London restaurants with the best wine lists

If you like to enjoy the very finest of wine when dining out in London, take a look at SquareMeal’s guide to the best wine lists in London. If the quality of the wine is just as important to you as the quality of the food, take a peek at our list of the best wine lists in London. From New World to Old World, and rare vintages to original wines, SquareMeal’s pick of the best wine lists in London covers all bases. Read on to see SquareMeal’s selection of the best wine lists in London and book a table with SquareMeal today.

Updated on 19 January 2018

The Malt House

The Malt House

17 Vanston Place, London, SW6 1AY

This dressed-up SW6 gastropub with rooms originally dates back to 1729. By 1900 the pub was known as The Jolly Maltster and despite a major overhaul in 2013, many of the building’s standout Victorian features remain -think wood panelling, high ceilings and tasteful décor. Chef Oliver Tobias is behind the Bosi-approved menu, with classics such as steak, Guinness and mushroom pie or charcoal barbecued steaks alongside a list of seasonal specials. Sundays are a good excuse for a meaty feast of Duke of Buccleuch roast steak, pork belly or corn fed chicken breast, while sweet finishes include apricot and almond tart or white chocolate ice cream with biscotti. Berry Brothers & Rudd consult on the international wine list, there’s a range of craft lagers and cocktails and a snug, sheltered garden in which to enjoy them.

£30 - £49
Gastropub
Little Social

Little Social

5 Pollen Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1NE

“I can’t contain how happy I am when I eat here,” says a fan of this Jason Atherton restaurant, which is both little and sociable – note its size, noise levels and richly convivial French-skewed dishes. The proximity of big boy Pollen Street Social across the road might cast this “refreshing small gem” in the role of plucky upstart, but Atherton’s trademark polish and “immaculate” detailing are evident throughout – from the charming well-drilled staff and design with a purpose (think French fantasy with a knowing London wink) to the finely rendered seasonal food. Just as customers must speak up rather than murmur, the kitchen revels in flavours with presence – perhaps meaty roasted ceps with garlicky smoked almond butter on toasted brioche, côte de porc or roast cod with girolles, celeriac purée and jus gras. Steaks and burgers try to steal the limelight, tarte Tatin is now the default dessert for twosomes, and cannily chosen wines neatly sidestep the obvious.

£30 - £49
French
Boisdale of Belgravia

Boisdale of Belgravia

15 Eccleston Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9LX

Boasting tartan chairs, kilted waitresses, hunting trophies and a selection of whisky to make any crofter sing, Boisdale of Belgravia clearly isn’t shy of trumpeting its Scottish heritage. There’s plenty of Caledonian flag-waving on the menu too, from haggis in various guises (try the mustardy Scotch egg riff with neeps ’n’ tatties) to beef from Buccleuch Estate, salmon, “wonderful” oysters and seasonal game. With classic sauces such as béarnaise and green peppercorn to go with steaks “cooked exactly as requested”, it’s not exactly cutting-edge stuff, but the jolly crowd are mainly here to enjoy themselves in surroundings that make them feel as if they’ve “stepped back in time”. Many scoot upstairs for a snifter whilst smoking something from the walk-in humidor after they’ve eaten; nearly all stay for the easy, lively jazz session that kicks in at 10pm. It can seem a tad expensive, but no one seems to mind. 

£50 - £79
Scottish
Steak
£50 - £79
Boisdale of Belgravia (bar)

Boisdale of Belgravia (bar)

15 Eccleston Street, Victoria, London, SW1W 9LX

An old-fashioned, clubby sort of space, full of tartan, antlers and a head- spinning array of Scotch whisky (including some arcane three-figure drams), the bar at Boisdale is normally a prelude to eating in the restaurant – although it doesn’t have to be that way. Done out in vintage style, the long area at the end of the dining room is probably the most atmospheric, with the added advantage of live jazz. Otherwise, escape the noise by heading to the back bar or sneak up to the cigar terrace (the list of prime puffs is really impressive). If Scottish spirits aren’t your thing, there’s also an extensive selection of Champagnes, epic Bordeaux and more on the weighty wine list, while sustenance comes from the likes of mini haggis with mash and neeps, oysters, steaks and Aberdeen Angus burgers – plus sandwiches and savouries.

