with the focus on fresh fish and seafood.
Address: 201 Kensington Church Street, London W8 7LX
Contact: 020 7727 3184