Ever wanted to experience a whole new level of elegance?
Are you so much of a foodie that when new travel plans come around, the first thing you check is the restaurant listings for that place? Do you consider haute cuisine a form of art? Have you binge-watched every episode of Chef’s Table on Netflix?
If you answered “yes” to all the above questions, you’re in the right place.
There are people who consider going to a Michelin-starred restaurant a waste of money: they think the portions are too small, the whole dinner is stretched out for hours, and some of the flavors are weird. Other people think it’s absolutely worth it, and consider it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We just think that, no matter which category you’d assign yourself to, there is no doubt that you should experience at least one of these Michelin-starred restaurants in London to make up your mind. We’ve got you covered with the best suggestions, so you get the most extravagant, the most inspiring and the most mind-blowing experience for your buck!
Imagine sitting in an elegant and relaxed space full of natural light with a great view across Green Park, savoring a glass of exceptional wine, brought to you based on your specific tastes and preferences… And all that is not even the main reason you’re there! It’s all a bonus to the wonderful meal you are having at Hide. The food, created by chef Ollie Dabbous is—according to Dabbous himself—“light, elegant and pure.”
At Hide, you can enjoy watching the sun rise while devouring your refined breakfast, come for a sophisticated lunch with business colleagues, or have a small after-work glass of wine and graze with friends at the bar while enjoying the sunset over Piccadilly’s. And, of course, it is the place for a grand celebration in a private dining room.
Occupying three floors, each with a different concept, Hide will cater to any occasion, while maintaining this inimitable ambience of classiness and elegancy in its “luxurious Scandinavian” style. Don’t forget to check out the iconic helical stairs, a true masterpiece of interior design, and try the famous Herdwick lamb with smoked cockles.
And we haven’t even gotten to the wine. Hedonism Wines, which originated as a wine store in Mayfair, has provided a transcendent selection of wines from all over the world. The list will satiate the taste of the pickiest aficionados, while also offering affordable but great wine by the glass.
With a tasting menu starting at £145 per person, this place is a must on your restaurant bucket list!
2. Fat Duck
Even though this place is located a little ways out of London (it’s a 45 minute train ride to the town of Bray), we simply could not not include it on this list! A legendary restaurant by chef Heston Blumenthal, Fat Duck opened its doors on August 16, 1995, and is housed in a 16th-century building that had previously been the site of The Bell pub.
The Fat Duck serves excellence and a harmony of flavors. Heston himself calls his degustation menu a journey—a journey filled with curiosity, discovery and adventure, designed to make you reminisce about your childhood and bring back the memories of flavors of the past.
If you’re lucky to be able to get seats for the dates you need (bookings usually need to be made months in advance), for a whopping total of £325 per person excluding drinks, you get a “ticket” that will allow you to go on this journey. Get ready to get surprised, amazed and emotional. It’s a truly unique experience that we think is worth every single penny.
3. Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library) – Mayfair
If you did any research on London’s restaurant scene OR if you use any social media platforms, it’s likely that you’ve heard about Sketch already.
There are many reasons to love Sketch, and its spectacular design is high on that list. A must-go on every tourist’s bucket list, and favored by local elite, Sketch is a multi-room space in an 18th-century townhouse, and each of those rooms has its own nonpareil atmosphere. A true reverence to eating and drinking, from the magical millennial pink Shrigley room with temporary art gallery walls to probably the most Instagrammed toilet room in the whole world with its “egg pods,” it’s all about art.
Chef Pierre Gagnaire creates all the menus, while internationally known designer Gahban O’Keeffe is responsible for decorating the spaces. This union resulted in something truly superb on the last floor in the building, the Lecture Room and Library, which got them three Michelin stars. It has, yet again, a strikingly different ambience from the rest with its eclectic, Baroque, castle-like, a little bit over-the-top design.
But we can’t forget about the food. Every dish, executed flawlessly, is served as a small “set” of a variety of separate meals, all served at once. With an average price of £310 for a dinner for two, this theatrical experience is definitely worth your money.
4. Core by Clare Smyth
We couldn’t omit Core by Clare Smyth on this list. Located in Notting Hill, this restaurant has a welcoming vibe and an easygoing, relaxed atmosphere where you can feel at home. The service here is friendly and engaging; the interior is composed of light and bright colors and simple, yet elegant design.
This style transcends in the menu as well: Clare Smyth just happens to be considered the best female chef in the world, winning the prestigious award from the 2018 edition of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Guests coming to Core should not expect any “showing off” in the dishes. Clare’s professional style is quiet and beautiful. As the first female chef to receive three Michelin stars in the UK, Clare delivers excellence and technique which takes roots in her classical French cooking education. But there’splenty of British and and Northern Irish inspiration scattered across the menu as well, such as roasted monkfish made with Morecambe Bay shrimp. For £125, guests can experience the degustation menu made up of restaurant classics, and a special seasonal menu for £155.
Mãos is not a typical restaurant—you can’t just walk in from the street and sit down for a casual meal.
Co-founded by James Brown and Nuno Mendes in 2018, Mãos was created to disrupt common views on dining. The hottest trend of private, intimate dining is taken to yet another level in this minimalistic space, with a maximum of 16 people sharing the meal at a communal table. Chef Edoardo Pellicano creates seasonal menus to enjoy, each bite proving yet again that nothing beats precision and technique when it comes to gastronomy.
Research is a big part of the menu. Behind each dish, there are hours of tastings, experiments and knowledge. Thanks to the individual seating and limited amount of guests, chefs are able to focus completely on achieving perfection on the plate through a symphony of flavor and science, with the most of the products developed in-house.
During your experience, you’ll also be invited to move around the space, be it the adjoining kitchen or the wine room. With a tasting menu starting from £170 excluding drinks, this exclusive dinner will satisfy your foodie dreams!Want our insider’s guide to eating in London? Just add your email address in the form below!
Maria is a Master of Food Science, an avid traveler and a passionate foodie. Some of her favorite things include cats, Sauvignon Blanc and skiing. Living in London made her a real connoisseur of Earl Grey tea, scones with clotted cream & preserves, and Paddington Bear routes. Her most beloved part of London is Covent Garden, especially Neal’s Yard.