Holborn Dining Room, Holborn
Rosewood London’s Holborn Dining Room serves up seasonal British cuisine in a huge, ornate dining salon. Within, The Pie Room is a one-stop destination dedicated to – you guessed it – pies. Spearheaded by exec head chef and pastry expert Calum Franklin – who’s been called “the pie king” by Jamie Oliver – the space is a treasure trove of savoury delicacies. Away from pastry, we like the sound of rare-breed pork and white pudding scotch egg with watercress mayonnaise; the Cobble Lane rare-breed, free-range charcuterie board; and john dory with braised fennel and shellfish sauce.
252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN
Guinea Grill, Mayfair
The Guinea is a Mayfair institution – there’s been an inn on this site since 1423. The Guinea Grill restaurant opened in 1952. Since then, it’s become the place to head for dry-aged, grass-fed British beef cooked on an open grill. You’ll find a selection of Young’s ales at the bar and premium steak-and-kidney pies – which have been served on site since the 1940s – complete with suet lids and filled with offcuts of dry-aged beef on the menu. We also like the sound of the kitchen’s wild duck with spiced carrot and pickled blackberries; potato and sheep’s cheese dumplings with parsnip and truffle; and Sunday lunches, which come with beef dripping roast potatoes, honey-glazed carrots and parsnips, seasonal greens, baby onions with bacon and gravy.
30 Bruton Place, Mayfair, W1J 6NL
Since opening over a decade ago, Angela Harnett and her Michelin-starred team have honed the art of creating a memorable yet informal experience for guests. The restaurant’s modern Italian menu, which allows the diner to choose any number of dishes in the order they choose, reflects this ethos. Of the current selection, we love the look of ‘nduja and burrata agnolotti with pecorino fondue, followed by halibut with hispi cabbage, smoked eel, seaweed beurre blanc. The wine list focuses on small sustainable producers. Naturally, Italian wines are a speciality, but the classic regions of France are well covered too.
Queen Street, Mayfair, W1J 5PP
Theo Randall at the InterContinental, Mayfair
Theo Randall was head chef at The River Café for 15 years and it was under his patronage that the restaurant received its first Michelin star in 1997. His place at the InterContinental offers rustic produce-driven Italian food and has earned him loyal followers and rave reviews from critics and food-lovers. The daily changing menu is inspired by Theo’s regular trips to Italy and dictated by the best seasonal ingredients available from the market each day: think mixed green ravioli with swiss chard, rocket, cime di rapa, ricotta, sage and butter; and roasted sea bream fillet with roseval potatoes, datterini tomatoes, capers, taggiasche olives and white wine. Theo has personally overseen the extensive wine list, which features 90% Italian varietals.
Park Lane, Mayfair, W1J 7QY
Flat Iron, Various Locations
If you’re after somewhere cheap and cheerful, Flat Iron is your best bet. While the menu is small and prices pleasing – you can grab a steak and salad for £12 – you’ll be guaranteed good quality cuts of meat, cooked to perfection. The sides are great too: think dripping-cooked chips, creamed spinach and blue cheese salad.
Locations in Soho, Shoreditch, Hackney, Covent Garden, King’s Cross, London Bridge & Notting Hill
Hugh Stanley’s debut restaurant opened in Chelsea last summer. Set back from the King’s Road, guests enter through a floral archway flanked by olive trees and tiered shrub planting into the flagstone courtyard area, which is inspired by an English country garden. Under the leadership of head chef Olivia Burt – who was a finalist on Masterchef: The Professionals last year – the menu focuses on seasonal produce showcasing the best of British ingredients. Dishes include sourdough crumpet with Cornish crab and potted shrimps; crispy prawns served with sriracha emulsion; and roasted cod with BBQ tomatoes and truffled borlotti.
151 Sydney Street, Chelsea, SW3 6NT
Kerridge's Bar & Grill, Westminster
Housed in a grand dining room in the Corinthia Hotel, Tom Kerridge brought many of his team from the Hand & Flowers, The Coach and The Butcher’s Tap in Marlow to recreate his relaxed fine-dining vibe in the capital. A vibrant space that mixes old-school burgundy banquette seating and forest-green walls with modern art and sculptures, here guests can expect to sample one of Kerridge’s famed staples: think fish and chips with pease pudding, tartare sauce and ‘Matson’ curry sauce. Across the board, expect rich comfort food, cooked to absolute perfection.
