London: West End
Koya Bar’s celebration of the simplicity of Japanese techniques and ingredients is evident throughout the all-day menu, which starts with breakfast with a British twist at 8:30am. Serving traditional Udon noodles ‘shokudo’ (canteen) style, in a relaxed and understated space in the heart of Soho, the team behind Koya aim to broaden the perspective of Japanese cuisine.
With the NY original opening in the 90s, Balthazar has finally opened a London version. And not for a long time has a restaurant been this highly anticipated. There may be a struggle to get a reservation, but it is definitely worth it.
4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ,
+1 (212)965 14 14
Sophisticated Chinese dining with a sultry, softly-lit interior and elegant furnishings. Although not inexpensive, this is a very high-end Asian fusion restaurant which delivers flawless food with an impeccable service.
17 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QB ,
+44 (0)20 7907 1888
Dining at the Wolseley is a magical affair. It's the perfect combination of grand (the surroundings) and comfort (the menu). Linger over afternoon tea, chicken soup or veal Holstein in the bustling dining hall and imagine yourself back in time.
160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB,
+44 (0)20 7499 6996
Owned by Mr Gordon Ramsay, Maze Grill is minimalist, contemporary chic at its best. Offering views over leafy Grosvenor Square and respite from the throb of Oxford Street, enjoy delicious meat dishes inspired by New York grill restaurants.
10-13 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP ,
+44 (0)20 7495 2211
Refined yet simple Italian food made with the best ingredients, Locanda Locatelli has a raft of loyal diners, including some of London's celebrity residents. Enjoy the soft lighting, buzzy atmosphere and exquisite cuisine of this stylish spot.
8 Seymour Street, London W1H 7JZ ,
+44 (0)20 7935 9088
Famous for its simple delights and French fancies is Laduree. Burlington's Arcade houses the ornate Parisian tea-house which brings you divine-tasting cakes, pastries and macaroons which are beautifully presented and packaged, making them ideal gifts. The fusion of flavours and textures is personal and with so many choices on offer you'll be sure to find a favourite or two.
71-72 Burlington Arcade, London W1J 0QX ,
+44 (0)20 7491 9155
Whether you want a casual chinwag over dinner with your pals or a romantic dinner for two, Sketch plays host to five alternate and individual dining rooms for you to choose from. In keeping with its experimental menus, which combine delicious flavours and textures, its interior is just as innovative, eccentric and chic - adding to the ultimate Sketch experience.
9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG ,
+44 (0)20 7659 4500
Steeped in history, this stunning Victorian building was once a papier mache factory as well as London's first licensed casino. Today, it's an elegant restaurant offering views of Waterloo bridge through impressively high windows. Enjoy modern American cuisine in a sumptuous setting, or head to the Martini Bar for a Nutella, yes, Nutella Martini!
18 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7DD,
+44 (0)20 7240 4222
For some, The Ivy, is the last word in style and glamour. The oak panelling and 1920s stained glass windows create an intimate and luxurious surrounding with a distinctly 'Agatha Christie' feel. Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, it's the perfect destination for a spot of after-theatre dining with a touch of class.
1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ,
+44 (0)20 7836 4751
The Great British menu is celebrated in all its glory at this stunning restaurant, situated in the Corinthia Hotel. Using the finest, locally-sourced organic produce, the diversity and unique flavour of its British cuisine is hard to resist. While high ceilings, grand pillars and impressive lighting all go towards making this a luxurious experience, indeed.
Corinthia Hotel, 10a Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AE,
+44 (0)20 7321 3100
A breathtaking (and award-winning, may we add) romantic French restaurant, Clos Maggiore's reputation exceeds itself. The main dining room is one of the prettiest spaces in London, featuring hanging cherry blossom, a roaring fire and comfy upholstered seats. Try and bag yourself a table in the conservatory beneath the fully-retractable glass roof.
33 King Street, London WC2E 8JD ,
+44 (0)20 7379 9696
One of London's most contemporary Italian restaurants, this stylish little hub specialises in delicious Venetian dishes, served in small sharing-sized portions. Busy and bustling with a cool crowd, Polpo is small and informal with an ultra- friendly service and brilliant atmosphere. They don't take reservations, but you can always enjoy a drink while you wait.
