SquareMeal Gold Awards

The SquareMeal Gold Award is our top award given to ‘outstanding’ restaurants and bars that we recommend when only the very best will do – somewhere that we would be happy to travel across a city or county for.

Updated on 03 December 2018

The Gold awards are given to only a few establishments and are an assessment of the full experience: food – first and foremost – combined with ambience, service and value. SquareMeal’s Awards reflect a combination of professional critic opinion and current feedback from SquareMeal users/diners. As such, they reveal at a glance how strongly SquareMeal is recommending a restaurant or bar.

SOLA Soho

SOLA Soho

64 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 4QQ

It's pretty rare to see Californian cuisine in the UK. But for it to earn a Michelin star makes SOLA Soho truly unique. This stylish dining room comes from chef patron Victor Garvey, offering up west coast-inspired plates, the best wines Cali has to offer and a touch of theatre from the service.

Tasting menus are available for lunch and dinner, both brimming with colourful creations. Each dish is plated in an incredibly beautiful way, to the point where the dish is often sketched first to plan the look. The setting itself is a chic, plant-filled dining room with big lampshades hanging from the ceiling and an open kitchen at the far end of the space.

While the menus at SOLA Soho change regularly, the signature style remains consistent. As such, you can get a feel for the fare from the sample menus. The tasting menu for dinner starts with an assortment of snacks, from Victor's signature devilled egg to sardine toast with grapes and almonds. Further along the menu, you might try a dish called Hot Pot, featuring langoustine, ginger and mushroom, or Squab pidgeon with olives and cherry. Do note that it is unable to cater for vegetarian or vegan diets. 

If you want to experience the full SOLA affair, you can choose to include the optional cheese course, which sees staff wheel out an impressive cheese trolley, and serve guests tableside. 

Wine pairings are available, but if you'd rather choose yourself, there is a lengthy list focusing on United States producers. You'll find plenty from along the West Coast, as well as wines from New York State, premium Champagnes and dessert wines from Europe and beyond.

SOLA does offer a corkage fee if you'd like to bring your own bottle. You can BYO on any service except Friday and Saturday dinner. 

Over £80
North American
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Midland Grand Dining Room

The Midland Grand Dining Room

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, King's Cross, London, NW1 2AR

Housed inside the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross, The Midland Dining Room is a French brasserie launched by restaurateur and hotelier Harry Handelsman (Chiltern Firehouse, Allegra, Booking Office 1869), chef Patrick Powell (Allegra) and globally-renowned interior designer Hugo Toro. Its named after the Midland Grand Hotel, the Gothic Revival 19th century hotel which originally occupied the building, and its renowned dining and coffee room which was known for its haute French cuisine.

Between 2011 and 2021, the space was known as The Gilbert Scott, which was operated by celebrated Michelin-starred British chef Marcus Wareing. Now, The Midland Dining Room pays tribute to the building's impressive past with its Parisian-inspired design and menu.

Menus are rooted in French cuisine and change regularly according to the seasons, with a particular focus on British fish and meat. Alongside a versatile à la carte menu is a set lunch offering, while signature dishes include the likes of crab and elderflower pain perdu, chicken liver parfait with a truffle and Madeira jelly and Grand Marnier soufflé. These sit alongside broader, more familiar menu items such as salad of English tomatoes, pesto rouge, pickled shallots and soft herbs, wild mushrooms on toast with parsley and garlic, Welsh lamb with Pommes Anna, ratatouille and whipped aubergine, and grilled Dover sole.

As well as an a la carte, The Midland Grand Dining Room also offers a very reasonable lunch set menu that changes weekly. 

The wine offering is a considered list of predominantly old-world varieties, demonstrating established as well as up-and-coming producers. There is also a concise and carefully-crafted cocktail list created specifically for the restaurant to complement Powell’s menu, and overseen by bar manager Jack Porter. For example, Le Pain cocktail is a digestif that takes inspiration from Powell’s grandmother’s soda bread, including soda bread mix, Jameson, Guinness liquor, black walnut bitter and sweet vermouth.

Hugo Toro and Harry Handelsman have overseen the interiors which honour the Victorian origins of the room, while updating it for a cosmopolitan, contemporary audience. The vintage space features a variety of different botanicals and produce, along with bespoke tables, banquettes and its very own bar. Various textures are used via mirrors, rattan and caning, wood columns and glass, while the room’s bespoke orange colour pays homage to its original design.

£50 - £79
Modern European
French
SquareMeal London Top 100
Gouqi

Gouqi

25-34 Cockspur Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 5BN

Gouqi is a fine dining Chinese restaurant from seven Michelin-starred chef Tong Chee Hwee, where he brings innovative contemporary Chinese cuisine to St James’s in London. Tong helped to open Hakkasan Hanway Place in 2001, which gained its Michelin star two years later in 2003, before later becoming the executive chef of the entire Hakkasan Group in 2010. Over the years, he’s also led the kitchens at Hakkasan Mayfair, Yauatcha Soho and HKK, before leaving the group in 2019.

Gouqi marks the chef’s return to London’s dining scene and is his first solo venture, where he offers a contemporary take on Chinese cooking with a range of la carte, tasting and dim sum menus. The name Gouqi (pronounced like ‘goji’) originated as a play on goji berry, traditionally viewed as a symbol of health and vitality and which informs the ethos of the restaurant. As such, dishes are made using the freshest possible seasonal ingredients and offer a fusion of flavours, techniques and ingredients drawn from across China, as well as parts of Europe.

On the a la carte menu, diners are able to tuck into its ‘legendary’ peking duck with Oscietra caviar, as well as other luxurious dishes such as eight treasure crispy chicken with foie gras and a steamed royal dim sum platter. While the eight-course tasting menu combines modern European influences with Chinese flavours to create dishes such as chargrilled silver cod with yellow bean sauce and passion fruit, and black truffle roasted duck with honey-glazed Iberico char siu with salted egg yolk.

Meanwhile, its cocktail menu is inspired by the four Chinese mythological creatures: the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermilion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise of the North. Discover four collections of drinks, each offering their own distinctive flavour profile, from floral and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Elsewhere, a premium wine list features a lengthy selection of bottles from across the globe.

Over £80
Chinese
SquareMeal London Top 100
Savoy Grill by Gordon Ramsay

Savoy Grill by Gordon Ramsay

The Savoy, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 0EU

On the beautiful banks of the River Thames in London, the world famous Savoy Hotel has been home to one of London’s most iconic restaurants since 1889, the Savoy Grill, and over the years has been visited by names such as James Dean, Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe. Inside the iconic building, enjoy the grandeur of the Savoy Grill, which is one of the world's most iconic dining destinations.

Following a monumental refurbishment in spring 2023, this historic restaurant on The Strand has undergone a breathtaking transformation. Enjoy the elegant new look that graces the dining room, featuring mirrored walls, plush velvets, and an iconic feather tile feature, paying homage to the glamorous golden age. Open seven days a week, the Savoy Grill by Gordon Ramsay invites guests to dine amidst Hollywood and history, with a chic chef’s table space overlooking the kitchen and a sublime wine experience room like no other. Enjoy the fruits of wood fired charcoal grills, offering delicious options like the hearty 300g rib eye steak or the indulgent côte de boeuf, which is perfect for sharing.

Seafood lovers will enjoy a showcase of British produce, including oysters, lobster thermidor, or dover sole. Begin your meal with the exquisite Arnold Bennett soufflé made with smoked haddock and Montgomery cheddar sauce, or enjoy the opulence of oscietra caviar with brown butter waffle and smoked sturgeon rillette. If you love a classic, be sure to order the steak tartare with a confit St Ewes egg yolk and black truffle crisps, or enjoy the freshness of kingfish crudo with pickled green apple, radish, and ponzu. The iconic beef Wellington, accompanied by pomme purée, tenderstem broccoli, and red wine jus is delicious, and don’t forget to end on a sweet note with the irresistible Savoy Grill éclair filled with raspberry, vanilla, and lime.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

The Ritz Hotel, Mayfair, London, W1J 9BR

There isn't a more iconic British activity than partaking in afternoon tea at The Ritz. With five sittings served daily in the grand surroundings of the hotel's Palm Court, guests will leave the Mayfair dining room having indulged in the finest of afternoon teas. 

Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the Palm Court stuns with its grand chandeliers, ornate designs and high ceilings. Decorated in tones of gold and cream, this stunning room looks like something straight out of a fairytale, and features leafy palms, huge paned mirrors and vast marble columns as you enter. Depending on your sitting, guests are also serenaded with live music while they dine, as expert musicians play the piano, cello, harp or violin at intervals thoughout the day.

The traditional afternoon tea is a quintessentially British offering of sandwiches, pastries and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves. Start off with delicate Scottish smoked salmon and citrusy lemon butter on sourdough, followed by a classic cucumber and cream cheese sandwich that is served with the elevated flavour pairing of dill and mint. A chicken breast and creamy tarragon mayonnaise meets malt bread while some sandwiches are served in a rich, buttery brioche roll. 

In terms of tea, guests are spoilt for choice with 18 different types of loose-leaf tea available. From The Ritz's own breakfast tea, to a floral earl grey, refreshing mint and the more complex Chinese green teas. 

Moving onto the sweet selection, guests will find an assortment of seasonal pastires and cakes alongside the staple of scones, Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve. Turn the afternoon into a celebratory occasion for the whole family with a children's menu, and the addition of a glass of Champagne for the adults to indulge in. 

Over £80
Afternoon tea
Coq d

Coq d'Argent

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

Aside from having one of our favourite addresses ever (No.1 Poultry), Coq D'Argent is a luxurious space in the heart of the City of London, boasting a chic bar, lavish restaurant and stunning roof terrace. The menu is spearheaded by head chef Damien Rigollet, with the award-winning wine list coming from head sommelier Giuseppe Iacona.

The restaurant itself is an elegant, refined space, with white tablecloths and discreet but attentive staff. The bar, meanwhile, is a more relaxed setting, ideal for a post-work drink with a colleague or catch-up with a friend. Finally, the terrace and garden offer stellar views of the London skyline, with alfresco dining all year thanks to blankets and heaters.

Those looking to dine on a budget can enjoy the extremely reasonable set menu, which offers three courses for under £40. Options mainly consist of French staples including snails with garlic and parsley butter, comte tart and creme brulee. For more decadent options, diners can opt for the a la carte menu, which features more global entries such as teriyaki glazed octopus or falafel with violet artichoke salad. Seafood lovers can indulge with Colchester rock oysters or bouquet prawns, while caviar connoisseurs can enjoy Baerii, Oscietra or even Beluga, which comes with Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs" 2005. 

For earlier visits, there is an excellent brunch menu. Diners can start their day with a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Espresso or Aperol Spritz, before tucking into the likes of crab toast, eggs Royale Benedict, potato rostis, artisanal sausage and macaroons. The 38-page wine list is truly something to behold, offering grapes from all over the world at varying price levels. There is also an impressive range of sparkling, fortified and sweet wines, as well as a separate list of Taittinger Champagne, including a 2007 'Comtes de Champagne'.

£50 - £79
French
The Ritz Restaurant

The Ritz Restaurant

The Ritz Hotel, Mayfair, London, W1J 9BR

Special occasions need special surroundings and even more impressive food, and you won't find a more spectacular place to dine than at The Ritz. Holding a Michelin star, executive chef John Williams MBE creates the finest cuisine, presented with the utmost elegance and precision.

Surrounded by grand chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows and mirrors, and magnificent statues; the dining room alone is enough to take your breath away. Join friends and family overlooking the green haven of Green Park and let the head sommelier guide you through his list of gems, or perhaps you might favour a glass of Champagne or even a taste of the Champagne of the month.

The menus draw inspiration from traditional dishes using Escoffier-inspired recipes. Each dish is composed of fine, British produce; plus the menus change seasonally to adapt to the best ingredients available at each moment of the year.

A speciality of this restaurant can be found in their Arts De La Table section - shared dishes with table side service that pays homage to the harmony between the kitchen and service. If guests prefer, they can stick to a traditional three-course affair; begin with the likes of native lobster paired with tomato and basil before moving onto a main of sea bass. You may see the likes of seasonal Yorkshire grouse on the menu, served with tart blackberry and walnuts. 

In the dessert selection, the restaurant showcases its delicate patisserie skills. The infamous chocolate souffle is perfectly risen and fluffy with a smooth, vanilla chantilly cream to match. If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, then the selection of artisan cheeses make the perfect finish.

Experience grandeur and elegance like no other when dining at The Ritz. Soak up the atmosphere of the live music performed by the resident pianist or harpist and revel in one of Mayfair's finest culinary destinations. 

Over £80
British
French
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
City Social

City Social

24th Floor, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, Liverpool Street, London, EC2N 1HQ

Found on the 24th floor of Tower 42, right in the heart of London, Michelin-starred City Social boasts jaw-dropping, panoramic views of the London skyline and a classy modern British menu to match.

City Social is a particularly bright star in Jason Atherton's impressive Social Company restaurant group. As of 2019, Tomas Lidakevicius has taken over executive chef duties here, and he brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked at the likes of Galvin at Windows, Corrigan’s Mayfair and Texture. 

The menu at City Social is typical of Atherton's restaurants - elegant, modern British food that celebrates the best produce the country has to offer, and elevates it with a dash of international panache. Dishes include the likes of Devon crab with bitter leaf salad, nashi pear and brown crab toast on starters, braised short rib with watercress, alliums and olive oil mash for mains, as well as a pasta course and Hereford beef steaks from the josper grill. Naturally there's a choice of caviar options for those who are ready to push the boat out. City Social also caters well for vegetarians and vegans, offering dedicated vegetarian and vegan set menus as well as the vegetarian options on the a la carte. Don't forget to leave room for desserts like chocolate délice, miso caramel and black sesame ice-cream.

Within the same venue as City Social, you will find Social 24, a more casual bar that features equally stupendous views of London. As well as a terrific cocktail menu, the bar also includes a selection of beers, spirits, wines and Champagnes, along with a bar menu ideal for a relaxed bite with friends or a business lunch.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
One Michelin star
Restaurant 8

Restaurant 8 'by Andrew Sheridan'

16 Cook Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L2 9RF

Restaurant 8 is a unique dining experience led by Liverpool-born chef Andrew Sheridan. Guests are invited to enjoy an immersive sensory experience, filled with nostalgic storytelling, incredible food and drinks, and a curated soundtrack designed to complement the meal.

Andrew Sheridan rose to prominence after competing on Great British Menu in 2018 and 2019, an educational experience that saw the chef hone his skills and eventually win the Welsh heat in the latter year. 8 is very much a summation of his time spent cooking on the show, as well as years of hard work and graft, pushing himself to be the best he can be. The concept originally launched in Birmingham while Andrew was executive chef at Craft Dining Room, but has since relocated to Liverpool.

The chef’s table can seat up to 16 guests, and the entire experience is themed around the number eight, from the types of dishes to the number of courses. At its core, 8 is based around simplicity, quality produce and flavour, using food to evoke childhood memories and nostalgia without any of the stuffiness associated with fine dining.

Menus are seasonal and constantly fluctuate throughout the year. In fact, its offering is given a complete makeover in April, July, October and January in line with what’s in season. An example of a meal you might expect to try there includes a selection of chef's snacks to start, followed by mackerel with gazpacho and horseradish, scallop with brown butter and dashi, wagyu beef with pickles and truffle, and jasmine rice with coconut and lime. Sweet things, meanwhile, might feature chocolate with salted caramel and pecan praline.

Restaurant 8 is open for dinner Wednesday to Friday, and for lunch and dinner on Saturdays. Split across two floors, there is an upstairs area for pre-dinner drinks and snacks, while two separate 10-cover counters are each staffed by two chefs.

Over £80
Modern European
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

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

Over £80
French
Three Michelin stars
Angler

Angler

South Place Hotel, Moorgate, London, EC2M 2AF

Another jewel in restaurant group D&D’s ubiquitous empire is Angler, a Michelin-starred restaurant perched at the top of South Place Hotel specialising in sustainably-sourced fish and seafood. Led by executive chef Gary Foulkes, the menu features an ever-changing display of modern and innovative dishes, with both a la carte and tasting menus available. Gary has spent more than two decades working in Michelin-starred restaurants, starting his career under the guidance of acclaimed Gary Rhodes before going on to work at two-starred The Vineyard at Stockcross, one-starred Aubergine in Chelsea and two-starred The Square in Mayfair.

In addition to the main restaurant, The Angler Terrace is a rooftop terrace and bar which offers guests fantastic views across the capital. Offering a retractable roof and heaters, it’s a great place to soak up the city’s skyline all year round, and functions as an extension of the restaurant should you wish to enjoy a meal here.

The a la carte menu offers a concise selection of starters, mains and dessert, revolving predominantly around fish and seafood. To start, you may enjoy the likes of sea bass tartare with oyster cream, green apple and shiso, or native lobster ravioli with chicory, Japanese citrus and basil. While mains might include Cornish monkfish with pumpkin gnocchi, chestnut and rosemary butter. The tasting menu begins with a selection of snacks, from a comte, goat’s curd and pumpkin gougere to prawn and squid ink crackers with smoked cod’s roe and espelette peppers. This is followed by seven courses, not including petit fours.

To drink, there is an extensive bottled wine list which is carefully selected by its resident Sommelier. Discover a huge range of wines by the glass if you’d like to try a few, as well as a global selection of fine and premium bottles.

Over £80
Fish
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club

The Old Westminster Library, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BU

When The Cinnamon Club opened in 2001 it offered up a fine-dining experience when the majority of Indian restaurants in the capital were still subscribing to the curry-house format that had propelled the popularity of the cuisine in the UK.

Classically trained in India, chef Vivek Singh understands the building blocks of age-old cooking techniques and couples them with contemporary twists on classics for unusual and surprising creations that have helped to push his restaurant into the premier league of London eateries. Additional accolades include Singh having authored five bestselling cookbooks and appearing regularly on cooking programmes such as Saturday Kitchen and Celebrity MasterChef.

The Cinnamon Club has undergone a £1 million refurbishment to transform its home in the old Westminster Library into a bright and modern space that still retains much of its original character. Old books line two sides of the dining room while walls are painted bright white and a mezzanine level adds additional seating without detracting from the double-height space.

