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.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

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

Over £80
French
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 recently undergone a £1million 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. An early/late menu sees guests offered three courses for £38, including a pre-starter and a seasonal cocktail.

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
Cinnamon Kitchen City

Cinnamon Kitchen City

9 Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 4YL

£30 - £49
Indian
Coq d

Coq d'Argent

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

£50 - £79
French
Chez Bruce

Chez Bruce

2 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth, London, SW17 7EG

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
L

L'Enclume

Cavendish Street, Cartmel, Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria, LA11 6PZ

Over £80
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Whitehouse Restaurant Lochaline

The Whitehouse Restaurant Lochaline

The Whitehouse Restaurant, Lochaline, By Oban, Argyll, PA80 5XT

SEASONAL and open April to end of October each year!

£30 - £49
Modern European
Scottish
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
64 Degrees

64 Degrees

53 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HB

£30 - £49
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Wiltons

Wiltons

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

British
Fish
La Trompette

La Trompette

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

£50 - £79
French
One Michelin star
Xier

Xier

13-14 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3JR

Over £80
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
Bentley

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

11-15 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DG

For over 100 years now Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill has been serving up some of the freshest seafood to the well-heeled residents (and day-trippers) of London’s Mayfair district.

Now headed up by Michelin star chef Richard Corrigan, this smart restaurant, as you might expect, has a particular focus on oysters and offers up all kinds of varieties throughout the year – both raw and cooked – with a range of toppings. For those not so enamoured by the thought of raw shellfish, there is also a short selection of steaks for guests to choose from, which showcase meat from across the UK.

Interiors are a classic mix of leather in muted blue tones, warm wood and William Morris-esque wallpaper that create a relaxed yet sophisticated feeling. Pop in for a glass of fizz and a few oysters or settle in for the evening at the grill upstairs, which serves up things like wild Cornish mussels or simply cooked sea bass.

£50 - £79
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Wolseley

The Wolseley

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

This all-day café-restaurant, found in Piccadilly, is renowned for its unique combination of British heritage teamed with European grandeur. The Wolsey still holds its reputation as ‘somewhere special’ to visit, many years since opening, and is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

The iconic site of 160 Piccadilly began its story when it was commissioned in 1921 by Wolsey Motors Limited to English architect William Curtis Green, their desire was to create a prestigious car showroom that excluded 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 and it wasn’t until 2003 that restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King acquired the building and began a sympathetic renovation, later that same year The Wolsey opened its doors as the grand cafe-restaurant destination that we find today.

Known for its spectacular design, classic food and seamless service, The Wolsey remains an iconic and popular choice for both Londoners and tourists alike. Find out more about The Wolsey, the experience and its menus by reading our review.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Central European
Afternoon tea
SquareMeal London Top 100
Pollen Street Social

Pollen Street Social

8-10 Pollen Street, London, W1S 1NQ

Secreted beside a discreet Mayfair alleyway since 2011, Jason Atherton’s imperious Michelin-starred flagship, Pollen Street Social, remains “bang on the money” – a “masterpiece of fine dining” and a worthy winner of the SquareMeal Restaurant of the Year award in 2011 and 2017. Step through the glass door and the good vibrations hit you straight away, while the clean-lined metropolitan dining room shows its cosmopolitan class with dramatic lampshades and eye-catching arty exhibits.

Atherton may oversee a global empire these days, but he still puts in the shifts at PSS, and is often to be seen at the pass – a world-class hands-on restaurateur in his rightful place. Culinary influences and cross-fertilisation abound, but everything is underpinned by indigenous ingredients, from a witty Cockney riff involving smoked eel, buttermilk, beetroot reduction and jellied eel to South Downs fallow deer with pear, cocoa and chocolate vinegar or “staggeringly good” Lakeland lamb with beetroot, blackcurrant, savoy cabbage and a mini hotpot on the side – scintillating, exuberant food of the highest order, with maximum flavour delivering maximum satisfaction.

Provenance is absolutely key to Atherton, who believes that a menu can only ever be as good as its ingredients and has taken the time to foster long-term relationships with suppliers across Britain in order to obtain the very best produce the UK has to offer, from Colchester crab to Buccleuch beef, Jersey oysters, Orkney scallops and Goosnargh duck from Lancashire.

To start, the ‘fruits of the British sea’ is a delirious array of maritime delights presented on a special stand – we love the oyster ice cream dressed with an oyster leaf, the lobster cocktail, and the scallop with pickled radish and jalapeño; to finish, the dessert bar promises close encounters with the likes of Brogdale pear sorbet, goats’ cheese ice cream, honey and bee pollen.

Service plays it ‘social’ without ever losing its professional cool, and there are treasures galore on the ever-expanding wine list curated by the group’s whizz-bang sommelier Laure Patry. “Few places are such a treat” concludes one admirer of Pollen Street Social– amen to that. 

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Galvin La Chapelle

Galvin La Chapelle

35 Spital Square, Spitalfields, London, E1 6DY

Magnificent arched windows, soaring stone ceilings and sophisticated decor provide a beautiful backdrop in which to indulge in Michelin-starred dining at Galvin La Chapelle. Like all Galvin outposts, La Chapelle provides high-quality cuisine designed by brothers Chris, Jeff and David Galvin alongside luxurious surroundings and warm and hospitable staff, making it a popular choice for celebrating special occasions.

Galvin La Chapelle majors in modern French cuisine crafted from produce sourced fresh every day from Covent Garden Market. Seasonality is of huge importance to the Galvin family, so expect ever-changing dishes on their range of menus, which include vegetarian, vegan, tasting and special menus for high days and holidays, such as Valentine’s and Father’s Day.

As you’d expect from a Michelin-starred French restaurant, the food here is exquisitely presented. Diners wax lyrical about the beautiful presentation of each dish before going on to praise the taste and textures. Wonderful combinations come together in starters like Dorset crab lasagne with beurre Nantais and pea shoots, and velouté of Ironbark pumpkin served with seared foie gras, Lyonnaise onion and bacon crumb.