Scottish
Bars
Hakkasan Hanway Place

Hakkasan Hanway Place

8 Hanway Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1HD

“Wow, wow and wow!” exclaims a fan of Hakkasan, who reckons it’s definitely the “sexiest restaurant” he’s ever frequented. Certainly, there’s a “sultry charm” to this “sensual”, barely lit basement, with clubby VIP vibes, easy-on-the-eye staff and black-lacquered interiors making it “perfect for a hot date”. Kick off with Asian-inspired cocktails at the bar, then try definitive versions of takeaway classics and “impressive” ‘small eats’ such as jasmine tea-smoked ribs or “amazingly light” Shanghai dumplings boosted by chilli and vinegar. To follow, readers rave about the gigantic spicy prawns with asparagus, almonds, lily bulbs, spring onion and water chestnuts (“a riot of colourful tastes and textures”), but we’re hooked on the salt and pepper squid, the duck braised with truffle and the “riveting” crispy lamb salad with peanut dressing. No one escapes the top-end pricing, but readers agree that “you pay for what you get”. Multiple tasting menus can keep the bills in check, although the ambitious wine list might push them back up again. Either way, it’s “absolutely outstanding”.

£50 - £79
Chinese
One michelin star
£50 - £79
Charlotte

Charlotte's Place

16 St Matthew's Road, Ealing Common, London, W5 3JT

Situated on the edge of picturesque Ealing Common, Charlotte’s Place has been a local favourite for a while. The big sister of the Charlotte group (there is the Bistro in Chiswick and W5 in Ealing) has a light and airy upstairs dining area, which boasts a splendid bird’s eye view of the Common, to compliment the restaurant’s cosy ground-floor. The seasonal modern European menu changes monthly and there is a refined style to the cooking. Starters  of artfully arranged fresh-tasting goat’s milk yoghurt, beetroot and sesame, and the soft and delicate flavours of cured mackerel and cod cheeks sitting proudly on a creamy smooth vichyssoise with potato salad hit the mark nicely. Meanwhile, a chicken and mushroom terrine had plenty of depth and flavour and a crispy coated chicken wing with mouth-watering wild garlic butter lifted it to another level. A main of succulent pork with a potato and brawn terrine, cabbage and earthy blood pudding was a flavoursome, well-balanced dish. For dessert, a rich dark chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb rounded things off nicely. Lunch and dinner menus are keenly priced and a five-course tasting menu represents good value, while wines are taken very seriously, at a restaurant with a view worth dining out on.

£30 - £49
Modern European
The Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club

The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BU

Despite expanding his ‘Cinnamon’ brand and his portfolio, Indian celeb chef Vivek Singh hasn’t taken his eye off the ball here in Westminster. Cinnamon Club remains the mothership and still hums with an influential hotchpotch of politicians, lobbyists, hacks and opinion formers.

A recent refurb improved the interiors while still referencing the grand old library premises, and Singh’s authentic but contemporary cooking remains consistently delicious. This is modern Indian dining at its best and readers love it: “faultless food, never disappoints”, cheers one fan. We’re also enamoured of the “wonderful setting and stunning flavours” and have enjoyed countless hits, from tandoori octopus with fennel salad to fenugreek-infused roast cod with curry leaf and lime crumble.

Textures and contrasts also make an impact: seared sea bass comes with luscious red lentils, coconut ginger sauce and crisp puffed buckwheat, roast saddle of lamb has saffron sauce and pickled root vegetables for company, and rice vermicelli partners wild king prawns flavoured with mango and coriander. To finish, France meets India in irresistible desserts such as lemon and ginger brûlée with masala-spiced sablé biscuits. The fact that sommeliers are on hand to guide diners through the wine list says a great deal about this supremely accomplished Indian destination.