Priding itself in catering for every eventuality The Cinnamon Club offers all sorts of special menus, including a vegan one which offers a wonderful selection of plant-based Indian dishes. From the main menu you can expect creations like a Bengali-style lobster thermidor and a 48-hour marinated pheasant breast in pickling spices. For those who enjoy communal dining there is also a handful of signature sharing mains, like the Old Delhi-style butter chicken and a whole rack of lamb in a corn and yoghurt sauce.

The Cinnamon Club also offers private dining spaces for special occasions and serves meals from first thing to late into the evening, with a breakfast menu that includes unexpected dishes such as a full traditional cooked English breakfast.

£50 - £79
Indian
SquareMeal London Top 100
Oblix at The Shard

Oblix at The Shard

Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 9RY

One of six restaurants and bars in towering skyscraper The Shard, Oblix is a contemporary restaurant located on the 32nd Floor offering a sophisticated dining experience with much of the menu cooked on the kitchen’s rotisserie and charcoal grill. The restaurant has a double identity and is split between two distinct spaces with Oblix West being home to the main dining room.

Providing a more formal dining experience, enjoy a muted and relaxed atmosphere at Oblix West at The Shard, in a setting that boasts awe-inspiring views of west London and employs a muted colour scheme of tan leather upholstery seating and natural woods which let those views do the talking.

Here, you’ll find a buzzy open kitchen by the entrance and a chic dining room in which you can enjoy lunch, brunch or dinner from a selection of menus celebrating the best of British cuisine with modern day twists. The a la carte menu features a number of highlights such as the barbecued Iberico pork ribs with jalapeno salsa verde or cedar smoked black cod with pickled onion and citrus.

There's also a great selection of dishes intended for sharing, with sharing starters such as tempura crab cakes or beef carpaccio, as well as a seafood platter or a whole grilled turbot which are both designed for two to three people. There is also the option to order from the grill – think a selection of steaks and whole lobster slathered in garlic butter.

On the weekends, Oblix West serves a three-course brunch with the option to add bottomless Prosecco or completely indulge with the Limitless Bruch complete with unlimited Champagne, wine and cocktails. Starters include red tuna tartare and a classic prawn cocktail, while main courses see spicy seafood spaghetti and grilled rotisserie chicken served alongside with lemon, garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes.

An extensive wine list will take your evening to the next level with a selection of wines from all over the world carefully recommended by the restaurant's sommeliers. 

Over £80
International
Olive Tree Bath

Olive Tree Bath

Queensberry Hotel, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2QF

The Olive Tree restaurant is Bath's only Michelin-starred restaurant - set inside the magnificent townhouse at the Queensberry Hotel in Bath. This boutique hotel is one of the most popular in the city, and sits just a stone's throw from famous Bath landmarks like The Circle, the Georgian Gardens and the Royal Avenue.

At the time of writing, The Olive Tree is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the city and, with Chris Cleghorn at the helm, it seems likely to retain that award for some time. Chris honed his skills while working with the likes of Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park and James Sommerin. Not to mention spending time at Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck. His cooking is a reflection of each of these experiences - combining the precision of dishes at The Fat Duck with a style that honours local West Country produce. Bath is fortunate to be surrounded by exceptional farmland, and The Olive Tree aims to showcase the best local and seasonal ingredients in a refined and modern manner. 

There's a six-course and a nine-course tasting menu, as well as a smaller four and three-course menu, available at lunch on Fridays and Saturdays, so there's something for every occasion and budget. Dishes include the likes of veal sweetbread, Westcombe ricotta, salted lemon and mint as a starter, Cornish monkfish with sea herbs and vin jaune as a main, and yuzu, Szechuan pepper, meringue and nasturtiums for dessert. There are dedicated vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian and dairy-free alternatives for the nine-course option, so dietary requirements are no problem at all. 

The Olive Tree is also a past winner of The AA’s Overall Best Wine List, so as you'd expect, the wine choice is varied here, with a wealth of new and old world wines as well as biodynamic, organic and vegan options.

Over £80
Modern European
Vegetarian
Vegan
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Lyle

Lyle's

The Tea Building, Shoreditch, London, E1 6JJ

The aim of Lyle’s is simple: to ensure British food has a place in this day and age. This Michelin-starred London restaurant offers a ‘micro-seasonal’ daily menu, celebrating whichever ingredients that are fresh and available that day. Matching the trendy surroundings of Shoreditch, this pared-back space was once a factory for Lipton’s tea. Wooden tables and chairs, large windows and simple lighting adorn the white-walled space. Clearly, this is a place where the food speaks for itself.

Due to the ever-changing menu, you likely won’t know what’s on the menu until you arrive. But you can expect simple, elegant dishes using only the finest British produce. There is typically a mixture of familiar flavours like anchovy, cider or chard and less familiar tastes like crab apple, ewe’s cheese or quince. Top-quality meat features at Lyle’s too, but this is certainly a vegetarian-friendly place.

Previous vegetable dishes at Lyle’s have been combinations like Tema artichoke, chard and preserved lemon or radicchio with apple and Berkswell cheese. Seafood is handled with care, paired with the likes of sweet oroblanco and smoked roe or sea beet and seaweed broth. Meat is typically paired with somewhat punchier flavours, such as dried winter tomato and black pepper or liver and broccoli.

Desserts at Lyle’s are certainly not to be missed with previous creations like blood orange and panela sugar millefeuille, bee pollen ice cream with pear and meringue or caramel ice cream with expresso.

At lunch, there are choices of dishes, but in the evening this is not the case. Instead, you hand the reigns over to James Lowe and the team (there is still a vegetarian menu to opt for). The primarily European wine list is refined, with a fair few options by the glass before you get onto the big hitters. Aperitifs, beers, ciders and non-alcoholic options are also available.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Riwaz by Atul Kochhar

Riwaz by Atul Kochhar

41 Aylesbury End, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 1LU

'Riwaz' meaning ‘tradition’ is Atul Kochhar’s latest Buckinghamshire venture, following the success of Sindhu and Vaasu in Marlow and Hawkyns in Amersham.

Found in Beaconsfield Old Town, it’s located in the heart of the town on the former Zizzi’s site and offers a fresh take on Indian fine dining. The menu takes rustic influences from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Orissa, among others. The unique fine dining menu created by Atul honors his Indian heritage while also allowing for creative contemporary dishes taken from his 30 years of living in the UK. This impressive menu style keeps the flavors and recipes of tradition alive, while presenting them in various modern ways.

Open daily for lunch, dinner and to takeaway, there are a choice of menus to suit the experience you are looking for. Those wanting to drop in for lunch can take advantage of the incredibly affordable set lunch menu, priced at £15 for two courses or £19 for three and includes the likes of crispy fried chicken with tandoori spices, grilled paneer with spinach and coriander potatoes and spiced cauliflower steaks. For the evening, you can experience a taste of Rivaz with a £35 set dinner menu or for the full experience opt for the 5-course or 7-course tasting menu. An A La Carte menu is also available.

When it comes to drinks, the cocktails are where the menu really shines with a host of signature cocktails using spirits from local distilleries and fresh takes on classic cocktails like the cranberry and passionfruit mojito. The wine list is extensive and each bottle is chosen for its outstanding quality and great value. If you would like advice on which wines to pair with your food then the team is happy to help with their unique and personal wine suggestions. 

Over £80
Indian
Park Chinois

Park Chinois

17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8EA

Prepare to step out of modern-day Mayfair and into Golden Age Shanghai as the concierge at Park Chinois welcomes you with a tip of a hat. This glamorous spot is dedicated to celebrating the romance and etiquette of yesteryear, alongside the thrills and luxury of the present. Park Chinois, which comprises the elegant Salon de Chine and indulgent Club Chinois, is a unique dining experience popular with the well-to-do, so have your credit card at the ready.

The lavish décor within takes inspiration from a 1930s Shanghai speakeasy, so prepare to be ensconced in red velvet upholstery and flashy frills, as you take in one of the venue’s live shows and get acquainted with some seriously special Chinese cooking.

There’s a menu for every occasion at Park Chinois, from light lunches to long, luxurious dinners. For an all-round taste of what’s on offer, try the two- or three-course set lunch menu. The restaurant’s more expensive dishes won’t feature, but you’ll still get to try the likes of bang bang chicken salad,  Cantonese roast duck with Champagne and orange sauce, and an 85% chocolate fondant.

For those looking to make a serious dent in their bank accounts though, the sky is the limit. You’ll find rare caviars, prime cuts of meat including Japanese Hida Wagyu rib-eye, premium fish and shellfish, and other dishes containing the likes of foie gras, black truffle and venison.

Exquisitely-crafted desserts are a must for the sweet-toothed as they include creations such as the Granny Smith apple cheesecake served with vanilla and apple cream, apple gel and crumble, and a decadent dark chocolate fondant made with sweetcorn and Rémy Martin Cognac Sauce and decorated with gold leaf. Drinks are similarly glamorous whether you opt for a cocktail, a glass of Champagne or a pot of rare Japanese tea.

Over £80
Chinese
Dim Sum
Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay

Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay

1 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8EA

Over £80
Modern European
French
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Gymkhana

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4JH

Mayfair restaurant Gymkhana originally opened its doors in 2013, and the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star just a year later, which it retains to this day. In the summer of 2019, Gymkhana was struck by disaster when a fire in the restaurant forced the Mayfair hotspot to close down – luckily, no one was injured in the blaze. Gymkhana underwent a significant refurbishment and reopened in February 2019.

Restaurant guests can expect to find a striking dining room kitted out in tones of jade green and polished dark timber, matched with metallic accents and marble tabletops. The restaurant’s original booth seating has survived, and provides a degree of intimacy and privacy in the restaurant - no doubt a reason why it remains a popular celeb haunt. Head down the mirrored steps and you'll find the much-lauded bar area - a great place to enjoy a gin and tonic with some Indian snacks.

When it comes to the menu, the restaurant offers a range of menus from a daily a la carte to special lunch and tasting menus. It is inspired by the elite social clubs of colonial India, and the a la carte offers a range of snacks, kebabs, curries and game dishes to suit all comers. Dishes from the reinvigorated menu include the likes of quail seekh kebab with mustard and mint chutney, and kasoori chicken tikka with moong sprouts and kasundi kachumber. Curries may suit those who want something a little more familiar - pork cheek vindaloo, chicken butter masala and lamb shank rogan josh all make an appearance, all accompanied by a wide choice of sides, from perfect steamed basmati rice to channa masala and Rajasthani bhindi.

Desserts are equally luxurious - saffron pistachio kulfi, and cardamom and basmati rice kheer, for example - and come accompanied by a choice of digestifs, dessert wines or fine tea blends.

£50 - £79
Indian
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London

The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London

150 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 9BR

The Rivoli Bar is located within the Ritz hotel in the heart of Piccadilly, an iconic London institution since 1906. This is an elegant destination suitable for everything from lavish evening drinks to a decadent lunch stop off while exploring the capital. Boasting opulent art déco interiors designed to imitate ‘walking into a jewellery box’, this stunning spot features striking chandeliers, vintage paintings and marble panelled walls. Guests can take a seat at the counter and watch the expert mixologists conjure up enticing concoctions or settle in for a long evening at the comfortable table seats and enjoy the all-day dining menu.

On the menu, diners will find a modest selection of dishes, made with only the finest ingredients and executed to the Ritz’s high standards. There is a variety of caviar available to get your evening off to an indulgent start, in either 30g or 50g tins, all of which come with a recommended vodka pairing. For your main course, the Rivoli Classics include light bites such as tuna niçoise salad, Caesar salad with chicken and bacon, and six Rossmore Oysters. For something a bit heartier, try the Ritz cheeseburger, plat du jour or the lobster rolls with sauce Choron. There are also sandwiches like salt beef with mustard and a classic club, all served with French fries.

To pair with your meal, or if you’ll be just stopping off for a tipple, the beverage list is extensive and guaranteed to have something that takes your fancy. The signature cocktail list consists of the Rivoli’s take on many classics like a Negroni, and features a monthly special cocktail highlighting seasonal flavours. As this is the Ritz, some fetch quite a price and showcase vintage liquors like 1960s Gordon’s gin, 1970s Campari Bitters and Louis XIII Cognac. There are also plenty of Champagnes and a global wine list featuring vintage bottles, magnums and some available by the glass.

£50 - £79
British
Bars
Hotel Bars
Wiltons

Wiltons

55 Jermyn Street, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6LX

British
Fish
Ormer Mayfair at Flemings Mayfair

Ormer Mayfair at Flemings Mayfair

Flemings Mayfair Hotel, Mayfair, London, W1J 7BH

Ormer, housed in the plush Flemings Hotel and headed up by executive chef Sofian Msetfi, has become a staple of Mayfair fine dining, boasting a Michelin star and many other accolades. Msetfi brings his elegant flair to the table in the form of a variety of tasting menus - including vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian options - as well as breakfast in the mornings. As one might expect from a Mayfair restaurant of this calibre, there is an extensive wine list featuring some of the finest bottles in London. 

Breakfast at Ormer includes a wealth of classic, light and indulgent options. Alongside a full continental featuring cured meats and cheeses, smoked salmon, baked Viennoiseries, fresh fruit salad, cereals and yoghurts, you can also find plenty of cooked options, such as brioche French toast, omelette Arnold Bennett, and baked eggs 'en cocotte'. 

Msetfi's tasting menus are centred around seasonal ingredients sourced from Ormer's dedicated suppliers, as well as produce from its kitchen garden in Essex. Drawing on a wealth of influences and cooking techniques, dishes include the likes of Sicilian tomato peas, broad beans and vanilla, cured Cornish mackerel with sesame, kombu and spiced nage, and roast Anjou pigeon with mushroom and lime. All menus begin with a selection of canapes, and finish with a 'petit bun' and sweets. While the dessert section of the menu includes the likes of Caramelia and malt ‘gateaux’ with honey vinegar and Madagascar vanilla ice cream.

Two tiers of wine pairings are available - signature and prestige - although diners can choose their wines for themselves thanks to a comprehensive list. Bottles from Ormer's cellar, sweet and fortified wines, and pink, orange and biologically aged wines are all on the menu.

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
Evernight

Evernight

3 Ravine Way, Battersea, London, SW11 7BH

Evernight is a Japanese izakaya serving inventive and progressive small plates alongside an extensive wine list of low intervention wines. Evernight describes itself as a modern izakaya - it serves a menu broadly designed around the traditional izakaya concept of food made to eat whilst drinking, but the dishes are a more inventive take on classic Japanese techniques and flavours. Born from the mind of Lynus Lim - a Singaporean chef who trained under Tom Angelsea at the Laughting Heart - the restaurant showcases a progressive izakaya philosophy that utilises ingredients and produce from the British Isles.

Evernight has been widely acclaimed since opening in 2022, thanks to its exciting, innovative Japanese cooking. Simple nibbles like pickles and senbei (a type of Japenese rice cracker), come as a fantastic accompaniment to the intriguing and extensive wine list. Definitively global, the list features mainly low intervention wines from across Europe, introducing diners to new examples of fine reds, whites, rose and sparkling wines. For those wishing to pair their small plates with a beverage with an Asian origin, the menu also boasts a huge range of sake and sochu. 

On the food menu, you'll find snacks like turbot and shiso spring rolls, potato cakes liberally topped with dashi mayonnaise and Petrossian trout roe, and prawn and tsukune-stuffed chicken wings. That's before you get to a selection of small plates, sushi and sashimi, yakitori skewers and a sharing, seasonal rice donabe bowl.

Head chef Nicholas Tannett, formerly of Kitchen Table and Allegra has created the menu in a way that plays with traditional, regional and progressive techniques, allowing guests to experience new and exciting flavours without going too far from their comfort zones. A familiar chawanmushi dish takes on the strong, smokey flavour of smoked pork and is served with beans and trompette mushrooms.

Diners experience this progressive offering in a contemporary, stylish dining room, designed by Italian architect Ettore Tricario. Featuring plenty of wood and dark, natural colours, the restaurant is laid out in a traditionally communal way with diners seated on long tables or at the counter below bright, feature lights. 

Photography: Josh Croll

£50 - £79
Modern European
Sushi
Japanese
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Hawksmoor Seven Dials

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

11 Langley Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JG

Since opening originally in 2006, Hawksmoor has built a successful empire on expertly-sourced steaks served alongside more side dishes than you can count on one hand. Obviously, we know there’s more to its unrivalled popularity than that, but you can’t knock the people’s love for steak and chips, a truth that Hawksmoor has capitalised on exponentially. Now, with eight restaurants in London as well as multiple sites across the UK, this steakhouse giant shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.  

Hawksmoor Seven Dials can be found down a quiet street in the old Watney-Coombe brewery. Boasting a well-stocked bar where guests can slurp on signature cocktails (discover multiple twists on a Manhattan, highball and martini) before slouching over to one of its leather banquets to tuck into a meat (and fish) filled feast. The long dining room is decorated in a cosy art-deco style, with wooden parquet flooring, painted wood-paneled walls and a huge skylight above that floods the room with natural light during the day.  

Situated slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden, this branch occupies a prime spot for a quick dinner before heading to the theatre in the West End. Fortunately, an express two or three-course menu is perfect for pre or post-theatre dining.  

The a la carte menu, meanwhile, revolves around a selection of British-bred beef steaks and sustainably-sourced seafood. Go easy on the starters because the main event is guaranteed to be a feast! Kick off with smoked salmon with soda bread, or potted beef and bacon with Yorkshires and onion gravy before choosing your preferred steak. Larger cuts are generally 500g or more, perfect for two people to share, and include chateaubriand, T-bone and bone-in prime rib, while smaller options include fillet, sirloin and rib eye. Serve alongside a mix-and-match of sauces and sides – think tripled-cooked chips, mash and gravy, macaroni cheese and maple bacon.  

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Hutong at The Shard

Hutong at The Shard

Level 33, The Shard, London Bridge, London, SE1 9RY

Turn right when you exit the ear-popping elevator at The Shard and you’ll be greeted with the most spectacular view in London, a jaw-dropping panorama of the ever-evolving skyline of the Square Mile, with famous landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Canary Wharf crowding the edge of your field of vision.