Whitehall Place, Westminster, SW1A 2BD
Blacklock is in the basement of an old brothel on a side street in the centre of Soho. With a week-round focus on quality meat (mostly cooked over fire), Sunday sees the restaurant come into its own. We recommend kicking things off with a ‘Breakfast Martini’ and the pig’s head on toast (don’t be squeamish – it’s delicious). If you’ve got your whole family with you, look out for the group menu: for £20pp you’ll get a whole Cornish leg of lamb, 55-day aged beef rump and Middlewhite pork loin, with all the trimmings (plus bone marrow gravy) for the whole table.
24 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7LG
Brasserie Zédel, Soho
A French restaurant from the team behind The Wolseley and The Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel offers traditional Gallic dishes in beautiful art-deco surroundings (it’s been described by Pierre Koffmann as “the only real brasserie in London”). We like the surprisingly affordable set menu, which allows diners to tuck into a carrot salad, followed by steak haché with French fries and pepper sauce for just £10.50. Away from cassoulet and escargot, there are cracking cocktails to be had in Bar Américain, and live music in cabaret bar Crazy Coqs.
20 Sherwood Street, Soho, W1F 7ED
Imad’s Syrian Kitchen, Soho
After a series of hugely successful charity events, popular supper clubs and pop-ups, Imad Alarnab has brought a taste of Syrian cuisine to Carnaby via his first permanent restaurant in the UK. A successful restaurateur in Damascus, Imad's restaurants were destroyed in the war, and he was forced to flee the country in search of safety for his family. At Imad’s Syrian Kitchen, the menu pays homage to his homeland and some of its most celebrated dishes. A sharing menu at its core, the menu consists of a selection of mezza, main courses and desserts – we love the sound of crispy baby aubergine stuffed with lamb and topped with flatbread and garlic cumin. Imad continues to support refugees need by donating £1 from every bill to refugee charity Choose Love.
Kingly Court, Soho, W1B 5PW
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Mayfair
Down a quiet alley off Piccadilly, Bentley’s has been serving fish and chips for over a century. Well-loved for its seven varieties of fresh oysters (the team shuck over 1,000 every day), grilled fish and steaks from around the British and Irish Isles, this stylish spot has been under the care of Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan for the past 12 years. On the menu you’ll find the likes of fish and chips with superlative tartare sauce and mushy peas, classic fish pie and lobster spaghetti.
11-15 Swallow Street, Mayfair, W1B 4DG
Allegra is well loved for its terrace, snug outdoor bar area and garden – ideal during a warm week such as this. Making full use of its custom-made woodburning grill, the terrace menu focuses on simple produce-driven fire cooking, while – if your dad’s a fan of brunch – a weekend menu features elegant reinterpretations of modern classics. Expect to tuck into the likes of fried gnocchi cacio e pepe; oak-smoked trout with soft egg, shrimp butter and radish; smoked aubergine agnolotti with tomato and nasturtium; and roast chicken with aioli and caramelised lemon.
20 International Way, Stratford, E20 1FD
Gymkhana – the Mayfair restaurant inspired by the elite clubs of India where members of high society socialise, eat, drink, and play sport – has reopened following a major refurb in 2020. Guests can expect tasting menus filled with many of the restaurant’s much-missed signature dishes, including kid goat methi keema; gol guppas; guinea fowl pepper fry; gilafi quail seekh kebab; and wild muntjac biryani with pomegranate and mint raita. Make sure to kick things off with one of Gymkhana’s club cocktails, reminiscent of those served in the old clubs of India in the 1930s, with key Indian ingredients at their base. The restaurant’s popular gin & tonic list is also a must-try.
42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4JH
Hawksmoor, Various Locations
Think steak in London, and your mind will inevitably drift to the inimitable Hawksmoor. Each of its seven London sites is smartly decorated with leather banquettes, antique mirrors and stained-glass partitions, creating an ideal setting for a celebratory lunch of roasted scallops, crab on toast and sirloin with a side of macaroni cheese. If you’re unable to meet up this year, keep an eye out for the team’s Hawksmoor at Home boxes instead. We seriously recommend the fillet box.