£50 - £79
Indian
L

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

13-15 West Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NE

Like its neighbour The Ivy, this hotspot hides its interior from the gaze of casual passers-by, so there's a delicious sense of anticipation as you arrive. To begin, sip a chic aperitif in the bijou bar with its secluded rooftop terrace. Located on the first floor, the restaurant is the largest space (good for groups or business lunches), but we think the ground floor holds most appeal, with its shiny red stools and open kitchen dramatically framed by sleek black decor. Meticulously choreographed chefs can be seen preparing intricate multi-layered plates notable for their complex flavours and textures: a silky poached egg coated in crisp rice batter topped with caviar; juicy tiger prawn spun in vermicelli and laced with exotic lime and sumac; velvety hot foie gras with a ‘rolled heart’ of tangy green apple and hibiscus juice. Service never disappoints, and satisfied customers rightly deem the whole experience “excellent”.

Over £80
French
One michelin star
The Delaunay

The Delaunay

55 Aldwych, Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BB

Like its sibling The Wolseley, this "lovely buzzy restaurant" bears all the hallmarks of a Corbin & King success story, from "spot-on" service to please-all cooking for a big-city crowd. No wonder The Delaunay has become a perennial favourite on all counts: the welcome is "always friendly" and the David Collins interior "impresses straightaway" with its glossy dark wood, gleaming brass and polished stone floors. There's an "old-school Viennese" vibe here, so expect to find wiener schnitzel, choucroute and rich borscht, as well as traditional dishes from elsewhere in Europe such as chicken Kiev and the ever-popular kedgeree. Tempting patisserie and viennoiserie – including an exemplary sachertorte – are worth a visit alone: luckily the adjoining Counter at The Delaunay sells many of these goodies to go. We urge you to book ahead for the phenomenally popular pre-theatre slot, or start your day in splendid fashion with a gut-busting breakfast. In short, "a great London institution".

£50 - £79
Modern European
Afternoon tea
Core by Clare Smyth

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2PN

Over £80
British
Hakkasan Mayfair

Hakkasan Mayfair

17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 6QB

Putting on the style is second nature to this scintillating, seductive and downright intoxicating branch of the global Hakkasan chain – whether you’re flashing it in the pulsating nightclubby bar or playing it cool in the sleek ground-floor dining room. Either way, devotees of the house style are in heaven as they drool over “incredible east-meets-west platefuls” of steamed langoustines wrapped in glass vermicelli with chilli and garlic sauce, spicy lamb salad with peanut dressing (one of our favourites) or stir-fried Norfolk quail with winter chestnuts, basil and lemongrass – a dish that’s unique to Hakkasan Mayfair. “Divine dim sum” such as steamed har gau crowned with gold leaf, homemade pumpkin tofu or smoked beef ribs with jasmine tea crank up the thrill factor even further (especially at lunchtime), and the whole Michelin-starred shebang is fuelled by premium sakés, brilliantly chosen matching wines and ritzy cocktails (“unusual, but in a good way”). As you’d expect, staff are immaculately groomed – although they’re not here just for show (even if their attention sometimes wanders). Eating at Hakkasan Mayfair may be a wallet-emptying experience, but “you’ll feel like a billionaire for a few hours”. 

£50 - £79
Chinese
One michelin star
Le Pont de la Tour

Le Pont de la Tour

Butlers Wharf, 36d Shad Thames, Bermondsey, London, SE1 2YE

With its riverside views of Tower Bridge and close proximity to The City, Le Pont de la Tour has won a legion of fans since it was opened by Terence Conran back in 1991. Previously known for its classic French menu featuring favourites such as crêpes Suzette, new chef Julien Imbert has taken a more modern approach that reflects his experience as head chef at Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred City Social. While the Bar & Grill offers traditional French brasserie fare, the Restaurant now serves up elaborately plated, intricate dishes that draw on international influences and tap into current food trends. Witness cured salmon with miso mayonnaise and pickled cucumber or halibut with curry velouté. Our starter of smoked and pickled baby beetroot with blackcurrant was a well-judged blend of punchy flavours, while Gloucester Old Spot pork belly was perfectly paired with a smoked apple purée. Creative desserts such as lemon curd with thyme shortbread, meringue and liquorice ice cream are a highlight, while the lengthy wine list and smart service continue to impress. The changes to the format here weren’t necessarily needed, but they are more than welcome.