From the two dining options on offer – British-themed Aqua Shard and Szechuan-accented Hutong – we’d go Chinese very time, although no one should come here without first having a drink in Aqua Shard’s bar, which is where you'll find the best views.

That said, the views from Hutong aren’t exactly shabby, stretching westwards up the river from St Paul’s to the Millennium Wheel and Houses of Parliament, with Wembley Stadium and the hilltop villages of Hampstead and Highgate visible on the horizon on a fine day.

Minimally decorated surrounds of dark wood latticing and Chinese lanterns puts the emphasis firmly on the view, though we’ve always felt that the cooking would be worthy of attention even if it weren’t on the 33rd floor of London’s most iconic skyscraper.

The cooking is nominally northern Chinese, though in reality you’ll find many of your favourite high-street dishes done to an exceptionally high standard; Aqua is owned by a restaurant group based in Hong Kong, the spiritual home of Cantonese cooking.

Roast duck carved tableside is a speciality of the house, served in a first course of pancakes and then stir fried. Otherwise, expect vegetable spring rolls, sautéed crispy shredded beef and chilli and some terrific seafood dishes such as king crab and chilled tofu or ma la crispy eel.

Dim sum is served at lunchtime, often made from luxury ingredients: Iberico pork or lobster xiao long bao, pan-fried Wagyu beef buns or baked Wagyu beef puffs – as well as more classic pan-fried chicken dumplings or scallop siu mai. Prices match the sky-high location, but so too does the top-drawer service.

£50 - £79
Szechuan
Chinese
Bars
Dim Sum
International
Maison Francois

Maison Francois

34 Duke Street, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6DF

In an enviable St James’s spot formerly occupied by Green’s restaurant and bar, Maison Francois draws inspiration from the grand brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace with MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 finalist Matthew Ryle taking up the helm in the kitchen.

The name behind the new venture is Francois O’Neill, whose pedigree in the restaurant industry should stand him in good stead. O’Neill’s father Hugh was co-founder of Brasserie St Quentin in Knightsbridge which later became Brompton Bar & Grill when Francois took over in 2008. Chef Matthew Ryle also has an impressive heritage, having trained at The Dorchester before becoming head chef at Mayfair fashion hangout Isabel at the tender age of 22.

Maison Francois serves a menu of French brasserie classics with a selection of fresh seafood, hearty terrines, patés and homemade charcuterie to keep patrons happy from lunch through to dinner. A wood-fired grill turns out cuts of meat and whole fish, with a poisson du jour as well as options for an entrecote of beef or poulet roti which can come as a quarter or a half.

For something sweet diners can look forward to the arrival of a traditional pudding trolley serving all the adored French classics: hazelnut Paris-Brest, an almond and raspberry gateau and a selection of seasonal fruit tarts. The restaurant also houses an in-house bakery serving breads and patisserie, available all day but perfect for breakfast.

The decor is equally traditional, with art-deco chandeliers suspended from the 20ft-high ceilings, mirrored arches and off-white drapery.

Downstairs, Frank’s wine bar offers up rustic sharing plates of cold meats and terrines with carefully matched wines and sherries. Both restaurant and bar are watched over by the eager eye of Ed Wyand, former maître d’ at Scott’s and owner of Verden wine bar, who heads up the front of house team.

£50 - £79
French
SquareMeal London Top 100
Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall

Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall

Grantley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3ET

Set within beautiful, well-tended parkland, 17th-century Grantley Hall exudes luxury, from the polite, plaid-uniformed staff to the lavish decor and furnishings within. Widely regarded as one of the best hotels in the country, Grantley Hall possesses everything you’d expect from an upscale country house hotel, and then some. Three restaurants, several bars, and a state-of-the-art gym and spa are just some of the draws for the well-heeled seeking a gold-standard stay, but it’s the partnership with critically acclaimed chef Shaun Rankin that undoubtedly takes top billing.

Rankin is Yorkshire born and bred but left the surrounds of the countryside to pursue his ambitions of becoming one of the country’s top chefs. Ambitions achieved via a handful of Michelin stars, he returned to open his eponymous restaurant in 2019 where he's since added another star to his collection. 

Rankin’s fine-dining restaurant is situated at the front of the hall in a plush room that’s as warm and inviting as it is beautiful. The original ornate ceiling sports twinkling chandeliers which come together with the rich drapes and heavy, scalloped chairs to create an air of hushed serenity.

A dedication to sustainability and quality means all meat (organic, naturally), cheese and seafood is sourced from local suppliers and, like the discernibly fresh fruit and vegetables, comes through in the superb flavours. It’s a tasting only affair here, with an optional – but advised wine or non-alcoholic drinks pairing. While dishes flex with the seasons, guests can expect the usual run of bread and butter into fish, meat and sweet plates that span ten courses and finish with a trolly of petite fours enjoyed at your table or in the next door lounge.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

The Dorchester Hotel, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA

For special occasion dining, it doesn’t get much better than the peerless three Michelin-starred temple of gastronomy that is Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Any conversation about the world's most decorated chefs must include Ducasse, who holds three Michelin stars in a number of countries. Indeed, he is the second most decorated chef of all time, only being pipped to the post by the late, great Joël Robuchon.

Ducasse’s London restaurant finds its home in the classic, opulent surrounds of The Dorchester. Interiors are suitably elegant with a stunning floor-to-ceiling sculptural chandelier feature taking centre stage. Surrounding this you’ll find a mix of banquette seating and classic dining tables with white tablecloths, which are spaced widely enough for private conversations without losing the convivial buzz of the space.

Guests at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester are offered three menus to choose from - an a la carte menu, a full tasting spread, or a menu jardin, which showcases seven courses of seasonal vegetarian cooking. The a la carte gives diners the choice of three courses for £150, whilst the tasting menu is a selection of seven great Ducasse's dishes, including at the time of writing dishes such as lobster medallion, chicken quenelles, Périgord truffle and homemade semolina pasta, farmhouse veal fillet, green pea and mint condiment, and pineapple, galanga sorbet and kombu condiment. The tasting menu costs £210 and runs through hot and cold starters, a fish and main course, as well as an assortment of French cheeses and an elegant dessert.

World-class wines have been carefully chosen by in-house sommelier Vincenzo Arnese to complement the flavours on the menu and the helpful team are ever-present to make suggestions and pairing recommendations. Indeed, there’s the option to add a wine flight to your meal should you wish to take the element of chance out of things.

As you might expect the service here is top-class, with the team trained to the highest standards which results in personable but professional care throughout your time in the restaurant.

Over £80
French
Three Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
34 Mayfair

34 Mayfair

34 Grosvenor Square (Entrance on South Audley St), Mayfair, London, W1K 2HD

34 Mayfair is an up-market, glamorous restaurant in the heart of London's most fabulous postcode, as nodded to by its name. The central space is a smart dining room with polished wood flooring, red leather brasserie seating and a grand art deco bar. 

The outdoor terrace which sits along the front entrance is a pretty place for food and drinks in the summer, while indoors, large windows flood the space with light in the day and atmospheric lighting making the dining room a buzzy place to meet friends, colleagues or a date for lunch or dinner. 

On the menus, you'll find a breadth of modern European dishes, but the rotisserie and grill are certainly a talking point. The a la carte menu starts with small plates like seared scallops with soy glazed pork belly, dashi and shiso butter, alongside Robata grilled octopus with smoked black bean, aji amarillo and avocado, as well as Dorset crab tart with kohlrabi, green apple and yuzu jelly.

The main menu spans salads and fish dishes, plus signature meat mains off the rotisserie and grill. If you fancy something a little lighter, the 34 Caesar salad combines a smoked garlic and parmesan dressing with Ortiz anchovies and the option to add rotisserie chicken. There is also a raw bar, with dishes like salmon sashimi, steak tartare, and shrimp and seabass ceviche. Pescatarians will enjoy the likes of Indonesian BBQ sea bream, alongside Dover sole and the fish of the day, but if steak is on your mind, check out the Wagyu selection, sirloin, fillet, rib-eye, and cuts for two.

When it comes to drinks, wine connoisseurs will want to see the 'legends of wine' list with rare and vintage glasses from the cellar, while the cocktail selection has some creative twists such as an Old Fashioned inspired by banoffie pie. 

£50 - £79
Steak
International
The Latymer at Pennyhill Park

The Latymer at Pennyhill Park

Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU

Located inside Surrey's luxurious Pennyhill Park Hotel, The Latymer is a fine dining restaurant serving a choice of inventive menus designed by head chef Steve Smith. With a Michelin star to its name, The Latymer prides itself on providing only the highest level of service and a suitably formal atmosphere to best showcase the award-winning food. The restaurant is committed to showcasing only the finest local produce and also has a real focus on seasonality, which means that the menus change every day based on availability of ingredients.

Found in one of the oldest parts of the house, The Latymer's dining room boasts a snug yet grand feel with rustic exposed beams and opulent décor throughout. A mixture of brightly upholstered chairs and banquettes sit on a turquoise carpet while tables are topped with white tablecloths and wooden panels line the walls.

Taking on the position of head chef in 2020, Steve Smith has completely redesigned Latymer's food offering. The focus is on its discovery tasting menu which is available for both lunch and dinner. This is comprised of six regularly changing courses with guests recommended to allow three hours to experience the gastronomic experience. Examples of dishes might include Birxham crab salad and custard with mango and coriander to start, followed by Ventowyn Farm egg with peas, girolles and ham, and sea bass with Roscoff onion, smoked eel and mustard. Sweet dishes might include seasonal delights such as Yorkshire rhubarb with waina and pistachio.

When it comes to drinks at The Latymer, you can opt for a wine pairing designed by head sommelier Sergio Dos Santos to perfectly complement every dish on the tasting menu, or you can choose a bottle from the extensive wine list. There are also plenty of other drinks available for those who don't want wine and for non-drinkers.

Over £80
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Tast Catala

Tast Catala

20-22 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 6AG

Promising to bring the best of Barcelona to Manchester, Tast is a Spanish bar and restaurant in the centre of Manchester serving Catalonian twists on tapas dishes. Décor is modern and minimalistic, and the site is set over three spacious floors. Each floor boasts a slightly different atmosphere: the ground floor houses its buzzy bar and terrace, the first floor is where you'll find the main restaurant, while the top floor houses a beautiful private dining room. The restaurant has got a couple of big names behind it too. The kitchen is led by chef Paco Perez, who's won multiple Michelin stars throughout his career, while the restaurant is backed by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

The food at Tast aims to be as authentic as possible, while only using the highest quality ingredients. The restaurant and bar both offer up a broad range of ‘tastets’, a Catalan word meaning ‘tasting plates’, and is intended to offer a Catalonian spin on tapas. Examples of these small and tasty dishes include roasted red pepper croquetas, octopus with potatoes, mojo rojo and mojo verde, and duck egg with fried squid, potato soufflé and tartar sauce.

Larger dishes, meanwhile, include a selection of Catalan-style rice and charcoal options, from lobster rice and coral mayo, to creamy mussel rice with mussel mayo. All of the rice dishes are finished off in a charcoal oven, to create the traditional caramelised glaze at the bottom of the dish.

Tast boasts a large selection of Catalonian wines - in fact, it's one of the largest collections of Catalonian wines in Manchester - which are ideal to accompany your authentic meal. There is also a range of international options if you prefer, plus plenty of cocktails and beers if you’re just stopping by the bar for a drink and a nibble.

£30 - £49
Mediterranean
Tapas
Spanish
Bars
Wine Bars
BiBi

BiBi

42 North Audley Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6ZP

Adding to the ranks of some of London’s best Indian restaurants comes Bibi, a fine-dining destination for deftly spiced dishes of warming Indian flavours.

This contemporary restaurant is backed by JKS, the people behind Michelin-starred Gymkhana, with chef Chet Sharma at the helm of the kitchen where he brings a wealth of skill and expertise. Sharma previously worked as the group’s development chef, creating some of the best-loved dishes in London. This venture sees him have free reign of his very own kitchen for the first time.

A variety of 'Chef's Selection' menus are available as either five or eight-courses, with the option to choose from separate vegetarian and pescatarian menus. On the five-course menu, for example, diners are served a selection of assorted snacks, followed by green chilli haliut, and then buffalo milk paneer. Next, is a combination of Sharmaji’s Lahori chicken and a Galouti kebab, before finishing with a Pondicherry chocolate kulfi.

While only tasting menus are available in the evening, it also serves an a la carte offering at lunch which features a range of small snacks, chaats and grills. 

As is fitting for a Mayfair address, there’s Champagne on the drinks list here, as well as sparkling teas, a progressive wine list and a whole host of cocktails. In terms of the latter, you might choose to try a Calamansi Margarita featuring Calamansi tequila, mango ginger and green chilli.

Interiors at Bibi are by Sam Hosker and have been designed to create a warm, relaxed environment for diners. Expect mango wood paired with sandstone furnishes, as well as antique brass accessories and abstract prints. Inside the restaurant there’s room for 35 guests, while the outside space can accommodate up to 20 people and is furnished with rattan chairs surrounded by verdant foliage.

£50 - £79
Indian
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Silver Birch

The Silver Birch

142 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London, W4 1PU

In the last few years, London diners have witnessed the rise of local, neighbourhood joints that foster a sense of community. In well-heeled Chiswick, The Silver Birch is a local opening that has joined in on the action, setting up shop on the area’s bustling high street.

The Silver Birch serves up a string of modern European dishes as part of a menu which evolves with the seasons, while plates are crafted using ingredients that have been locally sourced where possible. With such an impressive commitment to fastidious pedigree, it should come as no surprise that the chef behind the food here is far from an amateur. Heading up the kitchen is Nathan Cornwell, who has previously worked at big hitters like Geranium in Copenhagen which has three Michelin stars and Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham which has been honoured with two Michelin stars.

Diners can start off with creations such as organic celeriac, Coolea cheese, hazelnut and celeriac broth or Devon smoked eel with Jersey Royals, chive and asparagus. Mains continue with the likes of Shetland cod with Swiss chard and chicken butter sauce, alongside lamb with wild garlic, glazed tongue, pickled cockles and sea herbs, and new season asparagus with pickled leeks.

To finish, guests can opt for a pear and brown sugar tart with gingerbread, brown butter chocolate delice, milk sorbet and caramelised white chocolate, or a summery dish of Gariguette strawberries, cream cheese and strawberry sorbet.

The dining room is a relaxed, pared-back space which exudes calm thanks to a mix of natural materials and unfinished textures. Olive green seating is complemented by the exposed brick and plaster walls, while a stream of dappled sunlight illuminates the room come afternoon. The Silver Birch also boasts a chef’s table which overlooks the open kitchen, if you would prefer a seat close to the action.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
La Trompette

La Trompette

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

£50 - £79
Modern European
French
One Michelin star
The Pass at South Lodge

The Pass at South Lodge

South Lodge, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6PS

The Pass is an intimate restaurant within the luxury spa South Lodge hotel, West Sussex, headed up by the highly talented chef Ben Wilkinson. Under Ben’s guidance, the restaurant is now the proud holder of a Michelin star, winning the accolade for the first time in 2023. The Pass serves exciting tasting menus which make the most of seasonal produce, and promises each guest a unique and memorable dining experience.

The restaurant is able to cater for up to 28 diners within its historic walls, with guests seated slap bang in the middle of the kitchen in order to immerse themselves in its buzzing atmosphere. Overlooking the brigade of chefs in action, diners can watch them create each innovative dish before finishing them at the pass, for a truly immersive ‘chef’s table’ experience.

Head chef Ben Wilkinson lies at the heart of the kitchen, who moved to The Pass following his success working at Michelin-starred The Cottage in the Wood in the Lake District. His partner Monika Zurawska, meanwhile, manages the front of house team, a seemingly unstoppable duo with the aim of bringing diners an unrivalled dining experience.

There is one seven-course tasting menu available, which changes regularly depending on the seasons and what produce is available that day. However, examples of dishes you’re likely to try include celeriac with beef cheek fillet and celery, wild Newhaven turbot with asparagus, oyster, Ridgeview sparkling and king oyster mushrooms, as well as Fallow venison with beetroot, kale, red wine, peppercorn and lardo. Sweet courses, meanwhile, include Yorkshire rhubarb with ewe’s curd, vanilla and rose.

On the drinks menu there is a wide range of wine from all over the world, including a diverse selection of English sparkling wine, and specially curated wines from France, Austria, New Zealand and Croatia. Diners also have the choice to add on a carefully considered wine flight with each course.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Pem

The Pem

22-28 Broadway, Westminster, London, SW1H 0BH

The Pem is the flagship fine-dining restaurant at the Conrad London St James hotel, run by chef Sally Abe - one of London's most acclaimed young chefs. Abe acts as consultant chef for the hotel and also oversees its in-house pub, The Blue Boar.

Having previously been head chef of Michelin-starred The Harwood Arms in Fulham, Abe now brings her culinary knowledge to The Pem, which serves a dinner menu that champions top-quality British produce and reworks classic dishes with innovative new spins. The menu changes seasonally, but on your visit, you can expect to find dishes that are underpinned by fresh produce from trusted suppliers - think poached native lobster with shellfish cream, heritage tomatoes and sweet olive or roasted John Dory with brassicas, lemon and sauce Choron. Desserts meanwhile, include the classic likes of black forest gateau topped with chocolate curls and served alongside English cherry ripple ice cream.

The Pem takes its name from suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, whose family used the pet name ‘Pem’ for her, and a commitment to showcasing female talent is reflected in Abe’s exclusively female senior team. The restaurant’s look is also distinctly feminine - the dining room boasts an art deco inspired design, including soft lighting and comfy banquettes and tub chairs, all decked out in romantic rosy hues. The main dining room seats up to 70 guests, while a private dining space has room for 24.

The Pem’s wine list combines highly sought-after fine wines with lesser known bottles from independent producers and has been curated from sommelier and wine consultant Emily Harman.