6 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7NA ,
+44 (0)20 7836 8448
Described by Raymond Blanc himself as a 'magnificent restaurant which looks like a birthday cake', Raymond Blanc's most recent restaurant is situated in a French-style listed conservatory overlooking the Royal Opera House. Offering up Blanc's signature French cuisine, this authentic little brasserie mustn't be missed.
The Opera Terrace, 1st Floor, The Market, London WC2E 8RF ,
+44 (0)1242 266 800
An intimate West End haven, with great vibe and friendly service, Aurora offers modern European cuisine with a delicious seasonal menu. Cosy and romantic, it even has a spot for al fresco dining, the enclosed garden space is a real catch for a central London restaurant and the perfect escape from all the noise of the city.
49 Lexington Street, London W1F 9AP ,
+44 (0)20 7494 0514
A brasserie with a twist, each dish at Nopi captures the sunshine. Ottolenghi has done much in this town to promote Middle-Eastern cuisine and the celebrated chef's latest venture promotes a menu full of 'robust, sunny flavours'. Formal on the ground floor, with canteen dining in the basement, it's all marble, brass and sleek design . We approve.
21-22 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NE ,
+44 (0)20 7494 9584
Modern, stylish and understated, this Mayfair restaurant has received numerous awards and accolades, including two Michelin stars. The food, made with seasonal ingredients, is innovative and beautifully presented by head chef and co-owner, Philip Howard and his team.
6-10 Bruton Street, London W1J 6PU ,
+44 (0)20 7495 7100
PAUL ROTHE & SON DELI AND CAFÉ
Established in 1900, Paul Rothe & Son stands in the middle of quiet Marylebone Lane. Surrounded by lovely, independent shops its old-school exterior with blackboard specials is instantly inviting if a cup of hot sweet tea or a doorstep bacon sandwich is on the agenda. Not just a cafe, Paul Rothe & Son is an extensive delicatessen and has the most incredible range of jams, preserves and relishes found lining the shelves of the entire room.
35 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2NN,
+44 (0)207 935 6783
The Riding House Cafe
A modern all-day brasserie with a friendly, light atmosphere and great attention to detail., it makes the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether you sit at the bar, on the main sharing table or in the private dining stable, there's never a bad place to park yourself for a few hours. Also check out their website for delicious recipes to try once you've prised yourself away.
43-51 Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PQ ,
+44 (0)20 7927 0840
Modelled on an old Chinese teahouse, this Michelin Star restaurant serves contemporary versions of traditional dim sum. If you would rather indulge your sweet tooth, there is also a delicious range of macaroons and chocolates, which are best accompanied by the superb selection of Chinese and Indian teas.
15-17 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DL,
+44 (0)20 7494 8888
Sake No Hana
Modern, authentic Japanese cuisine can be found in this stylish restaurant in the heart of Mayfair. It's in good company, too, with sister restaurants including Yauatcha (see above) and Hakkasan. With bamboo interior design and mouth-watering sushi, it's cool, understated and very Japanese.
23 St James Street, London SW1A 1HA,
+44 (0)20 7925 8988
Pollen Street Social
The first restaurant of former Maze Head Chef, Jason Atherton, Pollen Street Social, is divided into three areas; The Social Room, The Restaurant and The Dessert Bar, making it the ideal place to dine, drink and socialise in such a central location. Sociable by name and by nature.
8-10 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ,
+44 (0)20 7290 7600
Le Comptoir Libanais
Bringing Lebanese home-style cuisine to the west-end, Le Comptoir Libanais is an ideal spot to grab delicious, fuss-free food in the heart of London. No bookings taken, so pop in any time.
65 Wigmore Street, London W1U 1PZ,
+44 (0)20 7935 1110
Mews of Mayfair
Tucked away in one of Mayfair's charming mews streets, Mews of Mayfair combines quirky style, contemporary cuisine and a touch of British eccentricity over four floors.
10 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, London W1S 1EY,
+44 (0)20 7518 9388
Michelin starred restaurant Semplice is one of London's finest Italian eateries. A menu that combines clean lines and simplicity with ingredients of the highest quality makes this an essential stop.
8-10 Blenheim Street, London W1S 1LJ,
+44 (0)20 7495 1509
SOCIAL EATING HOUSE
Following on from the success of Pollen Street Social and Little Social comes the Social Eating House. Despite high standards and presentation, the service is swift and food is obviously excellent. There is also a cocktail bar, 'The Blind Pig', with a swanky separate entrance.
58-59 Poland Street, London W1F 7NR,
+44 (0)20 7993 3251