£30 - £49
French
Quilon

Quilon

41 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AF

Serene and peaceful, with shell motifs and an undulating wave-like ceiling pointing up the maritime theme, this Michelin-starred South Indian specialist is perfectly positioned under the mighty Taj Hotel in Victoria – a comfortable refuelling point for residents, local businesses and well-heeled visitors. Seafood is the undoubted high point of the menu, and dishes such as crab cakes gently spiced with curry leaves, ginger and chilli or giant juicy shell-on prawns cooked in an onion, tomato and coconut masala are well worth a trip across town. There’s also plenty for meat eaters and vegetarians: slow-cooked lamb shank, steeped in herbs and spices is meltingly good, while a dish of snow peas and asparagus, sautéed with coconut, mustard, curry leaves and chilli is supremely moreish. Service isn’t exactly slick, but it’s well-meaning, kind and enthusiastic. The wine list has been carefully designed to match the food – look out for plenty of aromatic whites and soft easy-drinking reds.

£30 - £49
Indian
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

68 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4HP

“The top of Everest, the Roger Federer of fine dining” declares a fan of Gordon Ramsay’s three-Michelin-starred Chelsea flagship, adding that it’s “hands-down” the best place to eat in London. Former chef/patron Clare Smyth has moved on to open her own restaurant, Core in Notting Hill, but the kitchen is in safe hands under the stewardship of Matt Abé – a chef who has proved his worth as an alumnus of both Ramsay and Smyth. If proof were needed, consider the ever-delectable ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon (now enlivened with oxalis and sorrel), the pressed foie gras with green apple, turnips, watercress and smoked duck or roast pigeon pointed up with sweetcorn, lavender, honey and apricot. Vegetarians might be treated to gnocchi “as light as pillows of clouds”, while desserts are miracles of clarity and sweetness (a lemonade parfait with honey, bergamot and sheep’s milk yoghurt, for example). It’s all about consummate craftsmanship, combined with an acute eye for visual detailing. The dining room is cool and classy, with silky-smooth service to match, although it would be nothing without the gleeful attentions of genial overlord Jean-Claude Breton – a master orchestrator and a legend among maître d's. Like everything else at this gilded wow-inducing superstar, the staggeringly comprehensive wine list and the sommelier’s astute recommendations are “hard to beat”.

Over £80
British
French
Pied à Terre

Pied à Terre

34 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 2NH

From its prized modern art and groaning cheeseboard to legions of suited staff, Pied à Terre remains “timeless in its class” – “always original, always fun, always great”. Head chef Asimakis Chaniotis has made the kitchen his own and can deliver some truly dazzling dishes, judging by our recent experience: roasted veal sweetbread and plump cockles drenched in seaweed butter; delicate squid ‘linguine’ under buckwheat and sea herbs; and a modernist spin on coconut rice pudding have all impressed mightily. The classics aren’t forgotten either – roasted and braised lamb is served alongside London’s most sophisticated take on ratatouille, while original chef Richard Neat’s foie gras and borlotti beans in Sauternes consommé is still fresh after 25 years. Apart from the bargain set lunch, prices are reassuringly top-end, but there’s ample value in a book-sized wine list, with “incredibly helpful” sommeliers. While the detail-rich dining room is pokey for some (and cosy for others), a recently refurbished upstairs bar is perhaps Fitzrovia’s best kept drinking secret. “Just simply fabulous”, sums it up.