Speaking about the opening, Abe said: “I have the freedom to serve the food I’ve always wanted to cook. It’s me on a plate. I’m taking classic combinations and really making them my own, like steak and oyster, cheese and onion – I won’t be messing with the framework but trying to put a new spin on them without creating challenging or modernist dishes. I want to bring a sense of familiarity and transfer those flavours to high-end restaurant dining.”

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Woodspeen

The Woodspeen

Lambourn Road, Bermont, Berkshire, RG20 8BN

Tucked in amongst the verdant countryside of West Berkshire, The Woodspeen is a restaurant and cookery school, housed inside a lovingly restored 19th century farmhouse. Despite its credentials, this is a relaxed and welcoming space, which makes the most of its lush surroundings with large windows that frame the idyllic countryside views and an open kitchen which adds a touch of theatre to proceedings. Bare tables and pendant lighting add a rustic, countryside feel, while cosy banquettes on one side of the room and verdant greenery add warmth to the space.

The menu at The Woodspeen is a seasonally changing affair which is inspired by homegrown ingredients. Plenty of restaurants wax lyrical about the importance of provenance, but The Woodspeen really means it, often incorporating ingredients that have been plucked from the restaurant’s own garden. Otherwise, high-quality local suppliers are used wherever possible.

The Woodspeen is open for both lunch and dinner, offering an a la carte that showcases the best of what is currently in season. On your visit, you might begin with starters such as Cornish crab and spring vegetable risotto with lemon emulsion, or chicken and black pudding terrine en croute, before moving on to main courses including garden pea and caramelised onion lasagna with roasted morels or roasted lamb rump with white asparagus, local wild garlic salsa verde and rosemary potato rosti. If you still have a bit of room, round off the meal with a rhubarb and custard tart, or a strawberry and lime alaska with warm dark chocolate sauce.

A dedicated children’s menu is also available, as are plentiful vegetarian and vegan options, while on weekends, you can head here for a traditional Sunday lunch. Be sure to explore the illustrious wine list too, home to over 400 varieties.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Victoria Oxshott

The Victoria Oxshott

Oxshott High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 0JR

The Victoria Oxshott is an award-winning British restaurant and gastropub located on Oxshott High Street, near Leatherhead in Surrey. Open for lunch, dinner and a roast on Sundays, The Victoria is a family friendly pub serving a menu of locally sourced seasonal dishes. 

The Victoria is a spacious modern pub with a large bar area and plenty of cosy seating areas and fireplaces. A green and gold colour palette is visible throughout the restaurant, and the interiors are luxurious but classic, with timber floors, wood-panelled walls as well as cosy rugs everywhere. There is also an expansive terrace and beer garden.

The main a la carte menu changes regularly. However, you may find dishes such as Sladesdown farm breast and leg of duck with hay baked carrot, Scottish girolles and apricot, and slow cooked pork, hispi cabbage, apple and black pudding crumb. Other classic dishes include traditional fish and chips, as well as a selection of steaks from the grill, all of which are served with roasted onion, chips and Bordelaise sauce. 

There's plenty in the way of meat-free options, including at the time of writing a cauliflower steak, torched corn and coriander. Save room for desserts like apricot Bakewell tart, yoghurt ice cream and banoffee pie souffle, or a cheese plate if you prefer. There is a large drinks menu, with an extensive wine list, as well as local beers and spirits. 

If you’re dining with younger guests you will find plenty of good options on the menu, such as cheese crumpets, fish and chips, and a mini Sunday roast. The Victoria is conveniently positioned within reach of Oxshott train station, alongside a number of shops, a delicatessen and a butchers. Keep an eye out for many seasonal specials, including The Victoria boxing day menu, and the New Years Eve menu. 

£50 - £79
Pubs
British
Gastropub
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Cedar Tree Restaurant at Farlam Hall

The Cedar Tree Restaurant at Farlam Hall

Farlam Hall Hotel, Brampton, Cumbria, CA8 2NG

Farlam Hall has been a country manor for nearly 500 years, and for much of that time owned by the local gentry, the Thompson family. Created as a space to entertain family and friends, the current team are passionate about continuing its hospitable legacy with sumptious interiors, cosy fires and fantastic food and drink. 

The Cedar Tree Restaurant is the jewel in the hotel's culinary crown, boasting a Michelin star and hosting guests in a beautifully elegant space, overlooking the gardens with delicate, floral wallpaper and white tablecloths. Here, the team offer a fine-dining experience which seeks to highlight the very best of local produce and seasonal ingredients, with its heart firmly planted in Cumbria. 

Helmed by Chef Patron Hrishikesh Desai, the sample menu takes diners on a seven-course journey, starting with cod tartar in a crispy puff ball, with soya and honey dressing, carrot and cumin purée with garden cress, alongside an aubergine ‘Cornetto’ with smoked aubergine pickle and cheese mousse.

Across the main courses, enjoy dishes like fried fillet of cured hake with roasted pineapple and smoked sweet and sour sauce, as well as Aglionby Longhorn Beef tandoori ‘Wellington’ with tandoori spiced marinated beef fillet wrapped in classic mushroom duxelles, potato cream,  seasonal garden vegetables and tandoori jus.

For afters, enjoy Thompson’s farm rhubarb with vanilla pannacotta, rhubarb textures and orange cake, as well as dark chocolate delice with banana bread, caramelised hazelnuts and milk ice cream, and coffee and tea with petit fours. 

The restaurant is available to book for both overnight guests of the restaurant and visitors just for the day. For those making a Sunday booking, try the five-course Sunday lunch with dishes like poached Loch Duart salmon, crab dumpling and keta caviar beurre blanc, followed by sticky toffee pudding with dark chocolate and cardamom ganache with salted caramel ice cream.

Over £80
British
Indian
One Michelin star
Chez Bruce

Chez Bruce

2 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth, London, SW17 7EG

Bruce Poole was born in Guildford Surrey. After several years in hospitality, he started cooking at Bibendum, followed by The Square then Chez Max and finally his very own Chez Bruce in 1995. Since then, there have been many awards, recognising the culinary prowess of this Wandsworth restaurant. That being said, there is no resting on laurels at Chez Bruce. Poole, along with head chef Matt Christmas' sole focus is the business, and as such rarely appears in the media. It's an old school restaurant in the best of ways, where service is extremely efficient while remaining knowledgable and friendly. Regular staff tastings are key, so that every member of the front of house team knows the menu personally. So much so, in fact, that the staff offer other dining recommendations for London and further afield. 

You'll notice from the menu here that the menu is very much up to date. Starters might include miso-glazed aubergine with ginger, puffed wild rice, sesame, shiso and soy or a lobster ravioli with bisque, pickled fennel, brown shrimp and samphire. You will, however, see more traditional first course options like rabbit rillettes with Armagnac prunes and toast, or deviled lamb's kidney with crisp tongue. Similarly, main courses at Chez Bruce are traditional, featuring the likes of veal rump or stuffed pig's trotters. Unpretentiously, this Michelin-starred restaurant also offers options like steak and chips (admittedly a Chateaubriand with hand-cut chips). 

There are usually around seven dessert options like creme brulee, yoghurt parfait with blood orange and pistachio or Yorkshire rhubarb trifle, not to mention the famous 'grande assiette de fromage Chez Bruce'. There is a huge selection of wine here with plenty by the glass, ranging from affordable half-bottles to a magnum Chateauneuf du Pape. Head sommelier Victor Barre is more than happy to guide your choices. 

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Wolseley

The Wolseley

160 Piccadilly, St James's, London, W1J 9EB

It’s hard to imagine a more iconic London dining destination than The Wolseley, a restaurant that feels as though its existence makes up part of the very fabric of the city.

The iconic site of 160 Piccadilly began its story when it was commissioned in 1921 by Wolseley Motors Limited to English architect William Curtis Green, their desire was to create a prestigious car showroom that exuded luxury and grandeur. Marble pillars and archways teamed with Venetian-inspired details left an impressive finish, but alas the cars did not sell quickly enough and in 1926 the company went into bankruptcy. Barclays Bank took over the site in 1927 but it wasn’t until 2003 that the building was sympathetically renovated, throwing open its doors as the grand cafe-restaurant destination that we find today. It turns out that the showroom features work just as well as a backdrop to some of the city’s most ritzy dining, adding a bit of good old-fashioned drama to proceedings.

Breakfast brings iconic dishes to the table by way of eggs any way you can think of, hand-made Viennoiserie, piles of pancakes and signature house dishes like the bubble and squeak with a fried egg or the delicately spiced kedgeree which by now benefits from a legendary status. Lunch and dinner centres around hearty serves like steaks, schnitzels and cheese savouries – including a very good Welsh Rarebit. If you happen to find yourself dining after-hours, the late-night menu does a very good job in quashing any before-bed hunger with a fun line-up of everything from burgers and omelettes through to ice cream coupes and banana splits, for a fittingly nostalgic nod to dessert.

Known for its unique combination of spectacular design, classic food and seamless service, The Wolseley, part of The Wolseley Hospitality Group, remains an iconic and popular choice for both Londoners and tourists alike. 

£50 - £79
Modern European
Central European
Afternoon tea
SquareMeal London Top 100
L

L'Ortolan

Church Lane, Shinfield, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 9BY

Located in the quaint village of Shinfield, just a short drive from junction 11 of the M4, L’Ortolan is a sophisticated operation that is set within a Grade-II listed building. L’Ortolan serves a high-end, well-executed menu of contemporary French dishes and is widely accepted as one of the best restaurants in Reading.

The main dining room here is a smart and intimate space, which features just 11 tables. High back chairs, soft lighting and windows which allow natural light to flow through (as well as offering views of the manicured grounds) set a romantic mood, while extra character is added to the space via the works of well-established artists, such as Richard Rowan and Bob Barker, which hang from the dining room walls. It is hardly a surprise then that L’Ortolan is a popular spot for couples, particularly those with special anniversaries to celebrate.

The kitchen at L’Ortolan has been overseen by a number of Michelin star chefs over the years, but currently heading up the team is James Greatorex. The chef oversees a regularly changing menu of modern French fare, with a focus on getting the best out of good produce and working in harmony with the seasons. The restaurant is also able to accommodate for most dietary requirements if notified in advance and includes vegetarian options as part of its offering.

On your visit, you will be able to choose from an a la carte, or two multi-course tasting menus (‘Gourmand’ and ‘Elegance’). Dishes you might come across include the likes of Orkney scallop with celeriac broth, kohlrabi and radish or guinea fowl with chestnut, wild mushrooms and leeks. To round off your meal, you might tuck into a Mirabelle souffle or a selection of British and French cheeses.

To drink? Expect paired wines or innovative house cocktails.

£50 - £79
French
Hoppers Soho

Hoppers Soho

49 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SG

Housed in a popular little spot on Frith Street, Hoppers Soho is largely responsible for putting Sri Lankan food well and truly on London’s map. The small and cheerful venue with its wooden furniture, bright yellow walls and framed Bollywood posters is inspired by the village toddy shops on the backstreets of Sri Lanka and the restaurant serves a laid-back informal menu of traditional and authentic dishes from the country including hoppers, dossas, kothus and roasts – all complimented by a tropical drinks list focussed around the popular native spirits Genever and Arrack.  The restaurant is the brainchild of the Sethi siblings, best known for their Indian restaurants Gymkhana and Brigadiers, and the success of their casual small plate outpost has seen Hoppers replicated in St Christopher’s Place and soon to be King’s Cross.

A very reasonable express lunch menu is a good way to experience a broad range of the restaurant’s popular dishes comprising mutton rolls, goat or veg Kothu rotis, a hopper or dosa, choice of Kari and selection of sambols or chutneys; but for those with more time on their hands the Taste of Hoppers feasting menus are an absolute must. For just £35 a head the whole table will be served a selection of signature dishes to share that showcase the very best of authentic Sri Lankan cusine. Choose between a meat or vegetarian option and look forward to sharing dishes that include hot butter chilli paneer; devilled squid; goat Kothu roti; Kappa cutlets; and bone marrow varuval. Next guests can choose between a traditional hopper- a large bowl shaped fermented rice and coconut milk pancake- or dosa – a pancake made from a fermented lentil and rice batter. Finally diners can choose a Kari (the Tamil term for a curry) of their choice to round off the feast with some Sri Lankan heat.

£30 - £49
Indian
The American Bar at The Stafford

The American Bar at The Stafford

16-18 St James's Place, St. James's, London, SW1A 1NJ

As the name suggests, The American Bar at five-star The Stafford in St James’s pays homage to the illicit speakeasies that became renowned in London and Paris during the 1920s and 30s. To truly immerse diners in prohibition era England, the bar has been designed with a distinctively vintage feel, boasting subtle lamp lighting, a wooden bar, brown leather seating and an all-round cosy ambience. It’s also one of the longest surviving American bars in London, just to add extra gravitas to its aformentioned credentials.  

Both food and drinks are served here, but let's start with the former. Bar director Benoit Provost and director of mixology Salvatore Megna oversee the cocktail menu, which comprises a mix of signatures and classics, both old and new. Sure, there are other drinks too, such as vintage Champagne, premium spirits and a whisky collection to put all others to shame, but cocktails are its ‘thing’. Choose from the Equilibrium menu for a series of perfectly-balanced drinks which are sub-divided by earth, air, water and fire. You might find one called Nimbus for example, which mixes gin, mangosteen, akashi-tai yuzu, citrus, peach and Champagne, or Sonus made with mezcal, cantaloupe melon, grasshopper salt, green yoghurt and fino sherry.  

You can also find a selection of signature, classic and after-dinner cocktails, as well as numerous twists on a negroni for lovers of the punchy drink.  

Michelin-starred chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen heads up the food menu, with the bar serving lunch, dinner and light bites throughout the day. Offering a selection of American-inspired dishes, smaller snacks might include BBQ Iberico pork ribs, sticky buffalo wings with hot sauce, sesame and soy, mini sausages with American hot sauce and loaded potato wedges. If you’re after a full meal, you can choose from main dishes such as a lobster thermidor sub, chicken parmigiana, a signature burger made with beef, cheddar and caramelised onions and a pastrami-cured smoked salmon bagel with soured cream and lemon.  

£50 - £79
British
Bars
Sketch: The Lecture Room & Library

Sketch: The Lecture Room & Library

9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2XG

While Sketch is a staunch long-time resident of Mayfair and famed for its unusual, artistic interior design, there's one room within the multi-restaurant venue that you probably won't have seen all over social media. On a private, upper floor, The Lecture Room & Library boasts a more exclusive offering, often used on a sole hire basis and only holding lunch and dinner reservations at restricted timings throughout the week - for example, between midday and 1.30pm, or 6.30pm until 9pm in the evenings. 

The Lecture Room & Library's kitchen was formerly ran by longtime Sketch collaborator, French chef Pierre Gagnaire, who was awarded three Michelin stars for his work here, but now the baton has been passed to head chef Daniel Stucki. The a la carte lunch menu begins with starters such as summer vegetables in herbal broth with Scottish girolles, and mains spanning fish, meat and vegetarian bases. Options here include sea trout with raspberry butter served with maris piper potato and confit shallot, next to creedy duck marinated in cumin and savory served with grilled fruits and nutmeg. 

In the evening, guests are welcomed to try the tasting menu which spans eight courses and includes vegetarian options, as well as a wine pairing. An example of the plates you might see here include roasted slice of pollock with aromatics, Anjou pigeon roasted and smoked with hay, as well as poached native lobster with leafy carrot, peach and watercress. 

As always, the space is also incredibly visually stimulating, making it more than just a feast for the tastebuds. High, corniced ceilings are enhanced by a wall of mirrors, elevating the space to ballroom-like proportions, while rich hues of red, orange, gold and purple flit across the furnishings. The centre piece, though, is without a doubt the huge, red chandelier hanging in the heart of the space, setting the tone for the whole experience. 

Over £80
Modern European
Vegetarian
Cheese
Fusion
French
Fish
Three Michelin stars
Lympstone Manor

Lympstone Manor

Courtlands Lane, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 3NZ

With stunning views overlooking the tranquility of the Exe Estuary and the famed Jurassic Coast, five star Lymptone Manor might just be one of the most beautiful country retreats anywhere in the UK. This five star hotel boasts 21 stunning guest rooms and suites, a world-class wine cellar, and 28 acres of ground, including an 11 acre vineyard. Not to mention, of course, the presence of a true legend of British cooking - Michael Caines MBE - in the kitchen.

Michael Caines has become one of the UK's best known and respected chefs over his long career. His distinctive, modern British cooking - honed on classical French technique from the kitchens of legends like Joel Robuchon, Raymond Blanc and Bernard Loiseau - earned him two Michelin stars at nearby Gidleigh Park, an award that he held for eighteen years.

In 2017, Michael left to open Lympstone Manor, and he made an instant impact, winning a Michelin star just six months after opening. The menu is vintage Michael Caines - international influences, smart flavour combinations, all underpinned by old-school technique. Starters on the a la carte at the time of writing include confit salmon with honey and soy vinaigrette, wasabi yoghurt and a salmon consomme, and pan-fried duck liver with braised orange chicory, orange puree and anise-scented duck jus. Mains are a little more classic, like butter-poached Brixham turbot with braised leeks, poached scallops, truffle and chive butter. And who could possibly turn down a pistachio souffle for dessert, cooked by the master?

Aside from the a la carte there are two tasting menus available - the signature, and the 'Taste of the Estuary' that celebrates the best ingredients from the local area. And finally, appreciation of fine wine is also integral to the Lympstone Manor experience. The world-class wine cellar has over 600 bins representing some of the finest wine estates from around the globe.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms

Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms

Prescot Road, Aughton, Lancashire, L39 6RT

Situated in the village of Aughton in West Lancashire, amid five acres of beautiful gardens, is Moor Hall – a 16th-century, Grade II-listed house, and now, an award-winning restaurant. The building was acquired back in 2015 by husband-and-wife team Andy and Tracey Bell, who brought around a multi-million-pound renovation, transforming it into a destination restaurant with luxury rooms, boasting views of a lake that’s said to be the remains of a medieval moat.

The restaurant is helmed by chef-patron Mark Birchall who has worked hard to create delicate, produce-driven menus inspired by the Hall’s exceptional natural surroundings. Wherever possible, Mark uses produce grown on-site or from local suppliers, and uses his broad culinary experience garnered at top establishments such as Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume to ensure each dish is beautifully-presented and full of flavour.