Mains take the form of dishes such as grilled Cornish red mullet with cuttlefish, orange-braised fennel, pine nut purée and sauce vierge, or roast loin of Icelandic cod accompanied by crushed Charlotte potatoes, cauliflower and a warm raisin dressing, while desserts could be anything from blackberry soufflé and milk ice cream to mandarin parfait made with hazelnut, cocoa nib crumb and Valrhona chocolate ganache.

The set Menu du Chef offers excellent value when you consider Galvin La Chapelle’s Michelin Star credentials, though if you’re really looking to push the boat out, you ought to consider the Menu Gourmand – a seven-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing that can be enjoyed in the main dining room or on the private dining mezzanine for that extra special experience.

£50 - £79
French
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

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

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

Murano

20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PP

Murano is Angela Hartnett’s Michelin starred restaurant in Mayfair, which serves up the chef’s signature honed Italian cookery. The space is warm and welcoming, and the simple style of the food does away with the commonly fussy dressings of traditional fine dining. The a la carte changes regularly and features just a choice few dishes per day, making the most of seasonal produce.

Over £80
Italian
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Mere

Mere

74 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 4QH

Monica Galetti, Masterchef judge and former senior sous chef at the legendary Le Gavroche, has offered herself up for scrutiny with her first solo restaurant. Mere, pronounced Mary, is the French word for mother and the Samoan word for Galetti’s own mother Mary.

Kick things off on a deep-blue velvet chair in the elegant ground-floor bar where, à Le Gavroche, guests peruse the menu, perhaps over a glass of the richly rounded house Champagne that Galetti has produced with Duval Leroy.

The striking design continues downstairs where a double-height glass frontage removes any sense of eating in a basement and has transformed the site into a light-filled lunchtime rendezvous as well as an elegant setting for dinner.

But as expected, it’s the cooking that shines the most brightly, with Galetti’s Samoan and New Zealand heritage blended seamlessly with Gavroche-style haute cuisine for a contemporary take on high-end dining.

To start, a light ’nduja sauce highlights the meatiness of a springy curl of octopus, sticky from the plancha, while the accompanying caper and raisin jam is so good you’ll want to spread it over the mini bread loaves that arrive warm from the kitchen. Brined cabbage, pickled celeriac and a gribiche dressing are the perky contrasts to soft folds of ox tongue.

To follow, lobster is rescued from creamy sauce territory, simply poached and served with potato purée, cabbage and a bisque sauce in harmony of light sweetness, while 30-day aged sirloin comes with puffs of onion beignets, glazed cheek and a tarragon crème fraiche to keep all the richness in check.

Desserts have more conventional flavours but are no less good for it: chocolate and peanut cremeux with peanut praline, roasted cocoa nib ice cream, and a coconut cream pie filled with roasted banana and drizzled with rum caramel are the stuff of sweet dreams.

The letter ‘M’ appears everywhere in the restaurant, from the door handles of the loos to the lapel pins of the nattily attired waters. With Mere, Monica Galetti has stamped her own claim to one of London’s most famous restaurant addresses.

 

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Five Fields

The Five Fields

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

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
34 Mayfair

34 Mayfair

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

£50 - £79
Steak
International
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

The Connaught, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

Over £80
French
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
Frenchie Covent Garden

Frenchie Covent Garden

16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8QH

£50 - £79
French
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Connaught Bar at the Connaught

The Connaught Bar at the Connaught

The Connaught, 16 Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

Bars
The Ivy

The Ivy

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

£50 - £79
British
International
SquareMeal London Top 100
Indian Accent

Indian Accent

16 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4HW

£50 - £79
Indian
SquareMeal London Top 100
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 Zuma’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 at Zuma 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
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Little Fish Market

The Little Fish Market

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

£50 - £79
Fish
Isaac At

Isaac At

2 Gloucester Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4EW

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Luca

Luca

88 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4EH

£50 - £79
Italian
Le Comptoir Robuchon

Le Comptoir Robuchon

6 Clarges Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8AE

The brand started by late French chef and restaurateur Joël Robuchon has bought what it calls an “evolved restaurant concept” to Clarges Street in Mayfair, with Le Comptoir Robuchon acting as an extended version of Robuchon’s original small plates concept.

The kitchen at Le Comptoir Robuchon is overseen by executive chef Jeremy Page, who was by Robuchon’s side for 13 years at the original L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Saint Germain, Paris (the London outpost closed in 2019 following the chef’s death the previous year). The menu is split into two parts and designed to share – La Saison is a run of contemporary and seasonal dishes which make use of high-quality produce, while Les Eternels comprises of a collection of Robuchon’s signature dishes.

From the La Saison section of the menu, you can enjoy dishes such as Saint-Jacques, scallop, potatoes and sage or Les Pleurotes, oyster mushroom and consommé, while Les Eternels features Le Homard, native lobster and romesco sauce, as well as burrata with a helping of Robuchon’s famous purée mashed potato. Those following restricted or alternative diets will be glad to know that vegan and gluten-free options are also available.

Le Comptoir’s Robuchon’s interiors have been designed by international design company Thurstan and is a luxurious space, featuring refined tones of burnt orange and clay, alongside banquette seating that’s great for groups and an elegant marble-top counter at the bar where guests can enjoy an aperitif.  

Joël Robuchon was a world-famous chef, having been awarded a total of 32 Michelin stars across 13 countries during his illustrious career, the most of any chef in the world. Robuchon is credited with reinventing French cuisine and acted as a mentor to several accomplished chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Michael Caines. Robuchon passed away in August of 2018 at the age of 73.

£50 - £79
French
Social Eating House

Social Eating House

58 Poland Street, Soho, London, W1F 7NR

Following the unprecedented success of his first solo venture Pollen Street Social, which achieved Michelin-star status in less than six months, world-renowned chef Jason Atherton went onto open Social Eating House, a more relaxed setting where diners can enjoy the same top-quality British food for which he has become known.

The restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2013, is located in the heart of Soho and is influenced by the buzziness of this vibrant area of London. Low-lit interiors with exposed brickwork, traditional white-washed copper ceilings and weathered leather banquette seating give the space a cosy and intimate ambience whilst the friendly and relaxed service add to the informal atmosphere.

Social Eating House is split across three floors with the popular Blind Pig cocktail bar on the first floor, the restaurant at street level and an exclusive chef’s counter dining space in the basement overlooking the open kitchen.

