Wondering where to eat in London? I’m excited to share my Top 5 London restaurants with you! Living as close to London as I do has a lot of benefits, including being able to visit many of the capital’s wonderful restaurants.
The following five restaurants are my favourite for special occasions – although sometimes the special occasion is simply the chance to meet up with our family and friends. What I mean to say is that these restaurants are definitely not budget options. I’ll be sharing some of my more moderately priced favourites with you soon.
Reservations are pretty much essential for all of the restaurants I have listed, so do book in advance. You can book online for most of them.
I just need to point out, this post contains my unsolicited personal recommendations and I have not been compensated or incentivised in any way by any of the restaurants mentioned. If you asked me to recommend London restaurants over coffee, these are the places I would tell you about.
My Favourite London Restaurants
Located at 20 Arlington Street, a stone’s throw from The Ritz Hotel, Le Caprice is the London restaurant my family and I choose most often. Whether we are getting together with friends for brunch, having dinner with business associates or family, or celebrating a special occasion, Le Caprice is the restaurant we think of first. Consistently excellent service, delicious food, and a great atmosphere make this the London restaurant we visit most often. Favourite dishes include the Crispy Duck Salad (pictured below) and Isle of Mull Scallops, as well as their Bannockburn Rib Eye Steak.
It’s not surprising Le Caprice was the restaurant Princess Diana was heard to call her favourite, and you never know who you might see here. If you do spot a celebrity, be advised that the charm of Le Caprice is its discreet, convivial atmosphere. I’ve yet to see anyone take a selfie here, although staff are very happy to take a photograph of you at your table if you are celebrating something special.
The dress code is fairly relaxed. I’ve worn everything from casual trousers to a little black dress, depending on the occasion. I would definitely avoid sportswear though.
The Ritz Restaurant
The Ritz Restaurant is probably London’s most beautiful restaurant. The dining room reminds me of the Palace of Versailles. Located in The Ritz Hotel at 150 Piccadilly, this Michelin starred restaurant is a delight. Executive Chef, John Williams, MBE, is at the helm, and the menu is seasonal, innovative and incredibly creative. I had the best Dover Sole of my life here, and my whole family highly recommend the Crêpes Suzette.
Most recently we tried Friday Live at The Ritz where you can enjoy live entertainment as well as an exceptional dinner. My son and his partner are pictured in The Ritz Dining Room above. We thoroughly enjoyed the live swing dance band, great vocalists, and professional dancers. Diners are encouraged to get on the dance floor too!
If dinner is too much of splurge, going to The Ritz Restaurant for breakfast. It’s a great opportunity to see this beautiful dining room. Between us, my family and I have pretty much tried everything on the menu, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t recommend!
Dress is formal. Men must wear jacket and tie for dinner. Ladies may wear smart trousers, but at dinner you will definitely feel more comfortable in a skirt or dress. Jeans and sports shoes are not allowed.
The place for a very special meal, Le Gavroche has been delighting London diners for over forty years. Michel Roux Jr., the son and nephew of the founders, is now at the helm of this iconic restaurant, the opening of which was attended by Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner and Robert Redford.
Located at 45 Upper Brook Street, this Michelin starred restaurant looks like a beautiful house from the outside, and also as you walk in, so it is really welcoming.
My husband and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary at this Michelin starred restaurant and it’s always a pleasure to return. The Côte de Veau is a real favourite, and the Omelette Rothschild is one of Michel Roux’s not to be missed signature desserts.
Michele Roux will often come out of the kitchen and chat with diners. He is very friendly and interested in his clientele.
To sample the experience without completely breaking the bank, visit Le Gavroche for lunch. The Business Lunch Menu is much more accessible than the dinner menu and every bit as good.
Dress is smart casual, but I definitely suggest erring on the side of smart. Men are requested to wear a jacket/blazer.
45 Jermyn Street
The latest addition to the collection of restaurants at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, 45 Jermyn Street is located just behind the department store at its signature address. With a relaxed but elegant bistro vibe and a creative seasonal menu, this is a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Favourite dishes for breakfast include Eggs Florentine and Crushed Avocado with Toast and Virgin Mary Sauce (I always add two poached eggs). During asparagus season you can order boiled eggs with asparagus spears to dip in – it’s heavenly! For lunch/dinner they do a great steak and a gorgeous Lobster Linguini, as well as other seasonal dishes.
This is another restaurant for people watching. I’ve seen several famous people here, but again, it’s best to be discrete.
Dress is smart casual.
Theo Randall at The InterContinental
Located at The InterContinental Hotel in Park Lane, Theo Randall at The InterContinental is a new favourite for my husband and I. We had a fabulous evening here in December when we were staying at the hotel.
The service is attentive and friendly. We enjoyed drinks at the bar before dinner, and were then seated at a table overlooking the restaurant. It was quite private and really lovely for dinner for two.
As for the food, outstanding is an understatement. The Linguini con arogosta is the best lobster linguini I have ever had anywhere in the world and the Orata al forno (roasted sea bream) is another favourite. We were too full for dessert, but the waiter brought us complimentary chocolates and biscotti. My husband had ordered a glass of port, and the waiter explained he needed to dunk the biscotti in it to really enjoy them. When the waiter realised I had not ordered any port, he brought me a small complimentary glass so I could get the full biscotti experience! It was such a relaxed and enjoyable evening.
There didn’t seem to be a strict dress code, but I was wearing a little black dress and all the diners I saw were smartly dressed.
More to Come
There are so many wonderful restaurants in London, this barely scratches the service. Having said that, my Top 5 London restaurants are a great place to experience some of the best food London has to offer. Bon Appétit!