Since its inception, the restaurant has been awarded a breath-taking number of accolades including two Michelin Stars and a Michelin Green Star, and was voted ‘Best Restaurant in the UK’ at the SquareMeal Top 100 Restaurant Awards in 2019.

Guests can choose to dine from a four- or eight-course menu at lunchtime, while dinner is a set eight-course menu. Naturally, the menu changes to reflect the seasonality of the produce, but the kinds of dishes guests can expect to encounter include Gaisgill Row Farm blue grey beef, barbecued pablo beetroot, mustard and shallot, as well as, Isle of Mull scallop with white asparagus, grains and truffle, and garden apples and gooseberry, woodruff, birch sap and marigold.

Moor Hall says its attitude to wine is simple; it should be fun, interative and within reach of everyone. There are two wine pairings available, one which focuses on leading winemakers - both those who made their mark in the past, and innovating for the future. The second is called the 'Rarity Pairing' and shines a light on the most iconic winemakers and vintages.

Over £80
Modern European
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Norma

Norma

8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 2LS

Norma celebrates the coming together of flavours from the south of Italy and north Africa, a pairing that pays homage to the history of Sicily. This Italian-inspired restaurant was originally overseen by Ben Tish, but now rests in the hands of executive chef Giovann Attard.

Despite the definite foodie credentials, a visit to the restaurant is as much about the interiors and hospitality as it is the menu. The three-floor townhouse space looks to recreate the grand café culture found throughout Sicily, while staff are warm and charming in their manners, reminiscent of that signature Italian service. A crudo bar greets guests at the entrance, made up of striking marble colours, while the dining room is awash with intricate mosaic walls, hanging pendant lighting, booth seating and cosy seating nooks found in carved-out arch spaces. Low lighting adds to the ambiance.

On the first floor you’ll find the cocktail bar where you can enjoy drinks and snacks, while the top floor hosts a private dining space. Here guests can work with the kitchen team to perfect their party menu from a selection of family-style sharing platters and will enjoy their meal in the warm and intimate surrounds of the mirrored-ceiling space.

Back in the main restaurant and the menu features Sicilian-inspired dishes made using seasonal Italian and British produce. While the menu might change from day-to-day, you can always expect sparklingly fresh seafood from the bar, dressed with high-quality olive oil or other deftly handled garnishes, while the antipasti options might throw up combinations like burrata with chicory, blood orange and coriander seeds. Homemade pastas are the kitchen’s signature serves, while mains like grilled salt marsh lamb or pan-fried stone bass feature as large plates. There is also a full vegan menu for plant-based eaters and a selection of tempting dessert for a sweet finish to your experience at Norma.

£50 - £79
North African
Italian
Dovetale at 1 Hotel Mayfair

Dovetale at 1 Hotel Mayfair

1 Hotel Mayfair, Green Park, London, W1J 8DL

Dovetale is the flagship modern British restaurant at 1 Hotel Mayfair, overseen by two Michelin-starred Restaurant Story chef Tom Sellers.

Sustainability, seasonality, and a plethora of nature-inspired finishes are what the 1 Hotel Mayfair is all about. Situated (not by chance) facing Green Park, the venue's spaces, including signature restaurant Dovetale, are carefully crafted with an environmentally friendly approach. The hotel features living walls, which are irrigated by rainwater, sustainable materials used all across the building, and over 1300 plants, trees and shrubs plants across the grounds. 

Sellers works meticulously to embrace zero waste methods and source from eco-minded suppliers at Dovetale too. With a modern European à la carte menu, Dovetale offers dishes from the grill as well as from a raw bar, and there's a real focus on letting outstanding produce shine - emphasised by dishes like English burrata with Amardo Manni 'oil of life' olive oil. Elsewhere there's some celebration of classic French cooking and flavours, with a day boat-caught sole Veronique, where sole is gently cooked in a sauce of vermouth, cream, white grapes and tarragon. 

There are also tributes to old-school puddings in the dessert menu as well, as guests can choose from options including a Grand Marnier souffle with tonka bean creme anglaise, and a Knickerbocker glory, served tableside from a trolley for a bit of extra entertainment and theatre. 

If you fancy al fresco dining, there's Dovetale's outdoor terrace, which features a cozy copper fireplace and pergola, perfect spot for all seasons. And for an even more special occasion, there's a private dining room available.

The hotel also has a cocktail bar - the Dover Yard - perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks. 

Over £80
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
Papi

Papi

1F, Hackney, London, E8 3DQ

Tucked away in the quiet backstreets of Hackney, Papi is a restaurant that is serious about good food, and fine wines. It was opened by Matthew Scott, the brains behind pop up sensation ‘Hot4u’ during the Covid-19 lockdown, and Charlie Carr, owner of Wingnut Wines in Netil Market. Both being passionate in their fields, it’s no surprise that Papi became an overnight success after opening in early 2023. The interior is minimalistic, with just wooden tables, and a little open kitchen where the chefs knock out all of the small plates. Down the steps below is Freddles bar, which is run on a walk-ins only basis, and although it operates separetly from Papi, it makes a great space for post dinner cocktails.

The menu changes regularly, partly due to using the best ingredients of the season, but also because the team believe in a zero waste system, where leftovers are reinvented to create something new for the following day. However, one of the dishes that has earned a permanent place on the menu is the fried brown butter waffle with vacherin ice cream. It's won the hearts of customers for its flavour reminiscent of a donut at the fairground, and can often be found paired with a seasonal fruit.

The wine list contains natural wines, and each producer has been personally met by Charlie, who can talk you through not only how the wine tastes, but what the company and the founders are like. He has a talent for taking the often pretentious air out of wines, and puts it to guests in simple terms - is it delicious, and do I like how it’s made?

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Lunar

Lunar

Lunar World of Wedgwood, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST12 9ER

Lunar Restaurant is the brainchild of renowned chef Niall Keating, who was crowned champion of champions on The Great British Menu in 2020. Aside from his TV success, Niall has also accomplished winning the Michelin Young European Chef in 2018 and Rising Chef Trophy in 2019. Niall became Britain's youngest chef with two Michelin stars from his previous roles, and has carried forward the high quality and standards to Lunar. Here, the team recognises that working towards a better future means sustainability, less food miles and more creativity, and incorporates this into the menu.

The Lunar Experience menu brings guests a 12 course feast that has been carefully curated to take diners on Niall Keating and head chef Craig Lunn's personal journeys through their career to date. Inspired by their love of food, travel, life, sustainability, local produce and working with some of the finest restaurants in the world, the pair have created a menu that is constantly evolving.

Due to the dishes being so unique, and the fact that each week is so different from one to the next, the menu isn’t published and is left as a surprise to everyone who visits. However, there is a sample menu available, where you’ll find dishes like Orkney scallops with dill pickle and mussel veloute, linguini with autumn truffle and aged parmesan as well as rhubarb, ginger and goats milk for dessert.

For those looking for something slightly less extravagant, there is also an a la carte menu where guests can choose from three courses. Whilst guests are unable to see what they’ll be eating in advance, the restaurant is still able to cater for allergies and intolerances. However, with regards to subjective tastes, guests are encouraged to open their minds and mouths and travel on the journey with them.

Their mission is to create an experience that people will remember forever, through creating a tasting experience like no other using local sustainable produce.

£50 - £79
British
International
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Little Fish Market

The Little Fish Market

10 Upper Market Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN3 1AS

No doubt one of Brighton's most celebrated restaurants, The Little Fish Market is true to its name - a small, 20-cover restaurant, run by Duncan Ray, who cooks a single tasting menu with a heavy lean towards south coast fish and seafood. Ray has worked under the likes of Marco Pierre White, John Burton Race and Heston Blumenthal in his career, before striking out on his own in Brighton.

Since opening in 2013, The Little Fish Market has scooped a bevy of awards, including a place in the Good Food Guide, the Michelin Guide, the National Restaurant Awards Top 100 and three AA Rosettes. These days, Brighton boasts a rejuvenated restaurant scene, but The Little Fish Market was there right at the beginning, and alongside chefs like Michael Bremner and Steven Edwards, Ray has done a great deal to put Brighton on the national culinary map.

You'll find the restaurant just off the main road towards Hove, where its unnassuming double-front sits neatly next to The Old Market theatre. This old building used to be a fishmonger, hence the name, and though it has smartened up a bit it still retains that rustic charm. Though Ray has experience in some very fine dining establishments, his cooking at The Little Fish Market is more classic and restrained.

The single tasting menu shows off a variety of fresh fish and seafood - whatever is best on each day - cooked in a way that shows it at its very best. The dishes are described in very few words - think 'Brill', 'Scallop' and 'Bream' - to keep a sense of mystery and surprise behind each one. While the accompanying wine selection is ably curated by Noble Rot's Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew. 

Over £80
British
Fish
SquareMeal UK Top 100
SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel

SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel

Crook Road, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3NE

The Gilpin group spans two five-star hotels in the Lake District, just a mile from one another and both nestled in some of the area's most beautiful scenery with thick woodland and, of course, breathtaking lakes.

The Gilpin Hotel is set in 21 acres of lush countryside and benefits from a Champagne bar, rooms with private hot tubs and en suite spas, as well as two restaurants - Gilpin Spice and SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel. The latter is headed-up by Executive Chef Ollie Bridgewater (formerly of Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck) with a focus on exquisite produce, distinct flavours, seasonality, sustainability, and precision, which when combined with exceptional service creates a fun and fine dining experience.

The restaurant offers a ten course tasting menu and a six course tasting menu, both with a strong focus on using the very best ingredients. With a sustainable ethos comes a daily changing menu - ensuring to keep it fresh whilst still always encompassing the seasonality and skill as expected from the SOURCE kitchen. Example dishes include butter poached cod with waldorf, lovage and vermouth, and loin of venison with spiced beetroot, endive and kampot pepper.

The ten course tasting menu is priced at £120, and the six course alternative can be enjoyed for £90 - which makes a great option for those with limited time. For those who like to indulge in a selection from the drinks list as much as the food, there’s an optional wine pairing available that can be enjoyed alongside your meal.

Over £80
Modern European
International
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Five Fields

The Five Fields

8-9 Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea, London, SW3 2SP

Situated in the heart of Chelsea just off the King’s Road, The Five Fields is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving contemporary British food. Originally opened in 2013, this elegant neighbourhood spot has earned a flurry of accolades over the years, including its prized star in 2017. Taylor Bonnyman is the chef patron behind the operation, having previously worked in some of the best kitchens in the world: the now-closed Michelin-starred Roussillon in London, Marcus Wareing, Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and two Michelin-starred Corton in Tribeca to name a few.

Taylor and his team take provenance very seriously and the restaurant sources a huge amount of its plant-based produce from its very own Kitchen Garden in Sussex. Spanning an acre and a half, The Garden provides a host of organic and seasonal produce exclusively for the restaurant, from fruits and vegetables to rare herbs and flowers. It also boasts 10 hives which produce honey and honeycomb for its desserts. In the kitchen, the team follows a low-waste approach to cooking, with any food waste it produces returned to The Garden for composting.

The restaurant serves tasting menus only for lunch and dinner. Dishes are built around the seasons so you can expect the menu to change fairly often. However, examples of things you might expect to try include lobster with pumpkin seed juice, fallow deer with Jerusalem artichoke and sunflower glaze, red cabbage salad with shiso gazpacho and oyster, and baked apples with cider sabayon.

Guests can also elect to include either a classic or prestige wine pairing with their meal, but there is also an extensive wine list which might be better suited to those who know what they like. Here, you'll find a magnificent collection of global wines, English sparkling, vintage Champagnes and more.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
Murano

Murano

20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PP

Located in the heart of Mayfair, Murano is Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred restaurant, where diner's can indulge in the chef’s signature honed Italian cookery. Having mastered the staples of Italian cooking from her grandmother and aunts, the food is a reflection of Harnett’s childhood, elevated with excellent quality produce and knowledge acquired from decades in the UK's culinary scene.  

Aiming to take the stuffiness out of fine dining, the space is warm and welcoming, with soft lighting, comfortable seating and eccentric paintings on the walls. It's the perfect setting for a relaxing yet elegant meal. The a la carte menu changes regularly to ensure all ingredients are as seasonal as possible and features a select few dishes per day, which diners are encouraged to try in whatever order they please.

Choose from anywhere between three or six courses, with no traditional signposting as to what might be a starter or main, bringing an element of unexpected theatre and entertainment to the table.  

The frequently changing a la carte menu might include the likes of rabbit raviolo with courgette, basil and sauce vierge, red mullet with burnt orange romesco and a ricotta filled courgette flower, and veal tartare with aged parmesan, almond cream and dill, all of which featured on the restaurant's summer menu. To finish your meal, tuck into desserts like caramelised Amalfi lemon tart or whisky baba with strawberries and smoked vanilla ice cream. Each dish displays a suggested sweet wine pairing, too.  

To accompany your meal, the Murano wine cellar comprises outstanding bottles from renowned Italian vineyards, as well as international bottles. The collection focuses on grapes that complement the cuisine and growers who share the ethos of quality and flavour. There is an extensive number of wines available by the glass, including Champagne and sparkling wines, as well as plenty of sought-after bottles from highly regarded labels.  

Over £80
Italian
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Dining Room at Cliveden

The Dining Room at Cliveden

Cliveden House, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 0JF

There are few restaurants across the country that really live up to the word iconic, but Cliveden House, a country manor in Berkshire with over 350 years of dazzling history, really does. Built in 1666, Cliveden was a gift from the second Duke of Buckingham to his mistress and since then, has been the site of roaring parties held by the likes of Winston Churchill and John Lennon. 

Within this stunning, sprawling Grade I Listed building you'll find The Dining Room, a lavish restaurant serving an a la carte, tasting, Sunday lunch and afternoon tea menus. The Dining Room was originally the house's drawing room and faces south with views overlooking the beautiful gardens. The huge windows fill the space with natural light and the sumptuous decor features impressive chandeliers and ornate ceiling cornicing. 

The food takes its cue from local, seasonal produce and throughout the year chefs take great efforts to ensure that the menus are at least 30% vegetarian and vegan friendly, showing off the work of nearby growers. All menus are available online and to get a flavour of what to expect, check out the a la carte which showcases stand-out dishes like confit lemon sole with brussels sprouts, ponzu and blood orange to start, slow-cooked guinea fowl with glazed wing, pickled grapes and white carrot for mains, and spiced pineapple with passion fruit, coconut sorbet and lemongrass for dessert. 

For a special occasion, it has to be the tasting menu with eight fabulous courses. We won't spoil all the surprises for you, but we love the sound of the seared scallop with pumpkin, rehydrated cranberry and lemongrass, as well as the Earl Grey crémeux with Granny Smith jelly. The team at Cliveden have also put together a brilliant selection of wines to go alongside, with options to go for the classic pairing, or sommeliers’ cellar selection.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Vegetarian
Vegan
Cheese
Fish
The Barn at Moor Hall

The Barn at Moor Hall

Prescot Road, Aughton, Lancashire, L39 6RT

Moor Hall is a beautiful, grade II-listed country house with a surrounding estate of five acres and views out to the lake, set in the heart of West Lancashire. The property and grounds were taken over in 2015 by husband-and-wife team Andy and Tracey Bell, who oversaw a multi-million-pound renovation and transformation into the award-winning restaurant and rooms it is today.

While the Moor Hall Restaurant is the gem in the estate's crown, having been awarded two Michelin Stars, a Michelin Green Star, and 5 AA Rosettes, the Barn restaurant also sits on site and boasts a Michelin Star of its own, as well as a historic setting and gorgeous views. 

Just moments from the main house, the Barn was once a business man's carriages and horse's stables, and today flush with period features such as exposed brick walls and wooden beams overhead. It is helmed by patron-chef of Moor Hall, Mark Birchall, who describes this as a neighbourhood restaurant offering a seasonal menu and the best Sunday lunch of your life. 

It's important to the team that as much of the ingredients and produce are sourced as locally as possible, growing many of their own vegetables and herbs on site. Highlights from the menu include 60 day aged grass-fed ex dairy Jersey beef tartare with Jerusalem artichoke and nasturtium; Cornish cod, smoked onion, charred leek, bacon crumb and stem ginger panna cotta, blood orange, granola. And, as for those unmissable Sunday lunches, they say the roasted 40 day aged Longhorn sirloin with all the trimmings is the dish to try.

Guests are invited to enjoy either a set three-course menu for lunch from Thursday to Saturday, or for dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays. An a la carte menu is also available, allowing you to pick your favourite dishes from the curated selection.

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Bentley

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

11-15 Swallow Street , Mayfair, London, W1B 4DG

A true seafood institution, Bentley’s needs little introduction. Serving up the freshest seafood around for over 100 years will often have that effect. Headed up by Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan for more than a decade, Bentley’s shows no sign of slowing down. This is a restaurant where diners feel relaxed, but every detail has been examined before anything leaves the kitchen. Specialising in not just oysters but all seafood, this is widely considered one of the best places to enjoy the fruits of the sea in the UK.

An essential start to a meal at Bentley’s is, of course, oysters. Here there are over ten varieties to choose from, available individually or by the half dozen. Purists can enjoy theirs as nature intended, while those seeking something more flavoured can opt for theirs dressed or garlic-baked. Oscietra, Cornish and Iranian Beluga caviar is available for those wishing to go all-out for their meal.

From the raw bar, the delights of the sea continue with options like langoustine with ponzu and pink grapefruit or cherry clam with tomato and horseradish. Classic dishes like shellfish cocktails are elevated to new heights here, featuring Cornish crab, Atlantic prawns, lobster and brown shrimp. Starters include further elevated dishes like lobster bisque with brandy and tarragon chantilly or Cornish crab and mussel soup with coconut, ginger and lime.

Those wanting something more relaxed for their main course can enjoy classic fish and chips with tartare sauce and mushy peas or fish pie. However, the decadence continues with options like pan-seared turbot with olive oil mash and langoustine sauce. Meat dishes like a herb-crusted rack of lamb are also available, but seafood is certainly the main event here.