The kitchen is helmed by chef patron Paul Hood who has worked closely with Jason Atherton over the last decade. The duo have collaborated to create and develop dishes on the contemporary bistro menu that showcase both chefs’ personal styles of cooking while celebrating the very best seasonal and locally sourced produce. 

Starters from the ever-changing a la carte menu could include roasted foie gras, sesame-dressed vegetable salad, salted kombu kelp, pickled ginger and a bonito dashi; or Scottish scallop ceviche with smoked avocado, raw artichoke, sunflower seeds and horseradish.

From the main courses, highlights include slow-cooked Cornish venison loin, spiced red cabbage, salsify olive oil mash and candied walnuts; and roasted Cornish day-boat brill with cep, pearl barley, chipirones, charred baby leek and mushroom tea.

Finally, for something sweet, temptations include a caramelised milk tart with ginger wine gel, fromage frais sorbet and almond crack; or an autumn berry “cheesecake”, with blackcurrant sorbet, blackcurrant curd, and star anise.

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Bleeding Heart Restaurant

Bleeding Heart Restaurant

Bleeding Heart Yard, Farringdon, London, EC1N 8SJ

£50 - £79
French
Under £30
Hawksmoor Seven Dials

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

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

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Artesian at the Langham

Artesian at the Langham

The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 1JA

Bars
Berners Tavern at The London Edition

Berners Tavern at The London Edition

10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 3NP

£50 - £79
British
Afternoon tea
Roganic

Roganic

5-7 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3DB

Chef Simon Rogan’s two London outposts take in his Soho chef’s table Aulis and this resurrection of his much-lauded pop up Roganic, which ran for two years in 2011 and takes some elements from the chef’s two Michelin-starred L’Enclume in Cumbria.

Roganic’s focus is on supremely fresh ingredients, often sourced from the chef's own farm in Cartmel, with head chef Oliver Marlow (part of the original Roganic line-up) overseeing tasting menus of dainty but dynamic plates.

Everything is near perfect, from the intensely creamy starting snack of a preserved raspberry tart rooted with an earthy beetroot base, to a dessert of apple slices caramelised into a bundle of sweetness that is almost too pretty to eat.

More unconventional dishes include ice-cold scallops which first freeze the mouth before giving way to a topping of sour apple and gooseberry chunks, and a ramekin of unassuming-looking custard, which surprises with its savoury, saline notes of seaweed and caviar.

France leads the European-focused wine list (good luck finding much below £45), while wine flights are supplemented by a dozen by-the-glass options, and there are also Cumbrian beers and gin. Service is positively warm and friendly.

The restaurant’s understated interior (complete with 80s-style cane Cesca chairs) may not be to all tastes – not least given the not-very-understated prices – but Roganic excels at remixing the fine-dining of old in an exciting, and most importantly delicious, way.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Spring

Spring

Somerset House, Lancaster Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

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

Angler

South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, Moorgate, London, EC2M 2AF

£50 - £79
Fish
One Michelin star
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA

Over £80
French
Three Michelin stars
Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

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

£50 - £79
French
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
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
Chinese
Dim Sum
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Black Swan at Oldstead

The Black Swan at Oldstead

Oldstead, North Yorkshire, YO61 4BL

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Sushi Tetsu

Sushi Tetsu

12 Jerusalem Passage, London, London, EC1V 4JP

£50 - £79
Sushi
The Three Chimneys

The Three Chimneys

Colbost, Isle of Skye, Highlands, IV55 8ZT

£50 - £79
Modern European
The Waterside Inn

The Waterside Inn

Ferry Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2AT

Over £80
French
Three Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The River Café

The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 9HA

£50 - £79
Italian
One Michelin star
Restaurant Fraiche

Restaurant Fraiche

11 Rose Mount , Oxton, Merseyside, CH43 5SG

Over £80
French
Restaurant Moor Hall

Restaurant Moor Hall

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 Grade II-listed house of mid-sixteenth century origin that’s now a two-Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms. Since being acquired in 2015 by husband-and-wife team Andy and Tracey Bell, the Hall (whose existence was first recorded in 1282) has undergone a multi-million pound renovation. With help from the couple’s friend and business partner, acclaimed Chef Mark Birchall, Moor Hall has been transformed into a destination restaurant with luxury rooms boasting views of a lake that’s said to be the remains of a medieval moat.

Skilled Chef-Patron, Mark Birchall, 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.

Guests can choose to dine from a four- or eight-course menu at lunchtimes, while dinner is a set eight-course menu. Naturally, the menu changes all the time, but the kinds of dishes guests can expect to encounter include smoked eel with potato, fermented garlic and flowers;  Scottish langoustine with radish, purslane and nasturtium; and Worcester pearmain with woodruff, birch sap and marigold.

There are wine pairings for those who want to enhance their meal, though the sommelier is always on hand to assist you in finding the right wine for your occasion. Guests are permitted to bring any wine that is not available on the wine list subject to a corkage charge of £30 for still wines and £50 for sparkling wines.

The largest table available in the restaurant seats just six guests, so if you’re planning a larger gathering, you’ll need to book the private dining room, which seats up to 14.

Over £80
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Coya Mayfair Pisco Lounge

Coya Mayfair Pisco Lounge

118 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NW

Bars
Prawn on the Lawn Padstow

Prawn on the Lawn Padstow

11 Duke Street, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AB

£30 - £49
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
Cecconi

Cecconi's Mayfair

5a Burlington Gardens, London, London, W1S 3EP

Located just away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, Cecconi’s is a modern but classic Italian restaurant which focuses on using the finest ingredients to create dishes that you can’t help but love. At Cecconi’s the service and ambience is just as important as the food and adds to the real sense of occasion when you eat there.

The outside of the Burlington Gardens restaurant looks old-school smart from the moment you approach it, with large windows allowing you to see into the smart dining room. The interior of the restaurant continues the feeling of traditional fine dining with white tables cloths covering every table, mirror-covered walls, and a large dark wood bar in the centre of the room; servers wear classic black and white uniforms.

