London is highly regarded for being a global centre of gastronomic excellence; if fine dining is what you’re after, then this is the city to head to. With 12 two or three Michelin-starred restaurants to its name, London is the ultimate destination for the world’s best culinary experiences. Below we’ve put together a brief guide to some of the finest restaurants:
Heston is best known by many for his crazy culinary concoctions – such as snail porridge – and his on-screen theatrics also translate incredibly well in his London restaurant, Dinner, which opened in 2011 and now has 2 Michelin stars to its name. The playful menu includes adventurous dishes from between the 14th and 19th centuries such as ‘Meat Fruit’ – a chicken liver parfait and orange jelly served in the shape of a mandarin – and ‘Tipsy Cake’ – a cinnamon cream-infused brioche served with roasted pineapple. Guests are also greeted by contraptions such as pineapple roasting spits and ice-cream churns decorating the restaurant, giving the restaurant an entertaining edge.
(66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA)
Hélène Darroze took over the reins at The Connaught from Angela Hartnett in 2007, and today the two Michelin-starred restaurant serves inventive incarnations centred around fish, pigeon, beef and foie gras. Choose from a menu of five, seven or thirteen courses, each accompanied by an expertly selected wine.
Carlos Pl, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL)
The creation of French chef Pierre Gagnaire, the Sketch Lecture Room and Library is majestic from the moment you step inside, decorated with high ceilings, plush armchairs and a rich, bold colour scheme of reds, oranges and yellows. Having held two Michelin stars since 2013, as well as five AA Rosettes to its name, Sketch’s menus include dishes such as white root vegetable tart with beetroot syrup and a cocotte of vegetables with smoked orange peel. On top of that, their wine selection has also been highly commended, with the restaurant receiving a spot on the AA Guide’s Best UK Wine List as well as the Best Award for Excellence by the Wine Spectator.
(Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG)
Situated in the Notting Hill area of London is The Ledbury which has been awarded two Michelin stars for chef Brett Graham’s marvellous creations. The Ledbury’s selling point is using the very best ingredients and turning them into something completely unrecognisable – foams, purees and cubes assembled into structures resembling architects’ models on the plate.
(127 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AQ)
Though restaurants in Mayfair often come and go, Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche remains a culinary institution, despite the fact it has rarely changed since the late sixties. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” they say, and Michel has certainly heeded to those words, with the décor consisting of a timeless combination of heavy wood, green leather, thick carpet and shining silverware, and the menu an array of rich and classic French dishes free from gimmicks.
(43 Upper Brook St, Mayfair, London W1K 7QR)
Formerly known as Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, two Michelin-starred Marcus is more modern and fresh than its predecessor, with the décor a blend of clean and classical lines paired with a refine colour palette. Far more relaxed in atmosphere than much of its competition, the restaurant has also retained its highly regarded menu, delivering modern European food with a British influence.
(The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL)
Situated within the iconic Michelin House, Bibendum achieved the rare distinction of being awarded with two Michelin stars immediately after being reopened under chef Claude Bosi. Bosi’s food is big on flavour and imagination, with the tasting menu running from playful treats such as a faux black olive canapé filled with tapenade to bold dishes such as tripe and cuttlefish gratin.
(Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 6RD)
With only nine seats at its cypress-wood counter, The Araki is one of the most exclusive restaurants in the city. Japanese sushi-master Mitsuhiro Araki had three Michelin stars for his superb restaurant in Tokyo before deciding to move lock-stock to London in order to ‘seek new challenges and deepen his learning’. This two Michelin-starred establishment offers diners the chance to sit before Araki as he prepares outstanding sushi with the care and precision of a true master.
(Unit 4, 12 New Burlington St, London W1S 3BF)
Tucked away from its equally famous neighbour, The Grill at The Dorchester, Alain Ducasse’s three Michelin-starred establishment offers a distinctively French menu set in a hyper-modern dining room. Ducasse has the most Michelin stars in the world and it shows in his imaginative mixture of old and new techniques, creating dishes such as potato gnocchi with sauted squid and green peas and the fillet of beef Rossini, served with crunchy cos lettuce and Perigueux sauce.
(53 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA)
The three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is one of the most difficult restaurants to obtain a reservation for in London, and though much of that may be down to Ramsay’s celebrity status, the food also speaks for itself. Serving British food with seasonal ingredients, the restaurant’s menu consists of simple food put together with delicate touches, such as pan-fried Isle of Skye sea scallops accompanied with heritage apples, celery, walnuts and a cider emulsion.
(68 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HP)