There is an extensive list of wines by the glass as well as bottle so that the ideal accompaniment for each course can be chosen. There are plenty of sparkling options as well as larger bottles for extravagant celebrations.

Over £80
British
Fish
The Ivy

The Ivy

1-5 West Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NQ

£50 - £79
British
International
L

L'Atelier Robuchon

6 Clarges Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8AE

L’Atelier Robuchon is the latest restaurant from the acclaimed Joël Robuchon International group, who have given the Mayfair restaurant - formerly Le Comptoir Robuchon - an exciting facelift, helmed by executive chef Andrea Cofini who has been working for the brand for a decade. 

The restaurant continues the legacy of the late, great Joël Robuchon, who remains widely regarded as one of the most acclaimed chefs ever (his restaurants are known for their many Michelin stars). The menu maintains a sense of continuity and showcases plenty of signature Robuchon dishes, including his famous purée de pomme de terre (a mashed potato so famous it is served by many other chefs around the world), the sea bream carpaccio or quail with foie gras, this is the place. 

Another much-loved feature from the existing Robuchon world include the dessert trolley. Boasting a sophisticated marble-topped display, it's a show-stopping way to highlight sweet treats from the kitchen including fresh á la minute Madeleines and renowned patisserie classics. If pudding isn't your thing, though, don't worry, as the cheese trolley won't be far behind with its daily-changing rotation of southern French and Italian cheeses.

In terms of the space, expect an elevated design scheme that shocks and delights with a colour palette of scarlet and monochrome, coupled with intimate booths and atmospheric lighting. And, with a setting like that, it's no wonder that the team decided to lean into the ambience and host a variety of live music nights throughout the week, and late-night DJs at the weekend.

And, whether you're visiting L’Atelier Robuchon for a special occasion or not, don't forget to check out the Champagne list. Said to be the pride and joy of head sommelier Neomie Favrat, it features almost exclusively small producers and an unusually large wine-by-the-glass selection. There's also plenty of red, white and rose bottles on offer, sourced from across France, too. 

Over £80
French
Wine Bars
Happiness Forgets

Happiness Forgets

8-9 Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, London, N1 6NU

Bars
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

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

Dinner by Heston has been one of London's most in-demand bookings since it opened in 2011, and the appetite for Heston's wild sensory creations shows little sign of abating. Dinner was initially headed up by Ashley Palmer-Watts, but Jon Miles-Bowring has been head chef since 2019 with Palmer-Watts left.

Nestled inside one of London's most opulent hotels, and the Dinner by Heston dining room is certainly a sight to behold. The dining room is subtle and elegant, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing ample natural light. A glass wall separates the kitchen and dining room, so diners can see the chefs at work and also, the unique pulley system that operates the open-fire and spit - a design lifted straight from the 16th century. Ivory walls are adorned with custom-made porcelain wall sconces in the shape of antique jelly moulds - another detail that brings Dinner by Heston's historical connections round full circle.

The menu follows a similar tack, with many dishes based on historical British dishes from the Tudor period and beyond. The kitchen at Dinner works with food historians and the British Library to make sure dishes are accurate to the history. The 'meat fruit' for example, is based on a recipe from the 1300s, but Dinner brings it into the modern day by creating a chicken liver mousse with mandarin jelly that looks exactly like an orange. Other dishes include 'Rice and Flesh' - almond, saffron, veal sweetbread and smoked eel, 'Frumenty' - octopus, spelt, smoked sea broth, pickled dulse and lovage, and 'Salmon Dressed in Champagne' with buttered leek, parsley, caviar and seaweed. 

Desserts follow a similar vibe, with the brown bread ice cream and a superb cheese board also proving popular.

Over £80
British
Two Michelin stars
Scott

Scott's

20 Mount Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 2HE

Scott’s is more than a restaurant, it’s a scene, a landmark, a legend.  Although it’s been around for half a century, it only struck gold when it reopened under Caprice Holdings (the owners of Thy Ivy, J Sheekey et al) in 2006. Mount Street was changing from stuffy residential enclave to fashion Mecca and Scott’s was there – catnip to fish-loving foodies, fashionistas and posh people who were instantly hooked on its infectiously buzzy ambience.

The interior is beguiling by day and night. An oval oyster bar with tall stools and a magnificent ‘high altar’ for shellfish dominates the light-filled front space. There are cosy tables at the rear and confident modern art on the walls, while a flower-filled pavement terrace attracts smokers and the ever-present paparazzi.

The menu nods to meat eaters with veal cutlets, steaks, chicken pie and venison fillet with celeriac purée. But this is essentially a seafood restaurant, serving up what readers say is “simply the best fish in town” – from homely potted shrimps and dressed crab to exotic octopus carpaccio and monkfish with spicy tiger prawn masala via oysters and caviar, lobster Thermidor, battered haddock and extravagant fruits de mer.

‘Fish on the bone’ might bring halibut and massive 22oz Dover soles, as well as delicate slip soles with capers and parsley butter, but the full repertoire covers everything from scallops in the shell richly doused in garlic and chilli butter to roast cod dressed with cauliflower purée and chorizo. There are also some imaginative vegetable dishes such as roast squash with quinoa and harissa. 

It’s also worth saving some room for totally tempting desserts such as gooseberry pie, peach Melba or a flashy take on Bakewell pudding with almond ice cream. With its completely reliable food, brilliant but unobtrusive service and a wine list that won’t break the bank, Scott’s is quite simply outstanding.  

£50 - £79
British
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
Da Terra

Da Terra

8 Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9NF

Bethnal Green Town Hall has housed many great restaurants over the last decade or so - both Viajante and the Typing Room held Michelin stars here in the past, but Da Terra eclipsed them both when it earned a second Michelin star in 2021. Italian chef Rafael Cagali was born in Sao Paolo and worked at The Fat Duck and Aulis before taking on Da Terra as his debut solo restaurant, and he brings his eclectic background and wealth of experience to the menu here.

Da Terra's dining room is remarkably simple, almost spartan by comparison with the plush, white tablecloth vibe in most hotel restaurants. Dark wood chairs surround smooth, circular marble tabletops, and a polished herringbone parquet stretches out underfoot. 

The setting places the food at centre stage, and diners have a choice between seven and ten course tasting menus. Dinner opens with an array of snacks - such as a cod croquette, a beef taco or a taleggio doughnut - before diving into dishes largely inspired by Cagali's Italian and Brazilian roots, as well as his time in Spain with star chefs Quique Dacosta and Martin Berasategui.

The resulting menu finds some fascinating pairings as a result - arctic charr comes with courgette and tucupi (a sauce made from Brazilian yellow manioc), and there's a custard with mussels, trout roe and sake kasu (the lees produced when making sake, which is often discarded). Wild halibut moqueca (a Brazilian fish stew) comes with palm hearts and farofa - a toasted cassava flour condiment, also from Brazil. It's a menu for the more adventurous, but service is simultaneously friendly and disarming, highlighting the casual fine dining movement that East London does so well.

Both tasting menus are available with or without accompanying drinks pairings.

Over £80
Modern European
Brazilian
Italian
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
Osip

Osip

1 High Street, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0AB

Located in the Somerset village of Bruton, Osip is a tiny restaurant owned and run by Merlin Labron-Johnson, who conjures impossibly beautiful, hyper-seasonal British tasting menus using locally-grown and reared produce. The 22-cover restaurant is housed in a charming stone building which used to be the village ironmonger and brings top-quality cooking to this idyllic rural spot.

The interior is typically understated, as Labron-Johnson’s restaurants tend to be: tiled walls, a flash of exposed brickwork and muted blue and white tones strike a bright and airy pose that makes the most of the small dimensions.

Serving a refined line-up of farm-to-table food, the 22-cover restaurant works grows much of its own produce and works closely with local suppliers to source the rest for a predominantly vegetarian menu. A couple of tasting menus are on offer - lunch diners can choose between a shortened tasting menu plus the full 'Osip' menu, whilst dinner guests just have the latter. Osip has taken the decision to make the tasting menus completely blind - you leave yourself in the hands of Labron-Johnson and his expert kitchen team here (though you get a lovely printed menu to take away with you afterwards). 

Dishes at the time of writing include roasted vegetable tea with burnt garlic oil, young leeks with almond praline and ricotta, roast chicken with hen of the woods mushroom, bearnaise, chicken sausage and cider mustard. The menu is bookended by snacks and petit fours. 

The drinks menu is similarly focused - the wine list is almost exclusively European, and there are West Country ciders and beers on offer too, as well as aperitifs and cocktails. The latter two might include a Somerset negroni, red vermouth with blood orange or a seasonal cocktail. Like the rest of the menu, the drinks selection changes regularly.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
J Sheekey

J Sheekey

28-32 St Martin's Court, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4AL

£50 - £79
Fish
The River Café

The River Café

Thames Wharf, Hammersmith, London, W6 9HA

Michelin-starred The River Café has long held the status as one of the best Italian restaurants in London, originally opening in 1987 and retaining its iconic reputation pretty much ever since. Located on the banks of the River Thames in Hammersmith, it’s known for its exceptional Italian food, excellent-mannered service and its stunning terrace, which is a must if you’re dining at the restaurant on a balmy day (although you might have to join a waiting list to get a seat). Head chef and founder Ruth Rogers is at the fore of the kitchen and has been for the last 35 years, with The River Café spawning some of the UK’s greatest chefs including Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Theo Randall.  

The interiors are simple, minimalist and a little dated, which is all part of the canteen-style charm that the restaurant was originally built to imitate. Bright colours draw the eye to certain features in the room, such as a bright pink wood-fired oven, while stainless steel finishes bring a slightly industrial, café-like edge to the dining room.  

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and the menu changes with the seasons. Expect rustic Italian fare that’s unfussy yet elegant and made with exceptionally high-quality ingredients. The menu is divided into antipasti, primi, secondi, dolci and gelati. Dishes might include the likes of Carpaccio di Manzo (finely sliced beef fillet crusted in thyme & black pepper with rocket and Sardinian winter tomatoes), Tagliatelle al Ragu (fresh pasta with veal, rabbit, pancetta and radicchio slow-cooked in red wine) and Coda di Rospo con Vongole (monkfish and clams roasted in white wine with capers, anchovies and cima di rape). Dessert span many gelato flavours and classics such as lemon tart or pannacotta with Grappa and Champagne rhubarb.  

The wine list, meanwhile, features varieties from Italy’s many wine-making regions and also includes port, masala and sweet wines.  

Over £80
Italian
One Michelin star
Woven by Adam Smith

Woven by Adam Smith

Coworth Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7SE

Dorchester Collection's luxury country house hotel and spa at Coworth Park, Berkshire is home to acclaimed chef Adam Smith and his latest restaurant - Woven by Adam Smith. Set in the picturesque grounds of Coworth Park, the restaurant is surrounded by 240 acres of parkland, trees, flowers and wildlife. Taking inspiration from the quintessential Berkshire countryside, the restaurant takes on a natural concept that offers an unforgettable culinary experience.

Coworth Park interior designer Martin Hulbert has also taken the lead on designing the restaurant, and it follows a similar sense of grandeur. Each detail of the design is inspired by the natural world and its beauty; fabrics, lighting, artworks, natural materials and striking colours and textures will all contribute to an intriguing, unique but luxurious dining space. The main dining room has the capacity for 44 guests while the adjoining conservatory adds an extra 12 guests; it is within this space that diners will get the best views of the park. 

Dining at this Georgian country house is a special occasion brought about by Adam Smith's innovative and contemporary menus. The menu takes diners on a culinary journey with sections labelled from the pantry, larder, stove, pastry and finally a treats section. Kicking things off in the pantry, there are simple snacks like devilled egg, caviar and Coronation chicken. Moving to the larder, you'll find crab paired with radish, apple, basil and yuzu; followed by salt aged yorkshire duck from the stove. Heading to the pastry section, Adam's selection of desserts include British cheeses, his signature chocolate and sea salt dessert and black fig paired with walnut, bee pollen and honey from the estate. 

Combining the interiors, the menus and the atmosphere and the restaurant, Adam aims to tell stories from his career as well as from the idyllic landscape. Dishes on the seasonally-changing menu are inspired by the finest produce; guests are treated to fresh seafood, professional butchery, foraged mushrooms, hand-picked herbs and native flower garnishes.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Claridge

Claridge's Bar

Claridge's, Brook Street, Soho, London, W1K 4HR

Bars
Hotel Bars
£30 - £49
Daphne

Daphne's

112 Draycott Avenue, South Kensington, London, SW3 3AE

£50 - £79
Italian
The Lighthouse - Aldeburgh

The Lighthouse - Aldeburgh

77 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5AU

£30 - £49
Modern European
Umu

Umu

14-16 Bruton Place, Mayfair, London, W1J 6LX

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Ikoyi

Ikoyi

180 Strand, Aldwych, London, WC2R 1EA

Ikoyi has been on quite the journey since opening its doors in the summer of 2017. It survived a heavy barrage of TripAdvisor criticism in the first six months, then emerged as a genuine trailblazer in London's restaurant scene, scooping a Michelin star in 2018, then a second in 2022. To call this a 'West African' restaurant is a wild simplification of what dinner at Ikoyi entails. Yes, the restaurant is named after a district of Lagos, Nigeria, and yes, there is a great deal of West African inspiration in the dishes, but the menu at Ikoyi is so much more - it's West Africa via Noma, with smatterings of chef Jeremy Chan's Chinese-Canadian background and everything in between. 

Ikoyi has built a unique spice-based cuisine around British micro-seasonality, using vegetables that have been slowly grown for flavour, sustainable, line-caught fish and aged native beef. That produce is then served in it's optimal state, and combined with carefully constructed pairings using umami flavours. That umami can come from beef, or mushroom, or tomato, but also comes from a vast collection of sub-Saharan West African spices, meticulously researched and sourced by the restaurant. 

The results are astonishing, sometimes challenging and totally unique. The tasting menu  can feature dishes like octopus fried in wild rice and yeasted béarnaise, plantain smoked kelp and blackberry, turbot, caramelised chicken and artichoke miso and pistachio, comice pear and grains of peace - an African seed pod that has notes of liquorice and mandarin. And, of course, that smoking jollof rice that graced Instagram for a number of months.

Ikoyi also offers a shorter lunch menu and a clever bar menu that features smart West Africa-inspired cocktails, such as a plaintain old fashioned made with plantain rum and a Palm Punch, made with rum, palm wine and tiger nut.

Over £80
International
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Clove Club

The Clove Club

380 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LT

The Clove Club is a relaxed fine dining restaurant, tucked away inside the Grade II-listed Shoreditch Town Hall in East London. The restaurant burst onto the London scene in 2013, and it has become one of the most awarded restaurants in the capital, scooping a heap of plaudits as well as two Michelin stars.

As you’d expect from a building like this, the dining room has a real sense of grandeur. High ceilings and towering windows make the room feel light, bright and almost palatial, whilst hardwood floors and pressed white tablecloths are sophisticated without feeling stuffy. The service matches, being both attentive but still friendly and easy going.

Led by chef-patron Isaac McHale, the team serves a precise, seasonal tasting menu that strips ingredients back to their essential elements. The restaurant goes far and beyond to source the best produce Britain has to offer, and presents that produce in its purest form. As well as the regular tasting menu, the restaurant also offers a vegetarian tasting menu, and a short tasting menu, which is available for lunch as well as for midweek dinner in the front room and at the bar.

Dishes on the tasting menu include Torbay prawn tartare with long pepper oil and pica lemon, sardine sashimi with ginger and chrysanthemum glaze, and grilled habanero granita with plum sorbet. Dishes are often inspired with McHale’s experiences, such as the Hazelwood grilled grouse sausage with bread sauce and clapshot, which is inspired by his upbringing on Orkney in Scotland.

An extensive wine collection accompanies the menus, and the wine list showcases some of the most exciting contemporary winemakers alongside a selection of fine, classical old world wines. A wine flight is also available to accompany the tasting menu.

Over £80
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
Gloria

Gloria

54-56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3QR

This new site from French restaurant group Big Mamma is found on the corner of Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, in the space which formerly housed Red’s True BBQ. The restaurant is split over two floors and seats around 150 diners. The interiors are inspired by the Italian island of Capri in the 1970s, while on the menu, you can expect to find over-the-top versions of Italian classics.

Take the 10-layer lasagne, or the cacio e pepe, which is served in a giant wheel of cheese. Desserts are just as epic, including the likes of a singular giant profiterole, and a hefty wedge of lemon meringue pie. Drinks are fun too, and include a classic Negroni topped with truffle foam. 

Interior image: Jerome Galland
Food image: Joann Pai 

£30 - £49
Italian
The Araki

The Araki

12 New Burlington Street, London, W1S 3BH

Over £80
Sushi
Chutney Mary

Chutney Mary

73 St James's Street, St James's, London, SW1A 1PH

Chutney Mary is a fine dining Indian restaurant in St James’s which first opened back in 1990, in its then Chelsea location. With a comfortable dining room and modern plating it quickly became a popular choice among London foodies and continues to be held in utmost regard on the capital’s dining scene.  

£50 - £79
Indian
Zuma

Zuma

5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DL

Zuma was a sensation when it first opened in 2002 and while some of the buzz has died down in the almost 20 years since it launched, it’s still one of the foremost party restaurants in the capital.

The excitement builds before you’ve even crossed the threshold thanks to an unpromising location on a Knightsbridge backstreet which whispers rather than shouts 'insider secret'. Once inside, a bar to the right of the entrance creates an immediate sense of buzz and, if you’re not in the mood for a full meal, serves some knockout Asian-accented cocktails as well as providing access to the restaurant's carefully curated wine list. Should you feel peckish, you can also eat here too, either up at the bar or one of the leather sofas.

The dining room proper stretches out behind. Larger groups sit at tables and chairs while solo diners, couples and curious foodies might be seated at the long, U-shaped counter which wraps around the open kitchen and gives a bird’s eye view of the chefs at work as they meticulously slice sashimi or craft exquisite morsels of sushi.

