A Connoisseur’s Guide To London’s Best Restaurants

This is a guest post by Joshuah Marshall of Quintessentially 

For the rich and famous, London is one of the best playgrounds in the world and this is in no small part due to its thriving restaurant industry.  Alongside the longer established dining houses, new restaurants are popping up around the city all the time, providing endless opportunities to explore.  Londoners really are spoilt for choice, with access to the highest quality ingredients, beautiful dining rooms and some of the most acclaimed chefs in the world.

There’s something for everyone in London, where you only have to look around the corner to find a different cuisine, price level, and standard of food.  Michelin starred restaurants abound but there are other criteria which can serve to make a restaurant one of the best in the city, including ingenuity, presentation, atmosphere or authenticity of foreign cuisine.

Whatever you are looking for in a meal out, here are a few of the best restaurants in London, each offering something different.

Dinner By Heston Blumenthal

For a real sensory experience, you can’t beat Dinner, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.  It opened in 2011 and has since been awarded two Michelin stars. The menu is inspired by historical British dishes ranging from the 14th-19th century, researched by food historians using ancient recipe books in the British Library.

One of the most famous items on the menu is Heston’s genius ‘meat fruit’, chicken liver parfait disguised as an orange with mandarin jelly.

orange

He’s also well known for his triple cooked chips, which are particularly delicious with the mushroom ketchup.  It wouldn’t be Heston if there wasn’t some liquid nitrogen involved and if you order the ice cream for dessert it will be made for you at the table with billowing clouds of dry ice, sprinkled with toppings of your choice.

Heston’s ‘Dinner’ is more than just dinner, it’s an experience.  Go with the foodie in your life and enjoy reminiscing about this magical night of culinary delights for years to come.

Dirty Burger

Recent years have seen a growing trend for upscale fast food as New York restaurants have been imported into London.  Restaurants such as ‘Bubbledogs’, which serves solely hot dogs and high end champagne, might make the traditionalists despair, but they’ve been incredibly popular with the trendy set.

One of the best places amongst the rash of American diners is Dirty Burger in Kentish Town and Vauxhall.  The menu is simple, reasonably priced, a little bit naughty and bloody good.  It’s hardly haute cuisine, but it’s the best burger in London.

La Bodega Negra

For the trend setters amongst us, nowhere beats the cool factor of La Bodega Negra.  A Mexican cellar located on Old Compton Street in Soho, this place offers a relaxed, upbeat and unique dining experience which is far removed from the staid, traditional meals you might get at a formal restaurant.

Cunningly disguised on the outside as an ‘adult shop’ with an abundance of neon signage, once inside you will be led downstairs to enjoy a fantastic meal of ceviche, meat and fish prepared on the wood burning grill, mouth-wateringly good tacos or the chef’s eight course tasting menu (for £50 per head).

The atmosphere here is unbeatable.  You will be seated in a vaulted cellar, surrounded by achingly hip diners chatting away and eating by candle light.  They also have a particularly good drinks menu, with a wide selection of tequila and arguably the best margarita you can find in the city.

For a relaxed and unique atmosphere, delicious Mexican food and a margarita (or two), all for a reasonable price, dine with the cool kids at La Bodega Negra.

The Ledbury

For an uber posh meal served in a traditional setting, head to The Ledbury in Notting Hill.  Run by Australian head chef Brett Graham, it opened in 2005 and currently holds two Michelin stars.  Here, you’ll enjoy a decadent fine dining experience, especially if you partake in the ten course tasting menu which comes in at £175 per person (including a selection of wines).

The Ledbury

Unlike some supersized, warehouse like restaurants, the seating capacity here is a delightfully exclusive fifty five.  Book at least eight weeks in advance.

Widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in London, The Ledbury offers food of an exceptionally high quality in an intimate setting, perfect for a romantic evening.

Tre Viet

One of the great things about eating out in London is the abundance of authentic foreign cuisines.  Looking for a Vietnamese meal as good as one you would eat in Vietnam?  You can find it in London.  Specifically, you can find it at Tre Viet, situated on Mare Street. Open since 2002, this affordable restaurant attracts a fashionable clientele with its extensive menu, great service and quirkily decorated dining room, complete with murals and paper lanterns.

London is regarded one of the best places to eat out in the world and the city prides itself on the quality of its restaurants.  It’s the place where worldwide food fads, dining room layouts and food presentation styles are born.  Enjoy exploring!

About The Author

Hi there, my name is Joshuah Marshall. I work at www.quintessentially.com, we provide a luxury concierge service for people who like to travel in an exclusive way. Outside of work I love travelling and I am a big fan of city breaks and unique restaurants.

Concierge tip: All the above restaurants can be reached easily by public transport or taxi from The Beaufort.

Photo credits: Ewan Munro, Nick J Webb