When it comes to the food menu, you can expect everything from Italian dishes you will have tasted often, to more decadent plates of food. The all-day menu begins with cicchetti such as meatballs with tomato sauce, and whipped ricotta with truffle honey and crostini. In terms of starters you might go for Cornish crab with avocado and lemon, or there is of course a classic burrata on offer too. There is also a selection of raw meats available such as tuna tartare, as well as a plant-based section which includes grilled cauliflower with salsa verde.

Appealing pasta dishes vary from a tagliatelle bolognaise to casarecce with wild boar. Whereas other main courses option include dishes such as fish stew and veal Milanese. If you still have any room, desserts range from tiramisu to crème caramel. As well as the all-day menu, Cecconi’s also offer a breakfast menu full of brilliant Clarence Court egg dishes.

Drink-wise, there is of course a wine list covering many different regions with bottles, glasses, and half bottles available, and also a great selection of cocktails to pick from.

£50 - £79
Italian
Timberyard

Timberyard

10 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9DS

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

The Savoy, Strand, London, London, WC2R 0ET

£30 - £49
Bars
Gymkhana

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4JH

Mayfair restaurant Gymkhana originally opened its doors in 2013 and is often considered the jewel in the crown of JKS Restaurants’ impressive portfolio (which counts Bao, Trishna, and Brigadiers among its collection).

Just one year after opening, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, 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 new-look dining room which is the creation of designer Samuel Hosker (the first in-house interior project from the JKS Restaurants team). Gymkhana’s dining room is now kitted out in tones of jade green and polished dark timber, matched with metallic accents and colourful printed fabrics. It’s not all change though, as Gymkhana’s intimate booth seating which offers privacy (and is part of the reason the restaurant is such a celeb-magnet) is still intact, while original features such as hunting trophies from the Maharaja of Jodhpur and cut-glass wall lamps from Jaipur are still on show.

Gymkhana’s basement bar also boasts a new look, sporting a colour palette of peach and chilli red, while the bar itself offers a jewel-box shaped counter area with rattan shelving and leather-clad scalloped fascia.

When it comes to the menu, you can still expect to find all of the usual Gymkhana staples, although there are a few new additions to tempt diners. Dishes from the reinvigorated menu include the likes of Keralan toddy shaapu wild tiger prawns, vegetable cutlet served with masala ketchup and game bird Baida roti served with girolle achaar. The drinks list has had a refresh too, with cocktails such as the Peach Blow Fizz: a blend of green mango and citrus flavours, paired with gin, frozen yoghurt, egg white and soda.

£50 - £79
Indian
One Michelin star
Fhior

Fhior

36 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SB

£30 - £49
Scottish
British
The Harwood Arms

The Harwood Arms

Walham Grove, London, London, SW6 1QP

£30 - £49
Gastropub
One Michelin star
Terre à Terre

Terre à Terre

71 East Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HQ

£30 - £49
Vegetarian
sketch: Lecture Room & Library

sketch: Lecture Room & Library

9 Conduit Street, London, London, W1S 2XG

Over £80
Modern European
Three Michelin stars
Kricket Brixton

Kricket Brixton

41-43 Atlantic Road, London, SW9 3JS

£30 - £49
Indian
The Elephant

The Elephant

3-4 Beacon Terrace, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2BH

£30 - £49
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Gidleigh Park

Gidleigh Park

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, North Tawton, Devon, TQ13 8HH

Over £80
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
Nightjar

Nightjar

129 City Road, London, EC1V 1JB

Bars
Salt

Salt

8 Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6HB

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
Restaurant Story

Restaurant Story

199 Tooley Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 2JX

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Hrishi and Gilpin Spice

Hrishi and Gilpin Spice

Crook Road, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3NE

£50 - £79
Pan-Asian
International
Indian
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Kerridge

Kerridge's Bar & Grill

10 Northumberland Avenue, Whitehall, London, WC2N 5AE

Kerridge's Bar & Grill is renowned chef Tom Kerridge’s first London restaurant and finds its home within the Corinthia London hotel in Whitehall. Famous for his pubs of exceptional standards, like The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Kerridge’s love of big, bold flavours are seen in his latest venture too, something akin to pub classics punters know and love. Helping him take things to new heights is his head chef Nick Beardshaw who joins Kerridge in his love of British cooking.

Interiors have been created with luxury in mind, so that guests feel calm and comfortable in the cosy space. Rich red leather banquette seating is built in curves to allow for a feeling of privacy around round tables, while a chef’s table is open to a section of kitchen that allows VIP guests an insight into the workings of the skilled professionals making their meals. Elsewhere wooden bookshelves hold cookery tomes and encase wine fridges, while there’s also a generously sized bar for guests to unwind at after a long day of sightseeing or business.

With everything from pre- and post-theatre menus through to vegetarian and vegan sets there is something here for everyone. The classic chef-chosen six course option begins with chicken liver parfait before moving through dishes like mushroom risotto and treacle roasted fillet of beef with chips and béarnaise sauce. The feast is finished off with a tonka bean panna cotta with rhubarb sorbet, honeycomb and ginger. Sundays, as you might expect, bring elevated roast dinners; pork belly with roasted onions and horseradish cream, say, or dry aged rib of beef with Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes.

For guests enjoying drinks at the bar there is also a small snacks menu which includes pub favourites like pork crackling (with Kerridge’s signature twist coming in the form of gherkin ketchup), devils on horseback or Welsh rarebit on toast.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Black Rock

Black Rock

9 Christopher Street, London, EC2A 2BS

Bars
Trinity

Trinity

4 The Polygon, Clapham, London, SW4 0JG

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
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
Matt Worswick at the Latymer

Matt Worswick at the Latymer

Pennyhill Park, London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU

Over £80
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Waeska at The Mandrake

Waeska at The Mandrake

The Mandrake Hotel, 20-21 Newman Street, London, W1T 1PG

Bars
Anglo

Anglo

30 St Cross Street, London, London, EC1N 8UH

£50 - £79
British
The Fumoir at Claridge

The Fumoir at Claridge's

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

Bars
Hotel Bars
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor

The Dining Room at Whatley Manor

Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 0RB

Over £80
Modern European
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Clos Maggiore

Clos Maggiore

33 King Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8JD

£50 - £79
French
Where the Light Gets In

Where the Light Gets In

7 Rostron Brow, Stockport, Greater Manchester, SK1 1JY

£50 - £79
British
The Pony & Trap

The Pony & Trap

Knowle Hill, Chew Magna, Bristol, Somerset, BS40 8TQ

£30 - £49
Gastropub
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London

The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London

The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR

Bars
The Ivy City Garden

The Ivy City Garden

Dashwood House, 69 Old Broad Street, London, EC2M 1NA

Serial restauranteur Richard Caring’s ever burgeoning Ivy collection now comprises 32 locations around the UK and Ireland, with each restaurant christened as either ‘Brasserie’ ‘Garden’ ‘Market Grill’ or ‘Café’. Of course, all of these off-shoots are nods to The Ivy’s iconic original site in Covent Garden.

