Whichever cuisine takes your fancy, London has a restaurant that can take your breath away.
London is one of the most diverse cities in the world and as a result boasts one of the most eclectic dining scenes. Whichever cuisine takes your fancy, London has a variety of restaurants capable of taking your breath away.
With 67 Michelin-starred restaurants in the 2020 Guide, it is also one of the top-ranked cities in the world for fine dining. Although a Michelin star is not the only indicator of excellence, it is still the award that chefs covet most.
Here, we take a look at some of the best restaurants in London, covering everything from long-established culinary institutions to exciting new concepts.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
One of just three London restaurants with three Michelin stars, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has long been regarded as the city’s ultimate fine-dining destination. By retaining its third star in the 2020 guide, it celebrated a decade with the honor having first earned it in 2010. Ducasse’s career has been laden with Michelin stars, currently holding 18 and at one stage having as many as 21.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers contemporary French cuisine in modern and elegant décor along with professional and friendly service. The seasonal menu changes frequently, but diners can expect a mix of British ingredients and French technique. There is also a vegetarian menu (Jardin) in an ode to the changing habits of diners.
The restaurant also houses the most famous dining table in London. Located in the center of the dining room, the Table Lumière is surrounded by 4,500 shimmering optical fibers which drop dramatically from the ceiling cleverly allowing guests to enjoy the ambiance and buzz of the restaurant whilst being nearly screened from view. Guests also dine off of stunning Hermès china sets and Puiforcat silverware and drink from Saint-Louis crystal glasses.
Hélene Darroze at The Connaught
This two-Michelin-starred restaurant showcases the talents of renowned French chef Hélène Darroze. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, the restaurant closed for two months to undergo a total refurbishment. Parisian design team Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur were brought in to give the restaurant a fresh look, brightening the interiors and adding a spectacular pink marble chef’s table overlooking the pass and the kitchen.
Not only were the interiors modernized, but the menu as well. It reopened with a new a la carte offering that put a greater emphasis on British producers but still retains odes to her classic French training. The British-themed offerings include ‘caviar with langoustine, oyster and runner beans’ and ‘Denbighshire pigeon with beetroot, wild blueberry and Mexican molé.
Lecture Room & Library at Sketch
Occupying what used to be the headquarters of Christian Dior, Sketch is chic, glamorous and trendy. In the Michelin Guide 2020, it was elevated to the maximum three stars, putting it in an elite group alongside Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.
The Lecture Room & Library, at the top of the Grade II listed building, offers haute-cuisine by the extraordinary chef Pierre Gagnaire in a plush setting of studded ivory leather walls, ornate plasterwork ceilings, and rich furnishings in purple and crimson. Gagnaire has a global empire to run, so he entrusts Johannes Nuding to run the kitchen in his place.
Diners can choose between a seven-course tasting menu (vegetarian available) or a full a la carte menu. There is also a vast wine list containing some impressively expensive vintages on offer. An added bonus here is the guest bathrooms, which look like something out of a Stanley Kubrick film and are without doubt the most Instagrammable toilets (if there is such a thing) in London.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Combining contemporary elegance, an intimate ambiance and unparalleled service, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is a must for the culinary connoisseur. It has retained three Michelin stars since 2001, making it one of the longest-standing three-Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.
Since its opening, it has continually wowed diners with its consistent devotion to quality. The menu prides itself on superb ingredients and sublime flavor combinations, whilst the size of the restaurant – only 14 tables – ensures every diner receives an exceptional degree of attention.
The restaurant has retained its high standards despite losing the incredibly talented Clare Smyth, who left her position as head chef in 2016 to open her own London restaurant, Core, which also features on this list. Today, Chef de Cuisine Matt Abé, who worked under Smyth, is responsible for the kitchen.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
The first London venture of UK culinary master Heston Blumenthal, Dinner was one of the city’s most anticipated openings. It has since gone on to justify the excitement and is now widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in the country.
Paying homage to historical British cooking, the menu reclaims traditional dishes dating back to the 16th century, reinventing them for the modern day. The menu lists dishes with the year they were first cooked, and Heston’s trademark wit is on top form with clever hints of antiquity and lights that resemble classic jelly molds.
Fans of Heston’s molecular gastronomy will enjoy the signature ‘Meat Fruit’ while the crowd-pleasing triple-cooked chips retain a place on the menu almost three decades after he first pioneered the dish.
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