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33 King Street
020 7379 9696
Whether you want to take your mum for lunch or your lover for dinner, Clos Maggiore has that special “touch of magic” with an added soupçon of Gallic ooh-la-la. Love is always in the air at this “gloriously romantic” restaurant – especially if you’re lucky enough to get a table amid the twinkling fairy lights, blossoms and foliage in the glass-roofed conservatory (open to the stars on balmy evenings). Bookings aren’t guaranteed in this inviting space, but you can always settle for one of the less enticing dining areas: either way, expect finely tuned French-accented cooking with some noticeable Mediterranean nuances. “Simply delicious” starters such as hand-picked Dorset crab with anchovy mayonnaise and char-grilled cauliflower or pan-roasted Les Landes duck liver with roasted fig and smoked duck ham open proceedings, ahead of a thumping dish of herb-smoked rack of lamb with goats’ curd and gratinated smoked aubergine for two to share. Vegetarians also fare well, while tricksy desserts feature the signature ‘caramelised chocolate sensation’ with burnt honey ice cream and Armagnac jelly. Clos Maggiore’s huge (but accessible) wine list also warrants serious exploration.
Clos Maggiore is well known for having an immense range of wines on offer. At almost 100 pages and (at a rough guess) around 2,500 bins, it boasts an impressive selection. And yet, for all the extraordinary range of wines on offer (including jaw-dropping verticals of some of the wine world’s biggest names), the most impressive aspect of this list is the effort that has gone into making it accessible.
Best London restaurants for marriage proposals
London's most romantic restaurants
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Best in Covent Garden
Pre and post-theatre dining
SquareMeal 3 Stars
33 King Street
020 7379 9696
Covent Garden Tube Station 133m
Leicester Square Tube Station 332m
Africa Centre Theatre 42m
Covent Garden 119m
Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm 5-11pm (Sun -10pm)
The heart of Covent Garden location is not the only reason for making Clos Maggiore your choice for a private dinner. Its first floor private dining room has plenty of appeal with its elegant wood panelling, warming log fire and sweeping views over Covent Garden – it’s both an intimate and classy space for up to 23 guests, supported by a strong events team. Wine is a particular strength with a list that consistently attracts the highest recognition from the Wine Spectator.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
We booked a table for 2 at 1pm. We were ushered upstairs to a pleasant but small room and to a table where my seat was too close to the kitchen door, so plates of food were passing very close to my head as meals were served to other diners. The waitress was quite frosty, from the beginning we had the feeling that she couldn't wait to finish her shift. Rather than let us choose the bread we would like she tossed 3 types of bread on each of our side plates. We didn't want bread as it happens. First course of Dorset crab with anchovy mayonnaise and chargrilled cauliflower, simply delicious as was my guests Sicilian aubergine with sweet peppers. I chose Mas de Daumas Gassac white wine which would cost £60 -£70 in most restaurants but strangely it was only £29 which is excellent value. Main courses of pan roasted halibut and Goosnargh duck were tasty but not spectacular. As we were finishing our main courses the other 5 tables had completed their meals and left the restaurant. It was only 2.30pm and the waitress was buzzing about at 100mph laying the tables for dinner. There was this feeling that we were getting in her way so we wolfed down a house chocolate Sensation and a Lemon sorbet and headed for the Savoy Hotel for coffee and brandy. The meal was good value for money but I like to relax in a restaurant and that didn't happen unfortunately.
It is a bold claim for any restaurant to make suggesting that it provides an ‘unforgettable dining experience’, and all the more so if you have also been voted London’s ‘most romantic’ restaurant. Such is the standard that Clos Maggiore is forced to live up to. My comrade and I certainly thoroughly enjoyed a recent Saturday night here, but perhaps not as much as our initial visit around five years ago. In some ways, Clos Maggiore has become a victim of its own success; customers go here expecting to be both wowed and wooed. It is a place for special dinners and also for tourists, much more so than it can be considered an integral part of the high-end London dining scene. The main dining room definitely impresses: a beautiful conservatory adorned with apple blossom, fairy lights and a log fire, comprising just seven tables. We were lucky enough to benefit from one of these, although diners going here with high expectations may find them dashed should they be seated in the somewhat less glamorous ante room. We also could not help noticing, however, that even the atmosphere of the more intimate conservatory was slightly marred by the constant clicking of cameras and requests for couples to pose for obligatory photos taken by servers. Furthermore, table-turning is very much an active strategy here – particularly given the location of the restaurant proximate to theatre land - and so we also felt the ambience also diminished by the constant entry and exit of new couples, awaiting their experience. Nonetheless, before readers get the impression that this is a negative review, the above observations do constitute quibbles from a seasoned and sceptical London diner. On the positive side, the food and wine merit high praise and pricing is very competitive relative to other comparable locations. The approach at Clos Maggiore is billed as one of contemporary French cuisine, although the name of the restaurant also hints at a strong Italian influence too. Being a celebratory event, we enjoyed a glass of crisp and refreshing house champagne before moving onto the tasting menus, omnivorous for me, vegetarian for my comrade. We noted their relative originality (no scallop or steak on my menu, rather crab and duck as the highlights) and also a focus on simplicity rather than each dish comprising a list of obscure ingredients, coupled with jus and/or foam. Even something as relatively basic as my comrade’s papardella with wild mushrooms and grated fresh truffle was prepared superbly with the flavours speaking for themselves. The paired wines also scored well, both for quality and originality. The sommelier had sourced good and inventive matches from Austria, Italy and Chile (among others) with relatively little reliance on France. For all this, at £55/head (or £90 with wines included), it is hard to complain. A little more charisma from some of the servers would have improved things further. In conclusion, Clos was pretty good, but it will probably be at least five years until we return again, given how many other options there are across London, whether for romantics or for fine diners.
Food + drink: 5
Strategy a wonderful fresh and clean combination on the palet. Main excellent and the duck succulent. Sweet, had to have it Black Icecream there's nothing like it; not too sweet and lovely to finish off.
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