Located in the historic Bishopsgate Gardens, an easy and pleasant walk from Liverpool Street Station, The Ivy City Garden is a charming and elegant spot for guests to enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and cocktails. The brasserie style restaurant is a relaxed yet sophisticated setting serving a menu of modern British and international classics seven days a week in the beautiful Dashwood House. The interiors are bold and vibrant with colourful leather and velvet furnishings, a long glamorous bar and bright contemporary artwork on the walls. Perhaps the biggest draw of this location is the glass roofed garden area, complete with tables and a bar, where diners can enjoy a meal al fresco surrounded by an abundance of leafy green foliage and tropical flowers. It’s a particularly special spot in the summer but the overhead heaters make it possible to enjoy this tranquil spot all year round. A gorgeous private dining room is also a popular venue for everything from informal gatherings to corporate meetings.

The a la carte menu is full to brim with crowd pleasing choices that range from light, healthy dishes to indulgent comfort food classics. The Ivy staples include the signature shepherd’s pie with slow-braised lamb leg, Wookey Hole Cheddar potato mash and truffle sauce, and of course The Ivy hamburger – chargrilled and served in a potato bun with mayonnaise, horseradish ketchup and thick cut chips. Special starters to look out for include the yellow fin tuna carpaccio served with cucumber, baby basil and an apple, jalapeno and avocado sauce; and the duck liver parfait on toasted brioche with caramelized hazelnuts, truffle, pear and ginger compote.

A City Garden special on the drinks list comes in the form of a Kir Royale made with Plymouth sloe gin, Briottet rose liqueur and hibiscus topped with The Ivy Collection Champagne – perfect for toasting just about any occasion!

£30 - £49
International
Hide Below

Hide Below

85 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NB

Bars
Lake Road Kitchen

Lake Road Kitchen

Lake Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0AD

£50 - £79
Modern European
Bottles

Bottles

67 Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA

Wine Bars
Happiness Forgets

Happiness Forgets

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

Bars
Sushisamba City

Sushisamba City

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate (38-39th floor), City of London, London, EC2N 4AY

Occupying the 38th and 39th floors of the tallest building in the City – Heron Tower – SUSHISAMBA City 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 City 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
South American
Japanese
SquareMeal London Top 100
Le Gavroche

Le Gavroche

43 Upper Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 7QR

Over £80
French
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
Roka Charlotte Street

Roka Charlotte Street

37 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 1RR

ROKA Charlotte Street is part of a small London mini chain which has sites in Aldwych, Canary Wharf and Mayfair too (with an additional restaurant planned for Dubai). The space is dominated by a robata grill where meat and fish are cooked with flair, with the kitchen focusing on high quality ingredients elsewhere to turn out plates of the very freshest sushi, soups and salads.

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
SquareMeal London Top 100
Sexy Fish

Sexy Fish

Berkeley Square House, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BR

If somebody was to compile a list of London restaurants which are known for attracting the rich and famous, Sexy Fish is sure to be placed somewhere near the top.

Found on Berkeley Square, glamorous Sexy Fish is part of the Caprice Holdings Group, which also looks after the likes of Scott’s, J Sheekey and The Ivy Collection. The restaurant has gained a reputation as a bit of a celeb-magnet, while it also courts the Instagram crowd with its famously lavish interiors – think a giant gold-plated crocodile hanging from the wall, an ocean blue mermaid statue draped over the bar and more gold accents than Midas himself could rustle up.

Sexy Fish is billed as a pan-Asian brasserie, although it is safe to say that the menu is replete with contemporary and luxury updates on classic Asian fare, while authentic renditions are perhaps harder to spot. Nonetheless, there’s no denying the appeal of the menu; kick things off with a helping of caviar, before moving on to the likes of tuna tataki, glazed pork belly skewers spiced with pear and ginger, or a crispy duck and watermelon salad. Naturally, the à la carte also offers a roll call of luxury ingredients, with lobster, Wagyu beef and sprinklings of black truffle shavings all present and correct.

To go alongside the food, Sexy Fish boasts what claims to be the world’s largest collection of Japanese whisky, while its cocktail menu (designed to look like a high-fashion magazine) features a seasonally changing selection of sips that includes innovative creations and twists on the classics, like an Old Fashioned made with passionfruit juice.

Apart from the regular menu, Sexy Fish also offers a tasting menu and a range of sophisticated bar snacks. Watch out for special seasonal and festive menus too, celebrating the likes of Veganuary or Valentine’s Day.    

£50 - £79
Pan-Asian
Fish
Noto

Noto

47A Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DY

£30 - £49
Pan-Asian
Tayer + Elementary

Tayer + Elementary

152 Old Street, London, London, EC1V 9BW

This double bar concept comes from renowned bartender Alex Kratena (formerly of Artesian Bar) and Monica Berg. Found right by Old Street roundabout, Elementary is a casual all-day bar which serves seasonal drinks and snacks, while Tayer is a more progressive space featuring a daily changing menu written up on a blackboard.

In Elementary, guests sit around a large communal bar, enjoying drinks and snacking on a succinct menu of just three snack plates. If they move through to Tayer, they’ll find seating around a large open counter, where they can see the bartenders and chefs at work.

Ta Ta Eatery has been appointed to oversee the food side of things, serving up a menu which is Asian in style, but incorporates European elements. Dishes can be ordered individually or as tapas-style sharing plates, while the drinks list doesn’t just privilege cocktails – you can also expect considered lists of spirits, sakés and soft drinks.  

