Hidden behind Regent Street’s grand, Grade-II-listed façades, where world-renowned brands display their wares, lies a constantly evolving and eclectic food-and-drink scene, transporting hungry shoppers and city dwellers alike to all corners of the culinary globe. Perfectly placed between buzzing Soho and refined Mayfair, Regent Street offers an unbeatable location for discerning customers looking for a quick mid-shopping bite, a working lunch, a Michelin-starred dinner or an after-work cocktail.
Some eateries are positioned discreetly within stores. Take Thomas’s Café in Burberry, a refined sanctuary that’s open all day for fine British fare and indulgent treats – from lobster and chips to cream tea – set within fittingly stylish surroundings. Then there’s the Neat Café within lululemon’s flagship store. A fitting partner for the yoga-inspired sports apparel company, it serves a range of natural, balanced light meals and snacks, alongside Neat Nutrition protein shakes and speciality teas and coffees.
Just off the main thoroughfare, but feeling as if they’re a world away, the side streets off Regent Street offer respite from the buzz and pace of the main shopping street, and their many bars and restaurants offer a wide range of world flavours.
Representing Japan, recent opening Sakagura (above) on Heddon Street serves beautifully presented washoku dishes – a range of sushi, sashimi, robatayaki and kushiyaki – and even has a sakagura (sake bar) and a sake sommelier. The restaurant is a partnership between several Japanese enterprises, including The Araki – the exclusive Michelin-starred, nine-cover sushi restaurant on nearby New Burlington Street. Further down this pedestrianised street is Gordon Ramsay’s two-floor, all-day hangout, Heddon Street Kitchen. The menu is full of comfort food, and the weekend brunch with ‘bottomless’ prosecco is particularly popular, as is the children’s menu created by Matilda Ramsay.
Other tucked-away gems in the area include first-floor Michelin-starred Indian stalwart Veeraswamy (above), New Burlington Place Tuscan hideaway Ristorante Frescobaldi, with its heated outdoor terrace, and upmarket art deco steakhouse MASH – all perfect for lunchtime dining. Another popular daytime hangout is the quirkily named Department of Coffee and Social Affairs on Sherwood Street, part of a small, growing chain of trendy coffee shops that’s dedicated to bringing Londoners a ‘proper’ cup of coffee.
For something a little more traditional, head to Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill (above), which celebrated its centenary year in 2016. Now under the watchful eye of Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan, it’s as popular as ever, with crowds flocking to watch the live shucking of oysters in the ground-floor bar. Every other Sunday, Bentley’s holds live music sessions in its Swallow Street Rooms.
But for one of the finest entertainment offerings in central London, head to Brasserie Zédel (above) on Sherwood Street. Once part of the Regent Palace Hotel, this cavernous space is now home to a live music venue, The Crazy Coqs. Expect a visit to feature a diverse line-up of live music, cabaret, comedy and spoken word acts, while the brasserie serves up rich-yet-affordable French classics such as beef bourguignon and cassoulet.
With eclectic dining venues combined with designer fashion brands, Michelin-starred chefs and talented musicians, there’s something to suit every taste on and around Regent Street.
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