£50 - £79
French
One michelin star
Gauthier Soho

Gauthier Soho

21 Romilly Street, London, W1D 5AF

Step through the unassuming, glossy-black door and you’ll discover a high-end French restaurant in what looks and feels like a moneyed Soho resident’s front room – albeit one with lots of tables. This is the elegant domain of Alexis Gauthier, an Alain Ducasse protégé with a penchant for vegetarian and vegan cuisine alongside more conventional offerings. The seasonal carte might include pancetta tortellini in a deeply aromatic chicken jus, pink-roasted loin and rack of Welsh lamb with spiced butternut squash, dates, pistachio and braised spelt or sparkling-fresh wild halibut with salsify and girolles, each labelled with a calorie count – a detail that typifies Gauthier’s nutrition-conscious ethos. More indulgent diners shouldn’t miss the “heavenly” Louis XV chocolate praline, while oenophiles will have plenty of fun with a hefty list that favours the Old World; also, marvel at the “amazing” breads and “fabulous array” of French cheeses. Super-polite service, hushed voices and loud prices signal old-style, special-occasion dining.

£50 - £79
French
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA

With Heston Blumenthal’s name attached and a menu of eye-catching dishes that play with our perceptions of British cookery, Dinner was always going to be a hit with London’s gastro-tourists, and there are plenty of reasons for them to leave feeling satisfied – not least the beautiful daytime view of Hyde Park, the fun of the nitro-fuelled ice cream cart and the switched-on staff.

“Attention to detail is second to none”, observes a fan. Even if you don’t buy into the restaurant’s date-stamped reinterpretation of historical recipes, there’s a formidable cornucopia of gastronomic delights to relish – from the ‘meat fruit’ (c.1500) disguised as a mandarin with subtle citrus notes to the soft, juicy ‘tipsy cake’ (c.1810) with spit-roast pineapple. Also brace yourself for other extraordinary conceits ranging from ‘sherried’ scallop tartare with mushroom broth to chicken ‘oysters’ invigorated with horseradish cream and pickled walnuts. Sides are not to be sniffed at either – the mash is among the creamiest we’ve tasted. Obviously, such a “luxurious experience” doesn’t come cheap (especially if you commit to the wine flights), although set lunches offer a more accommodating prospect. Either way, prepare to be astonished. 

£50 - £79
British
Two michelin stars
Coq d

Coq d'Argent

1 Poultry, City of London, London, EC2R 8EJ

Going for the gold standard on a street called Poultry, Coq d’Argent is near the top of the City’s pecking order. We reckon its status as an “all-time favourite” in business diaries is down to a considerable clutch of attractions including gorgeous roof gardens, a heavily diverting wine list and the good looks of a cruise liner in its pomp. The Coq also delivers “consistently good food” from breakfast onwards, taking in gluten-free and vegan menus plus a surprisingly mature children’s offer. Wherever you sit – in the restaurant, grill or bar – the French accent is as robust as the pricing, conjuring Gallic luxury with careful flourishes. Lunch in the Grill might mean cauliflower soup with a poached egg followed by spiced braised lamb shank with white coco beans and wild mushrooms, while the restaurant promises higher levels of complexity – perhaps black truffle and ricotta tortellini with Parmentier espuma or immaculately balanced wild roe deer with a plateful of silky seasonal trimmings. The service at Coq d’Argent is equal to the demands of a confident clientele.

£50 - £79
French
£30 - £49
The Square

The Square

6-10 Bruton Street, London, London, W1J 6PU

18 months after he bought The Square from chef Philip Howard and restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin, Marlon Abela has put his own stamp on the famous Mayfair restaurant, re-opening it following a refurb and with a new chef. Clément Leroy has spent time in the kitchens of French legends such as Guy Savoy in Paris and has presumably been tasked with winning back the second Michelin star that evaporated when Howard left. Abela has said that The Square is “a modern take on haute cuisine”, which means that butter and cream are out and umami and a light touch are in over a four course à la carte (£95) or seven-course tasting menu (£110). Thus smoked Lincolnshire eel comes with caviar, potato and watercress (superbly subtle), red mullet is treated to a delicate Asian twist with aubergine, shiitake and Sarawak pepper, saddle of lamb gets its seasoning from razor clams and seaweed butter, while the flavour of salt-baked pineapple is amplified by salted butter ice-cream. This is top-flight cooking, to be sure, underscored by a deeply impressive Franco-Italian wine list that extends to almost 2,000 bins – but there was a sense of fun lacking on our visit; as at The Square of old, this sombrely furnished space remains a restaurant better tailored to a suited clientele on expenses than food-loving diners with personal accounts.