Food and drink images: Bernard Zeija

£30 - £49
Modern European
Bars
Untitled

Untitled

538 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AH

Bars
Nola

Nola

107 Roman Road, London, E2 0QN

Bars
Sticky Walnut

Sticky Walnut

11 Charles Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH2 3AZ

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal UK 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 which champions carefully sourced British produce, with much of the menu cooked on a rotisserie grill. The restaurant has a double identity and is split between two distinct spaces; Oblix East is home to a bar and informal dining, while Oblix West acts as the main dining room.

If you are visiting East, you can expect to enjoy either lunch, dinner or weekend brunch in a setting that boasts awe-inspiring views of east London and employs a muted colour scheme of browns and natural woods which let those views do the talking. The à la carte features dishes such as caramelised pork skewers with crispy shallots or a Wagyu beef burger topped with cheese and truffle mayonnaise. The menu is also more accessible than that of West, with diners able to enjoy a starter and main course for £28 per person.

On the weekends, Oblix East serves a three-course brunch, with the option to add bottomless wine or Champagne. Starters to share include a charcuterie board or salt cod croquettes, while main courses see seafood linguine and grilled baby chicken pepped up with garlic and rosemary.

For more formal dining, head to Oblix West. Here, you’ll find a buzzy open kitchen by the entrance and a chic dining room in which you can enjoy lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or a classic Sunday roast. On the regular menu, you’ll find dishes such as crispy octopus with sweet peppers and black olive mayonnaise, or perhaps wild mushroom orzo pasta with Spenwood cheese and black truffle. There is also the option to order from the grill – think a selection of steaks and whole lobster slathered in garlic butter.

If you’re worried about the intimidating prices at Oblix, opt for the Elevator Lunch (starter, main and side for £40), or visit for afternoon tea, when you’ll find classic finger sandwiches served alongside freshly-baked scones.

£50 - £79
International
Oriole

Oriole

Smithfield Market, London, EC1A 9LH

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
SquareMeal London Top 100
Kiln Soho

Kiln Soho

58 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 9TL

Like many of London’s most famous restaurants, the pint-sized dining room at Kiln relies on its exclusivity – while the restaurant is undoubtedly a casual dining experience, it is well known that it’s hard to secure a table here, largely because of the no-bookings policy and lengthy queues.

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 barbecue dishes cooked over open flames, championing dishes from a grill, seafood and clay pot dishes.

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
SquareMeal London Top 100
Coal Office

Coal Office

2 Bagley Walk, King's Cross, London, N1C 4PQ

£30 - £49
Middle Eastern
SquareMeal London Top 100
Parkers Arms

Parkers Arms

Hallgate Hill, Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire, BB7 3DY

£30 - £49
Gastropub
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Moro

Moro

34-36 Exmouth Market, London, London, EC1R 4QE

£30 - £49
North African
Tapas
Spanish
Restaurant Andrew Fairlie

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie

Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, PH3 1NF

Over £80
Modern European
Frog by Adam Handling

Frog by Adam Handling

34-38 Southampton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7HF

Hot on the heels of The Frog E1 in Hoxton, MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Adam Handling has opened this more formal all-day flagship in Covent Garden.

It’s clear that Handling is looking to make himself a household name – his cookbook greets you at the reception desk, his name is emblazoned on staff aprons, and the moody basement bar is themed with Adam and Eve imagery. Self-indulgence aside, The Frog’s five or eight-course tasting menu impresses with high-octane combinations, including butter whipped with chicken fat, topped with crispy chicken skin and served with sourdough, and razor clams shrouded in dry ice.

We opted for the five-course menu, starting out with impressive warm savoury doughnuts, oozing cheese and topped with shreds of earthy black truffle. Other highlights are a tender helping of Iberico pork made sharp with kimchi and smoky roasted cauliflower, and an intriguing veggie option of a papery slice of celeriac folded over apple, date, egg yolk and thick cream.

A knowledgeable and chatty sommelier explains unexpected wine options, such as the light pink, fruity number that comes with dessert. The final course is just as ambitious – a chocolate-covered marshmallow conceals bursts of raspberry with vanilla ice cream, while a mango and coconut cheesecake offers a lighter option.

Handling is also aware of the rising popularity of meat-free and plant-based diets, offering an alternative tasting menu alongside the regular offering which is entirely vegetarian. On that menu, you might come across dishes such as roasted gnocchi with squash and chestnuts, as well as a concoction involving cucumber, gooseberry, oyster leaf and dill.  

With its Instagram-baiting dishes and unique flavour combinations, it’s clear that Handling is on to a winner with The Frog, which was impressively busy on our mid-week visit. It’s safe to say that he has made the leap into chef stardom.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Umu

Umu

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

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Raby Hunt Restaurant

The Raby Hunt Restaurant

Summerhouse, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 3UD

£50 - £79
British
Stovell

Stovell's

Windsor Road, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8QS

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Chiltern Firehouse

Chiltern Firehouse

1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 7PA

When it opened in 2014, Chiltern Firehouse was the first restaurant since Scott’s to cross over from being a must-visit in the reasonably niche world of upmarket restaurant-goers to become a bona fide cultural event, its name known to the sort of people who might never dream of eating in a posh West End dining room.

The initial tsunami of celebrity may have slowed to a trickle but the hotel upstairs remains a favourite of visiting A-listers and means that you’re still likely to see a famous face in the dining room. But even if your meal isn’t dusted with a sprinkling of stardust, there’s still much to enjoy here.

Punters adore the clever outdoor-themed interiors and the lively atmosphere, which brings an infectious energy to proceedings. We also love the subtle nods to the venue’s original incarnation as a fire station, with ceiling patterns inspired by hoses and a fireman’s pole forming the centrepiece of one corner table.

Right on cue, the open kitchen serves up wave after wave of likeable successes. Snacks such as the famous coral-dusted crab doughnut kick things off nicely, but there are other highlights too: BBQ pork skewers are served with brown-butter mayo, flaky salmon is cooked tandoori-style and complemented by a puddle of cooling lime yoghurt, cucumber and puffed rice, while a plate of burrata is given a summery makeover thanks to piles of juicy heritage tomato and a lively chilli jam.