Zuma’s success, however, has always relied upon the combination of traditional Japanese culinary techniques grafted on to a western sensibility. As well as the expertly prepared raw fish, the long, long menu deals in beguilingly delicious signature dishes. Small plates include warm aubergine with sweet miso; seabass with yuzu, truffle oil and salmon roe; and crispy fried squid with green chilli lime. Meat dishes are just as good: chicken wings with saké, sea salt and lime, and rib-eye steak with wafu sauce and garlic crisps, are never likely to leave the menu.

The downside to all the good-time vibes is that when it’s at full tilt, eating here can feel like dining in the middle of a very loud party, and if being surrounded by the international super-rich is not your idea of a good time (or budget), then walk on by. But almost everyone who enters into the upbeat spirt of the place leaves vowing to return.  

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Pearly Queen

Pearly Queen

44 Commercial Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LT

Michelin-starred chef Tom Brown opens his second East London venture with Pearly Queen, an oyster bar and restaurant located on Commercial Street in Shoreditch. Following up on his Michelin-starred restaurant Cornerstone just up the road in Hackney, this second project is all about fresh fish and seafood, inspired by the East End’s heritage of fish cookery.

The 60-cover dining room is split across two floors, with upstairs designed to mimic the feel of an East End boozer, boasting a bar with counter seating for guests to enjoy a drink at. While a smart dining room with banquet seating, secret cubbies and a late-night vibe can be expected on ground level. The interiors have been designed by AN-RD, an award-winning interior and furniture design studio, while artworks throughout the space are by London artist Reuben Dangoor, who you might recognise having been commissioned for the likes of TFL and Arsenal. Elsewhere, works by Olivia Rose can be found, who currently has pieces hanging in the National Portrait Gallery.

Pearly Queen is open for lunch and dinner and features a selection of crustaceans, sharing platters, small and large dishes. Guests can start their meal with UK-sourced oysters, along with rotating specials such as crispy buffalo oysters with ranch dressing. Elsewhere, shellfish platters featuring seaweed aioli and burnt tomato ketchup are served over ice, with customers able to select their preferred shellfish from the counter and see them being shucked by the skilled team. Small plates include cockle bhajis and prawn scotch eggs, while larger dishes include grilled lobster in an XO lobster butter sauce.

To drink, cocktails play a starring role. Max Venning has curated a special list featuring the likes of an OCS cocktail, mixing gin, olive oil, cucumber and lemon, and a Pearly Martini, combining vodka or gin, Picpoul and a pearl onion. These can be paired with a selection of snacks, such as shellfish hummus and tuna and parmesan gougères.

£30 - £49
British
The Forest Side

The Forest Side

The Forest Side Hotel, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9RN

Set inside a fairytale gothic mansion, The Forest Side is both a hotel and award-winning restaurant set against the stunning surrounds of the Lake District. The Forest Side restaurant has held onto its Michelin star since 2017, with head chef Paul Leonard at the helm of the kitchen. Serving food that’s firmly rooted in the landscape of the lakes, utilising the best seasonal produce and pairing it with wines from small organic and bio-dynamic producers, The Forest Side’s commitment to sustainability and innovation has led it to be considered one of the best restaurants in Cumbria.  

Diners are made to feel as connected to their surroundings as possible. The bright and airy restaurant overlooks a terrace which offers views of lush green lawns and beautiful woodland. A muted colour palette inside, as well as lots of reclaimed timber and steel tables, earthenware plates and a stunning centrepiece table made from a windblown tree contribute to the sense of the restaurant's place amongst nature.  

Only tasting menus are available, although guests are able to choose between six and eight courses for lunch and dinner respectively, with vegetarian options available, too. Examples of dishes you might find include spring peas with Herdwick lamb and smoked yoghurt, BBQ Shetland mussels, salt-aged duck roasted on the crown with morels glazed in truffle juice, and first-of-the-season rhubarb with cultured buttermilk and shiso.  

The wines share the same philosophy as the food with a focus on local, all-natural products. Each one is sourced from artisan makers who produce quality wines on a small scale and are made with no artificial chemicals, minimum sulphur dioxide and natural fermentation techniques. The cocktails, meanwhile, feature foraged ingredients, including one aptly named Forager made with pineapple-infused vodka, homemade ginger beer and lime. Meals here are best enjoyed with an overnight stay.

Over £80
Modern European
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Sticky Walnut

Sticky Walnut

11 Charles Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH2 3AZ

£50 - £79
Modern European
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London

Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London

252 High Holborn, Bloomsbury, London, WC1V 7EN

Bars
The Walnut Tree

The Walnut Tree

Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 8AW

Headed up by Shaun Hill, the Michelin-starred Walnut Tree is well-established as a top destination for both food and board in Wales. The dining room is simple and elegant, adorned with pieces from the sister Art Shop and Chapel, and the dishes display Hill's expertise confidently. Every ingredient is celebrated from humble herbs up to lavish cuts of meat and fish, in a dish that may seem simple, but is only presented so. 

The ever-changing set and a la carte menus depend on which ingredients are available that day. A typical lunch or dinner menu might feature indulgent intros like a twice-baked cheese souffle with Welsh black truffle, tandoori monkfish with masala gravy and raita or veal sweetbreads with pig's head cromesqui and sauerkraut. These are followed up by the likes of skate with brown butter and shrimps, seabass with chorizo, shellfish and haricot beans or Creedy Carver duck breast with pastilla and medjool date. Those with space left can enjoy a dessert such as a pear bakewell, twice-baked rhubarb souffle or a selection of French cheese. 

An extremely affordable set menu, however, will feature a similar style of dish. This might start with Keralan fish curry or pork rillettes with pickles and toast, before moving to hazelnut-crusted hake with watercress sauce or a blade of beef with mushroom and bacon. A set menu might then finish with a dark chocolate and lime cheesecake with raspberry icing, or an apple and blackberry parfait. 

The range of wines by the glass is impressive, and the range by the bottle even more so, both featuring careful global selections. Sparkling is available by the glass or bottle or in one of three Champagne cocktails, including a French 75 and kir royal. Other cocktails are on offer here too, including negronis, Brooklyns and even a black garlic bloody Mary. 

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
Myse

Myse

Main Street, Hovingham, North Yorkshire, YO62 4LF

Experience the charm of Mýse, a restaurant with rooms offering a British tasting menu curated by chef Joshua Overington and sommelier Victoria Overington. Situated in the beautifully scenic village of Hovingham amid North Yorkshire's Howardian hills, Mýse pays homage to the region's rich history through Joshua's sophisticated take on traditional Yorkshire cuisine.Named after the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘eating at the table’, ‘Time and Place’ shape the menus, showcasing the day's unique, locally sourced ingredients. Mýse is committed to championing small scale and local producers, embracing regenerative farming, and embracing sustainability. From foraging and fermenting to crafting bespoke tableware, the team ensures a wonderful dining experience. Whether enjoying drinks by the fireplace, dining in the open kitchen's ambiance, or staying in the beautifully renovated 19th century inn's en suite rooms, Mýse promises a memorable and surprising fine dining adventure.

Immerse yourself in the flavors of North Yorkshire with Mýse’s tasting menu, carefully crafted to reflect the region's extraordinary landscape and rich history. Infused with an elegant twist on traditional Yorkshire cooking, this menu ensures it prioritises ingredients grown, farmed, fished, and foraged in the British Isles, emphasizing sustainability and regenerative farming. Collaborating with esteemed wine importers Keeling Andrew & Co, Mýse’s wine list, curated by Noble Rot, complements the menu's essence. Enjoy house made non alcoholic drinks featuring local seasonal fruits and herbs, or opt for the thoughtfully curated wine pairing and prestige pairing for a complete dining experience, available for pre-order or during your meal.

Expect to be delighted by dishes such as charcoal pie filled with raw roe deer and smoked caviar, hand dived Orkney scallop cooked in its own shell with sea urchin butter and roasted kohlrabi with barbequed leaves and a chive butter sauce.

Over £80
Modern European
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Silo

Silo

CRATE Brewery, Hackney, London, E9 5EN

Chef Douglas McMaster originally set up Silo in Brighton back in 2014, before transplanting his trailblazing zero-waste concept to London in 2019, taking up residence at CRATE Brewery in Hackney Wick. Silo really kickstarted the renewed interest in sustainable restaurants and food production that we’ve seen in recent years, with McMaster going above and beyond to show that - although sometimes labour intensive - practically everything can be made zero waste. Silo aims to work only with natural materials and creates everything from its whole form, cutting out food miles and over-processing whilst preserving nutrients and the integrity of the ingredients in the process.

Silo’s restaurant furniture and fittings are created from a desire to re-use, choosing up-cycling before recycling: the table tops are made from upcycled Smile Plastic, the bar front from recycled leather, and the wall lights crafted from crushed wine bottles. All products delivered to the restaurant come in re-useable crates, pails, urns or containers.

Silo’s commitment to sustainability means that the food menu changes constantly, with 10-15 dishes available at any time. Examples of what you might find include the likes of red Kuri pumpkin with whipped ricotta and wet walnut, celeriac with caramelised cream and cobnut or fallow deer with celeriac and quince. Sweeter dishes, meanwhile, might include the house bread as an ice cream sandwich or panela ice cream with apple and lovage. To accompany the food, there are wines from small-batch producers, while cocktails are being produced in partnership with cocktail king Mr Lyan (of Lyaness and Cub fame).

McMaster is keen to spread his eco-friendly message to diners too, by hosting sustainability-focused workshops in Crate’s new events space which can be found next door to the restaurant. In 2021 Silo was awarded the Michelin Green Star for its pioneering zero-waste work.

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
Furna

Furna

6 New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1UF

Brighton’s Dave Mothersill has spent his whole career working around some of Brighton’s most respected and recognisable restaurants, including stints at Terre a Terre, with Ben McKellar at The Gingerman, and years as executive chef for Razak Helalat’s Black Rock group, during which time he opening The Salt Room and The Coal Shed in London.

At Furna, Mothersill is breaking out on his own and putting his own spin on fine dining. You’ll find the restaurant in a very central spot near the Royal Pavilion Gardens, making it easy to get to from anywhere in the city, as well as being a short walk from the seafront.

A bar area in the entrance provides a stopping point for pre- and post-dinner drinks, and the restaurant itself has 26 covers. The basement holds a walk-in wine room as well as a private dining room and chef’s table for groups of four to eight.

The menu is around eight courses including snacks, and includes an optional cheese course to finish. Mothersill’s style is broadly international, incorporating lots of Asian flavours in subtle ways. The restaurant also works with whole animals, using every part of the animal to craft dishes. Dishes on the menu include milk brined veal sweetbread with kabocha squash, maple sherry and roasted chicken sauce, and salt aged Sika deer with beetroots, Agen prunes, bone marrow and bitter chocolate.

There is also an extensive drinks menu that includes smart house cocktails, classic mixes, spirits, non-alcoholic options and a compact wine list that includes a selection of rare fine wines. Furna also offers a wine pairing to go with the menu.

Over £80
International
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Kiln Soho

Kiln Soho

58 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 9TL

Pint-sized Kiln has become one of Soho's most popular restaurants, a Thai barbecue joint which serves up a regularly-changing menu to its locals. At one time Kiln took walk-ins only, resulting in long queues down Brewer Street - thankfully these days it's possible to book, though the real fun remains at the counter, which is still for walk-ins only. 

Kiln is the brainchild of chef and restaurateur Ben Chapman, who is also behind popular Thai eatery Smoking Goat, which can be found in Shoreditch. Taking up residency on Soho’s Brewer Street, Kiln finds itself in good company alongside the likes of Randall & Aubin and El Camion. Much like its sibling, the menu here focuses on stir fries, curries and barbecue dishes cooked over open flames, championing dishes from a grill, seafood and clay pot alike.

To fans of Smoking Goat, it should come as no surprise that the food at Kiln is punchily spiced. The menu also changes regularly, with the offering evolving depending on what produce is currently in season. You can visit Kiln for either lunch or dinner, and while you’re there you might come across the likes of slow grilled chicken and soy, Tamworth pork belly curry with kapi, or wild ginger and beef neck curry which finds its roots in Burma.

One dish that you will always find on the menu is Kiln’s signature serve – clay pot baked glass noodles topped with Tamworth pork belly and brown crab meat. Kiln doesn’t serve desserts, but it makes up for that with a truly delightful drinks list. Accompany your meal with a glass from Kiln’s list of European-leaning wines, or opt for one of its house-made cocktails which experiment with fermentation and pickling.

Perhaps you’re in the mood for a Turmeric Gin & Tonic, or maybe it will be the Thai Basil & Peppercorn Mojito that takes your fancy. Competitive pricing, on both the drinks and food, is a further draw. 

£30 - £49
Thai
Burmese
SquareMeal London Top 100
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

The Connaught, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

Having taken over the restaurant at The Connaught in 2008 as part of a mass refurbishment, Hélène Darroze has now been overseeing the kitchen at the luxury London hotel for well over a decade. During that time, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught has become regarded as one of the Capital’s finest restaurants and currently holds the highest accolade of three Michelin stars.

Serving creative dishes which are each focused around one main ingredient, the restaurant offers a bespoke menu which reflects each diner’s personal tastes and preferences to create a truly unique dining experience. This combined with the world class service and impressive interiors at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught make it a restaurant for the most special of occasions.

A tenth-birthday facelift from designer Pierre Yovanovitch has seen the dining room become warmer and slightly more relaxed in feel; the light wooden panels play host to two collages by British artist Damian Hirst, while the leather and velvet chairs sit around exposed wooden tables. An impressive blue glass-blown chandelier hangs from above providing a stylish yet contemporary edge to the restaurant. Hélène Darroze at The Connaught now also boasts a stunning chef’s table which overlooks the pass and allows diners to question the chefs as they prepare the food.

Showcasing some of Britain’s finest produce, the food offering consists of a lengthy menu from which you can choose either five or seven dishes to create your perfect tasting menu. Meanwhile, the lunch menu provides three courses at an agreeable price without any beverages. You can expect dishes on offer such as caviar with langoustine, oyster and runner bean, Denbighshire Pigeon with beetroot, wild blueberry and Mexican mole, and Tainori chocolate with hazelnut and voatsiperifery pepper.

The restaurant’s drinks offering is equally elaborate as the food with a variety of different drink pairings available, trolleys of spirits being wheeled table-to-table, and an impressively expansive wine list.

Over £80
French
Three Michelin stars
Bar Termini Soho

Bar Termini Soho

7 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JE

Bars
Rules

Rules

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7LB

Nostalgic, traditional, and full of pomp, this splendidly antiquated institution purrs along like a vintage Rolls Royce, serving the kind of Bulldog British food that makes tourists dewy-eyed with admiration. Specialising in game, oysters, puddings and pies, Rules' menu isn't designed with vegetarians in mind, but one would expect nothing less from London's oldest restaurant.

Opened by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules would no doubt still be familiar to former patrons such as Charles Dickens, who looks down over the plush, panelled dining room from walls crowded with old sketches and paintings. A wonderfully soothing atmosphere pervades the whole place – no wonder several scenes from TV’s Downton Abbey were filmed here.

There’s consistency across the board and quality is guaranteed, especially if you are feasting on confidently rendered staples such as Dorset crab salad, chicken and ham hock pie or roast tranche of turbot with hollandaise. Game from the restaurant’s Lartington Estate is a real draw in season, when specials such as braised pheasant with lentils or roast grouse with game chips, bread sauce and redcurrant jelly make their time-honoured appearance.

Desserts are mostly dear old friends such as bread and butter pudding and apple crumble – all served with custard, naturally – while the wine list is stuffed with bottles from Old World producers. There are also various house cocktails dedicated to royal spouses, including The Duchess of Sussex.

Expect to be treated like an old friend from the moment you're greeted by the top-hatted doorman to the moment you leave, sated and satisfied with a big smile on your face, whistling Rule, Britannia! under your breath. 

£50 - £79
British
Fish Shop Ballater

Fish Shop Ballater

3 Netherley Place, Ballater, Aberdeen & Deeside, AB35 5QE

Fish Shop is a fish and seafood restaurant in Scotland's Cairngorns National Park, run by the team behind The Fife Arms. Perhaps a tiny Scottish village on the edge of the Cairngorms is an unexpected place to find one of the best restaurants in the UK? But then again, when you consider that what makes Fish Shop Ballater so special is its fine, fresh produce, commitment to simplicity and community-focused ethos, it totally makes sense. 

Ballater is just a stone's throw from Braemar, the Highlands village which is home to The Fife Arms, the five-star hotel that's enraptured the world with its artistic decor (a Picasso hangs in the lounge, don't you know). And, when you consider that Fish Shop comes from the same hospitality group, you know you're on the right track. 

Inside, the restaurant floor is intimate with space for 40 diners in total, while decor is mainly simplistic with nautical nods and all designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. For example, the wooden, bistro seats are handmade from FSC timber veneer and an old rowing boat, which once navigated the waters of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula no less, is reused underneath a statement table - no doubt creating a talking point for diners. 

Fish Shop's menu is inspired by the heritage and traditions of Scottish fishing and is focused on shellfish and day boat fish, with the addition of select game, meat and vegetables from local farms and estates. Everything you see on the menu is sustainably sourced and daily highlights include scorched line-caught mackerel with Braemar rhubarb and radish, alongside BBQ whole plaice with Shetland mussels and samphire, as welll as sweetners like 70% Island dark chocolate ice cream and Blackthorn sea salt.

And, if you like what you taste, you can stop by the adjoining fishmongers which sells seafood from the same boats and providers as the restaurant, with a seasonal selection of fish and shellfish arriving early each morning.

£30 - £49
Scottish
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Isabel

Isabel

26 Albemarle Street , Mayfair, London, W1S 4HY

Wealthy people like to eat where the owner is, in the words of Margaret Thatcher, “one of us”, which is why Casa Cruz and Isabel, the London duo of restaurants from investment banker-cum-interior designer-cum-restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz, have proved such a hit.

Santa Cruz has an instinctive understanding that for a certain type of well-heeled diner, the look of the restaurant is as important (perhaps even more so) than the food that is being served. For the London fashion crowd – whether that’s staffers on the magazines from nearby Vogue House, Bond Street shoppers with money to burn or the photographers and models who make up the biannual jamboree of London Fashion Week – Isabel is a restaurant where the interior design is as striking as the designer clothes modelled by its customers.

