25 July 2014

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London’s must-visit restaurants and bars


Icebar_2011_-_image2.jpgIf you live for those ‘have you ever been to…?’ conversations, and love nothing more than letting rip with a good anecdote, this is the list for you: a collection of must-visit bars and restaurants in London and beyond. Whether you’re after fun food, daring decor, or even trendy toilets, make sure you don’t miss Square Meal’s pick of the capital’s most bizarre restaurants and bars.

Archipelago, Bloomsbury

It’s all about the freaky food at this exotic eatery. From zhug-marinated kangaroo to pan-fried locusts, with a side order of big game, expect a part-gastronomic, part-zoological expedition.

Attendant, Bloomsbury

This tiny spot – a converted former Victorian gentlemen's toilet – sees diners perching on porcelain urinals while enjoying an assortment of NYC-inspired deli sandwiches and treats. Thankfully, the whole space has been thoroughly sterilised – just don't forget to wash your hands...

Bob Bob Ricard - Bob_Bob_Ricard_2010_-_bbr-02-115.jpgBob Bob Ricard, Soho (pictured, left)

The designers had the Orient Express in mind when they set to work on Bob Bob Ricard, then garnished the dining room with a large helping of kitsch. Everything, from the plush interiors to the Champagne buttons on the tables, screams opulence. And do you know what? We love it.

Dans le Noir, Clerkenwell

The idea behind this pitch-black dining experience, set up by a charity for the blind, is to see how far your four other senses – particularly the tastebuds – compensate for loss of sight when it comes to food. Blind date, anyone?

Evans & Peel, Earls Court

You step back in time to Prohibition era when you visit this detective-themed lounge in a secret location. If you stop in on Sunday, there's a live burlesque performance – but keep it on the down low.

Icebar London, Mayfair (pictured, top left)

Don a silver thermal suit and chill for 40 minutes in this cool (well, sub-zero) hangout, where even the glasses are made of ice. However, you can’t just slip in here of an evening: booking is essential.

Inamo, Soho

A must for technology geeks, this restaurant dispenses with the traditional ‘can I take your order?’ in favour of digital menus beamed onto your table and a touch pad where you key in your selection. As a concession to normality, the food is real and served by human beings, not robots...

Sketch Lecture Room - Lecture room 0111_sketch_Lecture_Room_4.jpgSketch, Mayfair

Sketch is a work of art in its entirety, but it also boasts another WC-must-see: individual egg-shaped pods that look fresh from the set of a sci-fi film. These loos feature different designs inside, and pipe music, and even birdsong, into the chamber. Call of nature, indeed… trust us, you’ll feel like part of an art installation.

ZTH, Clerkenwell

This much-hyped bar not only serves a darn good cocktail, it gives you plenty of eye candy while you drink it. From taxidermy to trinkets, the whole bar is packed with antiques and artefacts from the life of a fictional old lady, Aunt Wilhelmina. There’s also a kick-ass games room downstairs.

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