Early risers pack in for breakfast (courgette and spinach scrambled eggs topped with aged Parmesan), freelancers take advantage of the indulgent lunchtime offers (Ibérico pork with red pepper mayo and barbecued peach on toast, say) and we’d also recommend a pre/post-meal trip to the botanically themed bar for cheekily named cocktails (hotel guests are given priority, but it’s easier to slip in on quiet nights).

£50 - £79
International
Kai

Kai

65 South Audley Street, London, W1K 2QU

Over £80
Chinese
One Michelin star
£30 - £49
Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Claude Bosi at Bibendum

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

French
Two Michelin stars
£50 - £79
Hide Above

Hide Above

85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 7NB

Hide is the hugely ambitious project that chef Ollie Dabbous has seemed destined to open since his self-titled debut picked up every award going in 2012. The venue is actually three different spaces on different levels: Hide Below (a bar), Hide Ground (an all-day restaurant) and Hide Above (Dabbous’ domain), reached via a swirling oak staircase.

Inventive visuals include caviar-beaded tuna tartare prettily heaped at the centre of an ornamental plate but there's substance behind the style, too, in the likes of a breathtakingly subtle dish of red mullet in a bread and saffron sauce, and a gamey, dry-aged Goosnargh duck breast. Puddings are also best-in-class, from the 'garden ripple ice cream’ that looks like a slice of Twister to a swirl of coconut cream fashioned into a white rose petal. 

Tech-savvy design touches, meanwhile, include a leather-bound iPad that can access 6,000 wines direct from Dabbous’ backers, Hedonism Wines (Hide has no cellar).

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Hand and Flowers

The Hand and Flowers

126 West Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 2BP

Over £80
British
Gastropub
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Scully

Scully

4 St James's Market, St James's, London, SW1Y 4AH

“Fusion flavours and textures to restore even the most jaded of palates” – that’s how one fan describes the food at this solo venture from ex-Nopi head chef Ramael Scully. Inside, all is cosily shabby-chic, with copper pendant lighting, potted plants and a fascinating glass-fronted pantry, stocked with herbs and spices. A large sharing table and an open kitchen create a communal vibe, but the marble-topped chef’s counter is undoubtedly home to the best seats in the house.

On offer is an intriguing menu that references Scully’s multicultural heritage, while confounding expectations when it comes to mixing and matching ingredients. Nearly all the seasonally changing sharing plates impress, from a tomato and coconut salad with green strawberries (summer in a bowl) to barbecued beef tendons, hidden by a dollop of smoky oyster mayo and served with salty fried tendon puffs for dipping – which are “like nothing else on earth”, according to one convert.

Elsewhere, there’s lusciously fatty pork belly with house-made XO sauce concealing a subtle flash of heat, and an outstanding plate of monkfish rubbed with sambal belacan, a tongue-tingling shrimp paste. Others single out the “audacious” arepa (a Venezuelan cornmeal pancake topped with aubergine relish and bergamot-infused labneh).

To finish, there’s a love-it-or-hate-it dessert of parsnip and coconut ice cream, although we were more impressed by a grapefruit sorbet which was paired up with a scoop of indulgent caramel ice cream – a delightful mix of sweet and sour. Fastidious sourcing, impressively well-informed staff and an unflappable kitchen team swapping jokes while turning out plates of pure wonder all help to make dining at Scully a thrilling and eye-opening experience.

£50 - £79
International
SquareMeal London Top 100
Mana

Mana

42 Blossom Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6BF

Mana is a Michelin-starred restaurant owned and run by Chef-Patron Simon Martin, who brings his considerable experience from working in Copenhagen’s two-Michelin-starred Noma. His outlook might seem a little pretentious – he talks at length on his website about how his restaurant or “canvas” allows him to breathe, energise and channel his personality into an evolving and immersive experience for others to share in – but when the result is an inventive tasting menu that has won numerous accolades, it’s easily forgiven.  

Each day, in the state-of-the-art open kitchen, the very best produce from the British Isles is transformed into small dishes that make up the multi-course tasting menus available from Wednesday-Saturday. Each is thoughtfully designed and carefully constructed to ensure it is full of flavour and beautiful to behold.

As you’d expect, the menu changes daily depending on what produce is available, but examples of dishes you could encounter include barbecued duck broth with lavender, blue mussel with inoculated grains and pickled flowers, aged eel with roasted yeast and blueberry, and lovage and dark chocolate Æbleskiver (Danish pancake balls). Optional wine pairing is available for both the lunch tasting menu experience and the dinner tasting menu experience and promises an interesting and challenging selection.

Mana isn’t located in the centre of Manchester, but in Ancoats – a trendy neighbourhood known for its burgeoning food and drink scene. That said, its interiors wouldn’t look out of place in Mayfair thanks to widely spaced tables, gauzy white curtains at the windows, and pendant lights hanging at varying lengths throughout the dining room. Reservations are only taken via Mana’s own booking system online and pre-payment is required, so if you’re looking to book for a special occasion, it’s worth doing so well in advance. The kitchen is able to cater for all intolerances and allergies except vegan menus or menus free from milk protein.

Modern European
One Michelin star
Ynyshir

Ynyshir

Eglwysfach , Powys, SY20 8TA

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

Orwells

Shiplake Row, Binfield Heath, Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 4DP

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
Gastropub
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The American Bar at The Savoy

The American Bar at The Savoy

The Savoy, Strand, London, WC2R 0ET

Bars
The Coach Marlow

The Coach Marlow

3 West Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 2LS

£30 - £49
Pubs
British
Gastropub
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Lickfold Inn

The Lickfold Inn

Highstead Lane, Lickfold, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 9EY

£50 - £79
Gastropub
Ondine

Ondine

2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1AD

£50 - £79
Scottish
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle

110 Bishopsgate, City of London, London, EC2N 4AY

For an iconic dining destination with breath-taking views of the capital, Duck & Waffle is at the peak (if you’ll pardon the pun) of the pack. Finding its home on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate in London you would be hard pressed not to be impressed by the space, which is reached by a swiftly moving glass lift that prompts stomach-flipping views of the city below as it zips out of sight during the brief 40 second assent.