 

Over £80
French
One michelin star
Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London, London, SW3 6RD

The latest iteration of iconic Michelin House unites two legends of the London restaurant scene: Bibendum’s co-founder Sir Terence Conran and chef Claude Bosi (formerly of two-Michelin-starred Hibiscus). Here in Chelsea, Bosi’s cooking is a little more relaxed, although the style is definitely more Hibiscus than Bibendum – witness clever amuse-bouches of pissaladière fashioned into lifelike ‘olives’ or eggshells filled with mushroom duxelles, coconut foam and curry powder. However, you’ll also encounter whopping stalks of intensely flavoured green and white asparagus, chicken that tastes of a life well lived and, best of all, a Staub pan brimming with chunky, funky tripe and cuttlefish gratin, plus hefty slices of pig’s ear and ham cake on the side: simple dishes elevated to the sublime by a kitchen versed in skilful technique. Prices are as unremittingly high as ever, although a set lunch and Sunday roasts are an attempt to make this special-occasion destination work for locals as well. But Bibendum’s food is only half the story: few dining rooms in London give such unremitting life-affirming pleasure, especially when the light is streaming through those famous stained-glass depictions of the Michelin man.         

 

French
Two michelin stars
£50 - £79
Boisdale of Bishopsgate

Boisdale of Bishopsgate

Swedeland Court, 202 Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 4NR

“Unapologetically old school”, and a welcome alternative to the chains hereabouts, the City branch of Boisdale might be mistaken for a gregarious gentleman’s club with its deep-red walls, leather seats, dedicated cigar list and assorted Caledonian memorabilia. That said, it’s far from pretentious, with friendly service and a menu of hearty Scottish fare keeping things relaxed. You might kick off with a plate of Highland venison and wild boar terrine with pistachios, pickles and toasted sourdough, before tackling roast Blackface haggis with mash and bashed neeps, some grass-fed, dry-aged Aberdeenshire beef or pan-fried fillet of Orkney salmon with braised violet artichokes, wild mushrooms and chervil. After that, how about a dark Valrhona chocolate parfait and peach jelly? With its fondness for live jazz and its show-stealing whisky selection, Boisdale oozes dressed-down masculinity, but it’s also “perfect for a girly lunch”, according to one fan.

£50 - £79
Scottish
Steak
La Trompette

La Trompette

3-7 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, London, W4 2EU

Regularly trumpeted as the “crown in Chiswick’s restaurant scene”, La Trompette is the kind of place that gives neighbourhood restaurants a good name, and the fact that it sports a Michelin star without putting on airs or charging the earth is something to be applauded. Whether you’re here for a special dinner or a sociable midweek lunch, the elegant dining room always gives off good vibrations with its contemporary artworks, polished floors, well-spaced tables and views over a smart terrace. La Trompette’s cooking is all about muscular European flavours and clever ideas, with lots of intricate detailing on the plate – as in a starter of char-grilled Cornish squid with chickpeas, green harissa, cucumber and shaved fennel. Prime ingredients get the attention and respect they deserve, be it Welsh lamb with summer turnips, garden beets, rainbow chard and ewe’s curd or Cornish cod accompanied by gnocchetti, English ceps, cavolo nero and hazelnut pesto. After that, the mighty cheeseboard is a must, but we also suggest dipping into desserts such as the muscovado custard tart with roast cherries and crème fraîche. Full marks for the spectacular 600-bin wine list too.

