I remember when the only way to find a really fabulous meal in London meant getting on a train to Paris but in the past twenty years, London has become one of the great capitals of dining, with fabulous show-stopper restaurants like Heston Blumenthal as well as incredible Indian, Chinese and Japanese options. My favorites still tend to be more casual spots with excellent food like La Petite Maison and the Wolseley, but here are some new openings that have made it on to my list of favorites.
Opened by Richard Caring, the king of London’s dining scene and the man behind Scott’s, 34 is a slightly more low-key brasserie style restaurant. For those staying at the Connaught, Dorchester, Claridge’s or 45 Park Lane, this is a perfect neighborhood standby. Read more.
Not that you need an excuse to wander in Hyde Park but the Magazine provides a destination at the end or beginning of your stroll. A futuristic tent-like building by starchitect Zaha Hadid, the Magazine is the restaurant at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery so you can mix dining with contemporary art and architecture and a country walk—an ideal London cocktail in spring or summer. Read more.
In the vein of baby Grands in Paris, this is the more casual offshoot of the Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social of chef Jason Atherton. The atmosphere is classic and cool with a pub-cum-club feeling and a menu of English comfort food with a modern sensibility. Read more.
Every few years London gets a great new Indian restaurant, and the latest comes from the team behind Michelin-starred Trishna but for their new Mayfair spot they have drawn on the colonial charm of the British Raj period. Read more.
Leave it to Ian Schrager to create one of the buzziest new restaurants in London. Berners Tavern in the new London Edition hotel has become an instant hot spot. The dining room manages to mix historical bones (a fabulous plasterwork ceiling) and traditions (a veritable gallery of paintings—211 to be exact) with modern touches like glass windows on to the kitchen and bar tables with leather barrel chairs that are perfect for single diners or a cozy drink for two. Read more.
Set in a flamboyant Victorian firehouse, the brasserie-style restaurant serves delicious American comfort food like crab doughnuts, slow-roasted short ribs and roasted chicken. Everyone from Kate Moss and Jade Jagger to Tony Blair and David Beckham seems to have made this their dinner spot. Read more.
Londoners love their private clubs, and the one to be invited to these days is without question 5 Hertford Street. Opened by Robin Birley, the son of the legendary social wizard Mark Birley who made Annabel’s where the jet set and the who’s who of England partied for decades, 5 Hertford Street is not just super buzzy but as one friend said, “smashingly stylish.” Read more.
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