Which isn’t to suggest that there isn’t some accomplished cooking on offer at Isabel, though be aware that the portion sizes lean towards size zero, while the kitchen’s formula of low-carb, high-protein dishes will not be a recipe for success for lovers of creamy sauces and indulgent side dishes.

That said, diners who eat out a lot for either work or pleasure will be relieved that the likes of radicchio salad with anchovy, parmesan and grapefruit, or cod with sprout tops, capers, black olives and pine nuts, won’t send them out onto Albemarle Street needing an afternoon nap or falling asleep on the tube home.

Breakfast and weekend brunch add to Isabel’s all-day appeal – there are pastries, French toast and a full English if you don’t want to go down the healthy eating route – while evenings offer the opportunity to sit up at the bar with a cocktail or glass of wine and some ‘para picar’ nibbles. Like all of the food here, however, the cost of the small plates is likely to lead to a very large bill.       

Over £80
International
Min Jiang at the Royal Garden Hotel

Min Jiang at the Royal Garden Hotel

Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 4PT

£50 - £79
Chinese
Dim Sum
Restaurant Andrew Fairlie

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie

Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scottish Borders, PH3 1NF

Andrew Fairlie is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant by the chef of the same name. Although it is an entirely independent venture, the restaurant is located within the iconic five-star Gleneagles hotel in Scotland and set against the backdrop of the stunning Perthshire Hills. Andrew Fairlie is the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars (which it has held for the last 15 years), a success that can be attributed to work of the Scottish chef, who was awarded a Roux Scholarship at the young age of 20 and accrued a series of accolades throughout his lifetime. Andrew sadly passed away in 2019 due to a brain tumour.

The restaurant is his greatest legacy and continues to serve outstanding food under his name. There are multiple menus available including both a la carte and tasting options, as well as vegetarian alternatives. The tasting menu features a selection of the restaurant’s greatest dishes, with examples being crab claw and razor clam with golden oscietra caviar, ballotine of fois gras with rhubarb and pistachio, herb crusted lamb loin with lamb bon bon and pearl barley and chocolate parfait with yuzu and pistachio.  

To drink, diners can opt for a wine flight to be paired with the tasting menu, or choose to sample the drinks list which includes a selection of aperitifs, digestifs and fine wines.  

The restaurant is open six nights a week for dinner and can be accessed via its own private entrance within Gleneagles. Andrew Fairlie pays as close attention to its thoughtful service and attention to detail as much as the food, so expect to be treated like royalty for the night if you dine here. And if that doesn’t do it, the royal interiors, complete with plush seating and dimmed lighting, just might.

Over £80
Modern European
Scottish
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Artichoke

Artichoke

9 Market Square, Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP7 0DF

Located in the old town of Amersham in Buckinghamshire, Michelin-starred Artichoke is owned and led by Chef Patron Laurie Gear and his wife Jacqueline. They opened the restaurant originally in 2002 with the aim of providing the very best neighbourhood dining experience, a feat largely undertaken by chef patron Laurie Gear and head chef Chris Chegwin. While Laurie runs the kitchen team, Jacqueline oversees the day-to-day management of Artichoke with a strong background in business.  

The restaurant is set inside a 16th century Grade II listed building with many of its original features left intact inside. The style, however, is slightly different to its historic foundations, with the interiors designed by Fiona Johnston Parke in a Scandi-chic style. Drawing on Laurie’s time spent in Scandinavia, expect lots of soft tones of walnut, grey and lilac, with finishing touches including amethyst glass and hand-crafted pottery.  

The menu is modern European in style and uses top quality ingredients that are locally sourced and hyper-seasonal. For dinner, there is only one nine-course tasting menu available while for lunch there is a slightly shorter lunch set menu, ‘Artichoke’ menu or the tasting menu. There are also vegetarian equivalents of all the above. Most start with chiltern ale black bread with malt vinegar and cultured butter while other signature dishes might include mushroom tortellini with fennel, carrot, golden enoki and trumpet mushrooms, roast cornish cod with clams, crisp potato, clam and chervil sauce as well as goosnargh duck breast with duck leg croquette, leek puree and blood orange. On the sweet front, guests are treated to apple tarte tatin with Somerset apple brandy caramel and vanilla ice cream. 

To drink, there is an international wine list that is broken down by region and can be ordered by the glass, half bottle or bottle.

Over £80
Modern European
One Michelin star
Benedicts

Benedicts

9 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 4PE

£50 - £79
British
The Edinburgh Castle Ancoats

The Edinburgh Castle Ancoats

Blossom Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5AN

The Edinburgh Castle is a nationally recognised gastropub serving homely but sophisticated grub that speaks for itself. It has stood on the corner of Blossom Street since 1811 but the iconic red brick building has since been refurbished in a quirky but glamorous style in keeping with its history as a Victorian boozer. The cosy downstairs bar is fitted in a dark colour palette with marble, mirrors, mahogany and candlelit tables. The upstairs dining room is more mid-century in style, with tan leather chairs, parquet flooring, and framed posters peppering the walls. 

Under the culinary direction of executive chef Shaun Moffat - who has held roles with The Jamie Oliver Group, Berber & Q, and Manteca - The Edinburgh Castle menu seamlessly blends casual pub fair, fine dining technique, and North Country charm. 

It’s a short menu but composed with exclusively British produce, with bread and flour from the local Pollen Bakery, vegetables from Cinderwood market and organic noth, and fish sourced directly from Henderson in Brixham. Incorporating locally sourced ingredients with attention to seasonality, dishes here cover both the unusual and the familiar without presence. 

Menu options have featured a variety of dishes, such as Colchester oysters served with a rhubarb mignonette, Pollen sourdough accompanied by house butter, and Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese doughnuts. For smaller plates and starters, guests can enjoy offerings like Tamworth sausage with cavolo nero and plum relish, Shetland mussels with leeks and cider, or a unique cull ewe crumpet-scone hybrid served with homemade garlic mayonnaise. 

Main courses include classic chops like a Barbara Davis Tamworth pork saddle, or a highland beef oxtail and bone marrow pie. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Northern pub experience without an extra side of beef-dripping chips and a respectable Sunday roast offering. Plus, there’s an extensive but affordable wine selection to accompany your meal.

£30 - £49
British
Gastropub
Kai

Kai

65 South Audley Street, London, W1K 2QU

Over £80
Chinese
One Michelin star
£30 - £49
The Coach Marlow

The Coach Marlow

3 West Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 2LS

Fancy a cosy, welcoming meal? Visit The Coach, an inviting British pub that has been decorated with a prestigious Michelin one-star rating, found in the heart of Marlow.

Indulge in a wonderful experience curated by head chef Sarah Hayward, crowned Michelin Young Chef of the Year 2023. The seasonal small plate menu features a modern twist on traditional dishes, served to you at the peak of freshness. The Coach comes with a cosy and laid back ambiance, featuring TV screens for catching the latest sports action. The focal point is The Coach’s L-shaped pewter bar, offering diners a front row seat to the lively pub atmosphere. Bar stools face the open kitchen, providing an immersive view of dining theatrics during service.

If you fancy yourself a bit of a connoisseur, explore the thoughtfully crafted wine list and a selection of brewed beers and ales, including selections from the local Rebellion Brewery in Marlow. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner, with the exception of Tuesdays when they take a brief pause. Reservations are available on the day for both lunch and dinner, while weekend breakfast operates on a convenient walk-in basis. Food is split into meat and no meat sections. Begin your meal with a starter of a rotisserie beetroot salad with mulled pear, burrata and hazelnuts, or mussels mariniere with warm stout and brown bread.

If you fancy something that is a twist on a classic, try the turbot scotch egg with curried onion and moilee sauce, or mushroom risotto claude bosi. Why not then try the crispy pig's head with devil on horseback, celeriac remoulade and date brown sauce, or the spiced parsnip soup with duck samosa and a sesame and peanut sauce.

£30 - £49
Pubs
British
Gastropub
One Michelin star
Oriole

Oriole

Smithfield Market, London, EC1A 9LH

Bars
SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower

SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower

Heron Tower, City of London, London, EC2N 4AY

Occupying the 38th and 39th floors of the tallest building in the City, SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower boasts the highest outdoor terraces in Europe, so if you’re looking for unparalleled, 360-degree views of the City, it’s a must-visit. Guests can take advantage of the views from the moment they step into the panoramic glass elevator that whisks its occupants up 39 floors in a jiffy before opening out on to the show-stopping main dining room.

SUSHISAMBA’s main dining room capitalises on its spectacular views of London with floor-to-ceiling windows. Pendulum lights hang through the gaps of the spectacular bamboo ceiling at varying heights, making the space look more like an art gallery than a restaurant. The impressive design doesn’t stop there though; bright orange banquette seating around the windows and hanging plants add vibrant pops of colour that offset the black and white floor.

It’s not just a few carefully-chosen plants that create the indoor-outdoor theme of this high-rise restaurant either – the structural orange tree on the west terrace is a work of art designed to reinforce the earth-to-sky motif this restaurant projects.

There’s more to SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower than its interiors and views, though these are undoubtedly a draw both for locals and visitors to London. The food is a colourful blend of Japanese and South American cuisine, meaning guests can look forward to the likes of Japanese tempura and sushi, Brazilian churrasco and moqueca, and Peruvian anticuchos and ceviches. The open kitchen, with its hot robata grill, churns out chargrilled meats, vegetables and fish, while the restaurant’s small-plates concept encourages a shared dining experience. There’s a separate vegan menu and a menu for the gluten-conscious too, plus a dessert menu brimming with cleverly-designed sweet treats that often look too pretty to eat. The bar is as well-stocked as can be, so be sure to try a cocktail while you’re there.

£50 - £79
Peruvian
Sushi
South American
Japanese
Brazilian
Endo at the Rotunda

Endo at the Rotunda

101 Wood Lane, White City, London, W12 7FR

Born in Yokohama, Endo Kazutoshi is a third-generation sushi master, specialising in the centuries-old Edomae style of sushi - a technique particular to Tokyo. After years spent as the executive sushi chef for the Zuma group, Kazutoshi struck out on his own with Endo at Rotunda and soon after, fulfilled his ambition of winning a Michelin star.

You'll find Endo at Rotunda perched on the top floor of the former Television Centre in White City. The space is designed with a graceful minimalism by multi-award-winning architect Kengo Kuma - as soon as you walk in the eye is drawn to the stunning 200-year-old Hinoki wood counter in the centre of the room, above which cloud-like light installation hangs. Meanwhile, panoramic windows on one side of the room give an incredible view across London.

'Omakase' translates as 'I leave it up to you' - the omakase menu at Endo at Rotunda leaves you in Kazutoshi's safe hands as takes you on an odyssey of Japanese flavours. The menu is ever-changing, seasonal and artistic, and guests get to watch a master at work as Kazutoshi prepares each dish by hand. Not only does each dish continue the journey, it also tells a part of Kazutoshi's personal journey.

To drink, there's an international wine list and a short list of signature cocktails such as the Satsuma, which blends whisky with mandarin, green tea and kumquat. In addition, Kazutoshi has developed personal relationships with some of Japan’s finest saké breweries, with many of those labels now only available in the UK at The Rotunda. Prices are as high as you might expect for an experience like this, but seats at the counter sell out pretty soon after being released.

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Locanda Locatelli

Locanda Locatelli

8 Seymour Street, London, London, W1H 7JZ

£50 - £79
Italian
One Michelin star
Dukes Bar at Dukes Hotel

Dukes Bar at Dukes Hotel

Dukes Hotel, St James's Place, London, SW1A 1NY

Bars
Waeska at The Mandrake

Waeska at The Mandrake

20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1PG

Given the Mandrake root’s trippy herbal reputation, it’s fitting that the mind-bendingly exotic, sensual interior of this boho-deluxe boutique hotel is a magical mystery tour de force. The décor throughout the hotel has been thoughtfully designed to offers guests an immersive experience, strongly influenced by the Amazon rainforest and nature.  

There is a choice of three bars at The Mandrake, although Waeska is perhaps the most intriguing of the lot – a decadent clubby cocktail lounge overseen by a fantastical creature that is half-gazelle, half-peacock. As you enter, your eye is immediately drawn to the collection of treasured artifacts, objets d'art and priceless artworks housed behind the expansive labradorite bar.   

Guests can sample a unique range of cocktails and bar snacks in this one-of-a-kind venue. The cocktail menu is founded on ethnobotany – the study of a region’s plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. Expect a range of drinks that feature various herbs and botanicals you’ve likely never heard of before.  

Restorative plant-based sips include Oshun (Bombay Sapphire gin infused with gynostemma herb, yuzu sake, basil, sudachi sherbert and champagne) or Euphoria (St Germain elderflower, Muyu Chinotto, blood orange, champagne and fennel). A serious selection of spirits, sakes, mezcals and digestifs are also available from the general bar menu.  

Diners can sample a selection of bar snacks alongside, inspired by South American cuisine, such as spinach, pine nut and ricotta empanadas, chorizo iberico, guindillas and almonds, burrata with chicory, hazelnuts and pears and oysters with ancho chilli vinegar.  

Looking for a late-night drinking destination? Every Friday and Saturday night, Waeska hosts also live DJ nights for guests to head to after hours for a dance within dark and mysterious surrounds. An evening spent at this opulent bar is guaranteed to be one to remember.  

£30 - £49
Bars
Hotel Bars
Etch by Steven Edwards

Etch by Steven Edwards

216 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2DJ

Etch is Steven Edwards' flagship restaurant in Hove, a modern, neighbourhood joint which focuses on seasonal British produce to create its weekly-changing menus. But first, a bit about the man himself. Steven is a MasterChef: The Professionals champion having won the sixth series in 2013 at the tender age of 26. Previous to that, he trained with some of the best chefs in the business, from Chris Wheeler to Raymond Blanc. He’s also spent time at the renowned South Lodge Hotel where he became head chef of the hotels second restaurant Camellia. After six years there, he set up his own company – etch – which started life as a pop-up and delivery business but has since found a permanent home on Church Road in Hove.

This contemporary restaurant boasts an open kitchen and bar, while dark blue walls and modern art create a luxe feel suited to special occasions. The menus change weekly as they’re linked closely to the seasons, so no two meals are ever the same here. However, examples of dishes that have been served in the past include langoustine with Granny Smith apple, pork with delica pumpkin, squab pigeon with watercress amongst a range of innovative snacks and small taster plates.

Etch prides itself on having a good selection of wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages to suit diner's needs. Creative cocktails include the Etchpresso Martini featuring whisky, coffee liqueur, crème de cacao, cream soda, brown butter, chocolate, walnut and coffee. While local beers, lagers and ciders appeal to the slightly less adventurous. Finally, the wine list champions smaller, family run producers with an emphasis on sustainability, providing the drinker with a sense of place and terroir. Guests can also elect to enjoy a wine pairing with their tasting menu which is designed to challenge the diner.

Over £80
Modern European
British
Josephine Bouchon

Josephine Bouchon

315 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 9QH

Josephine is a French restaurant in Chelsea run by Claude and Lucy Bosi, focusing on traditional dishes from Claude’s hometown of Lyon. Perched on the corner of Fulham Road and Callow Street, Josephine has much in common with Bosi’s 2023 opening Socca - a French bistro collaboration with Samyukta Nair in Mayfair.

Josephine is a celebration of Bosi’s upbringing in Lyon, his parents' bistro there, and nostalgia for the region. Naturally, guests can expect a traditional Lyonnaise menu, serving up food and dishes influenced by his formative years in a province considered by many to be the capital of French cuisine.

At the heart of Bosi’s success is his approach to food: source the finest produce and prepare it to the best of your ability. His name has been synonymous with fine dining in London for many years, but Josephine is a much more relaxed restaurant, styled in a very traditional way, from the heavy entrance curtain right down to the white tablecloths, candles and bistro-style low curtains on the windows.

Dishes like French onion soup, frogs legs in garlic butter, beef fillet with peppercorn sauce, and sole with brown butter all arrive on classic white porcelain dishes. There are also large sharing dishes for the table, like rabbit with mustard and tarragon sauce, and a rotisserie chicken with salad and potatoes. Josephine also offers a good value plat du jours every week day, with dishes including steak hache with mashed potatoes, blanquette de veux with pilaf rice, and mussels in a creamy sauce with French fries.

On the drinks front, you can expect a thoughtfully-curated French wine list as well as plenty of chartreuse.

£50 - £79
French
Berners Tavern at The London Edition

Berners Tavern at The London Edition

10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 3NP

£50 - £79
British
Bottles

Bottles

67 Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA

Wine Bars
Ynyshir

Ynyshir

Eglwys Fach, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8TA

Ynyshir is a restaurant with rooms in Wales run by chef patron Gareth Ward, who cooks a unique, 30-course tasting menu of pyrotechnic creations, heavily influenced by Japanese cuisine, with meat front and centre. The only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Wales, Ynyshir is regularly in the conversation among the very best restaurants in the country, and also boasts an attached four-star hotel where guests can stay over after dinner, which often clocks in between four and five hours.

A typical menu at Ynyshir is a true culinary journey, typically consisting of about 30 micro-courses. Aside from meat, there is also a focus on seafood. Earlier entries may include raw lobster tail with nahm jim, shrimp green curry and a chilli crab bun. These lighter bites then slowly blend into slightly meatier ones, like scallops with duck liver, aged bluefin tuna belly and miso-cured black cod with shiitake.

Moving to the meat dishes, you will typically see the likes of a duck larb, pork char siu, Welsh lamb spare rib or chicken katsu, before beef takes over. In this section, you can expect A5 beef (the wagyu of all wagyus). It could take any shape: a single-bite burger, ribs with black bean or sirloin with ponzu and caviar. Dessert is also usually spread across multiple tiny courses, which could take the form of buttermilk whey with Thai spices, Bramley apple with duck custard or tiramisu. 

The wine list is extensive and surprisingly reasonably priced, with a paragraph for each highlighting its background and best use. The back page of this list features fortified and sweet wines, but the whole list is only a few pages, showing Ynyshir's confidence in its decision-making. 

Over £80
Japanese
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100