£50 - £79
French
One michelin star
The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse

27a Hay's Mews, Mayfair, London, W1J 5NY

It has sported two Michelin Stars since 2004, so expectations invariably run high at The Greenhouse. However, the arrival of new head chef Alex Dilling (ex-Hélène Darroze at The Connaught) has taken the set-up to a different level. Of course, some things never change: the sense of Zen-like calm as visitors arrive at this Mayfair “oasis” via a beautifully landscaped garden; the spacious and light dining room, and the highly professional attitude of the staff. What felt notably different, though, was the buzz – it was encouraging to see almost every table occupied on a midweek evening.

  

 

Dilling’s culinary approach involves sourcing the very best ingredients, combining them with an innovative flourish and presenting them beautifully. A super-soft yet deeply flavoursome smoked sturgeon mousse with crab and dill set the tone, and there were several high points to follow: we were bowled over by a breath-takingly original truffled egg concoction and a plate of Brittany turbot with boudin noir, girolles and young sorrel.

 

 

The vegetarian options also impressed, as did the wine pairings, drawn from one of London’s more voluminous lists (clocking in at 3,400+ bottles). On the downside, our A5 Gunma Wagyu beef was rather bland, and impatient diners may be troubled by the relatively long waits between courses. Still, The Greenhouse remains a bastion of serious fine dining – just be prepared to fork out handsomely.  

Over £80
Modern European
Two michelin stars
£30 - £49
Emile

Emile's

96-98 Felsham Road, London, London, SW15 1DQ

Emile’s “still retains the enthusiasm of someone just starting a restaurant, even though it’s around for more than 25 years”, notes a fan of this long-serving Putney favourite. This is a very seemly local bolthole, where staff serve dinner with grace, and the oft-changing menu’s set pieces are well-loved by a contingent of mostly mature regulars. The ‘individually baked’ beef Wellington remains a speciality, although it keeps company with more modish dishes ranging from carpaccio of foie gras with heritage beetroot and walnut oil to blackened pork tenderloin with kohlrabi, mooli, sweet potato, Parmesan and rosemary gnocchi. Fish-eaters could choose roast hake with mussel, chickpea and smoked paprika chowder, while desserts remain staunchly traditional, with sticky toffee pudding and chocolate brownie heading the list. Terrific service and a “superb-value” wine list earn bonus points, as does Emile’s ‘collect and cook’ service for home entertaining.

£30 - £49
International
£30 - £49
Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Cabot Place West, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QT

A reassuring alternative to the polished glass and hard edges of its Canary Wharf neighbours, Boisdale is positively tartan-tastic – there’s even a patterned rug for every knee out on the heated cigar terrace. It might sound doddery, but a businesslike crowd and live music (overseen by ‘sommelier of sound’ Jools Holland) add considerable verve – as does an enlivening selection of over 900 single malt whiskies. The Scottish skew continues on the menu, which opens with fine shellfish, pressed pheasant terrine and a mini roast haggis with neeps ‘n’ tatties – although mains widen the net to include, perhaps, chicken curry with winter squash dhal, poached Cornish sea bass or the house Aberdeenshire steak (served with Thai chilli mayo and the “obligatory” chips). Fittingly, a favourite wine order is “a bottle (or two) of the house claret”, polished off with something from the trolley of British farmhouse cheeses.   

£50 - £79
British
St John Bread & Wine

St John Bread & Wine

94-96 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LZ

Proof that classic never goes out of fashion, this sparsely decorated canteen delivers "fantastic British food for adventurous eaters", according?to one reader. Whilst the acoustics might be poor, meaning you may need to shout to be heard, the more casual sibling of the mighty St John is still well worth experiencing for its "relaxed vibe", "impeccable service" and daily changing menu. Breakfast, cakes and pastries are always in demand here – one bite of the Old Spot bacon sandwich, chased by a sweet hit from one of the signature doughnuts, will explain why. But there's much more to explore on the full nose-to-tail line-up, from kohlrabi with brown shrimps and chervil via devilled kidneys or grilled mackerel with beetroot and horseradish to steamed lemon sponge or burnt vanilla cream. The sound but "pricey" all-French wine list kicks off with surprisingly good house selections by the glass.

£30 - £49
British