As one of the only 24/7 restaurants in London, Duck & Waffle gives diners the ultimate flexibility in fine dining. Whether you find yourself browsing the menu after a few drinks on a Friday night or prefer to start the day with a sunrise breakfast, you’ll be treated to a playful British menu with international influences. Of course, the obvious choice is the house signature duck and waffle, but outside of this there are other gems to discover. A raw bar throws up Angus beef tartare and Jersey oysters, while small plates see combinations like a spicy ox cheek ragu packed into a savoury paprika-sugar-dusted doughnut and seared scalloped with potatoes, chilli and garlic. If you’re not the sharing type or want to skip starters, then the main menu features larger plates that include excellent cuts of meat cooked in the wood oven and inventive vegetarian serves. As if wanting to push proof of its popularity, the restaurant group boast having sold over a million dishes worldwide and now includes a Hong Kong site in its portfolio.

If preferred guests can also enjoy the indoor/outdoor bar area which has dazzling views of the city below whatever time of the day you find yourself at it. Compliment cocktails with the selection of temping bar snacks like crispy BBQ pig ears or cauliflower and red onion pakora.

£50 - £79
International
SquareMeal London Top 100
Amaya

Amaya

Halkin Arcade, 19 Motcomb Street, London, London, SW1X 8JT

£30 - £49
Indian
One Michelin star
Brat

Brat

64 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6JJ

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Kwant

Kwant

25 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BH

Under £30
Bars
Etch by Steven Edwards

Etch by Steven Edwards

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

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Cornerstone

Cornerstone

3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney, London, E9 5LX

£50 - £79
Fish
The Woodspeen

The Woodspeen

Lambourn Road, Woodspeen, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 8BN

£30 - £49
British
Padella Borough

Padella Borough

6 Southwark Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 1TQ

Before Padella came along, pasta was something that impoverished students ate or restaurant diners would order as an alternative to a main course (with the greedy eating pasta as part of the traditional four-course Italian meal).

Padella changed all of that. The big idea here is to shrink pasta down to small-plate size and order it as one would any sharing-plates, tapas-style menu. The pici cacio e pepe, squidgy cylinders of pasta slicked with cheese and scattered with pepper, is the house speciality, while other classics include pappardelle with beef-shin ragu and tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli and lemon.

Vegetarian options are good – gnocchi with nutmeg butter or straci with sweet onion, thyme and Gorgonzola, say – while non-pasta dishes extend to some salady antipasti and a trio of puddings.

To drink, there are four wines available on tap, British beers and some rather alluring aperitivi, from prosecco or homemade lemonade to fruity spins on the Negroni, Americano and Spritz.  

The food and drink isn’t the only aspect of Padella that is bang-up-to-date. Like nearly every hot new opening in London, Padella is no bookings, though given how reasonable the prices are – over half the pasta dishes cost under £8 – it’s not surprising how many people are willing to wait for a table here.

Expect to queue not only at peak times but any time. Even before the doors open, a line of would-be diners stretches round the corner well into Borough Market, while waits of two hours are not uncommon if you turn up at a time you may actually wish to eat, such as 7pm.

The solution? Arrive by yourself and you may very well be shown straight to a stool at the counter by the open kitchen. Even better, you won’t have to share any of your food.   

£30 - £49
Italian
SquareMeal London Top 100
Claridge

Claridge's Bar

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

Bars
Hotel Bars
£30 - £49
L

L'Ortolan

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

£50 - £79
French
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Fordwich Arms

Fordwich Arms

King Street, Fordwich, Kent, CT2 0DB

£50 - £79
British
Gastropub
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall

Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall

Grantley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3ET

Over £80
British
Portland

Portland

113 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 6QQ

£30 - £49
International
One Michelin star
Casamia

Casamia

The General, Bristol, Bristol, BS1 6FU

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms

Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms

Lenton Lane, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7 2SA

Over £80
Modern European
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Barrafina Dean Street

Barrafina Dean Street

26-29 Dean Street, London, London, W1D 3LL

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
One Michelin star
The Cliveden Dining Room

The Cliveden Dining Room

Cliveden House, Taplow, Maidenhead, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 0JF

£50 - £79
Modern European
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw

6 New Road, Port Isaac, Cornwall, PL29 3SB

Over £80
British
Fish
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK 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
SquareMeal London Top 100
Imperial Treasure

Imperial Treasure

9-10 Waterloo Place, St James's, London, SW1Y 4BE

Over £80
Chinese
Dim Sum
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.       

£30 - £49
International
The Lighthouse - Aldeburgh

The Lighthouse - Aldeburgh

77 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5AU

£30 - £49
Modern European
Locanda Locatelli

Locanda Locatelli

8 Seymour Street, London, London, W1H 7JZ

£50 - £79
Italian
One Michelin star
Hakkasan Hanway Place

Hakkasan Hanway Place

8 Hanway Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1HD

The Hakkasan brand, a global entity with locations in the likes of New York, Las Vegas and Dubai, is arguably one of the most instantly recognisable restaurant names out there. Loved by celebrities, moneyed Mayfair residents and Londoners looking for a taste of the high life, Hakkasan’s popularity has endured when other long-standing restaurants have faltered.

London is blessed with two Hakkasan locations (there’s another in Mayfair), but this Hanway Place original still draws in the crowds. While the discreet entrance just off Tottenham Court Road may not look up to much, it soon gives way to a stunning subterranean dining room, decked out in a sleek blue and black colour scheme. The dimly-lit dining room is given added character via gold accents and lattice work which divides up the different dining areas, resulting in the overall feel that you’re in one of London’s sexiest dining haunts.

Hakkasan Hanway Place is certainly not a case of style over substance though, with the expansive menu featuring everything from expertly prepared dim sum to Chinese classics revisited with luxury ingredients. On your visit, you can kick-start your meal with the likes of a crispy duck salad, sesame prawn toast or golden friend soft-shell crab. Next up, choose from Hakkasan Hanway Place’s masterful selection of dim sum, with luxury options including langoustine har gau with Prunier caviar and a Wagyu beef dumpling.

There are more substantial dishes to try too though, such as roasted silver cod drizzled with a Champagne and honey sauce, or black truffle roasted duck. Vegetarians shouldn’t feel left out either though, as there are plenty of meat-free options to choose from. Tuck into the likes of a tofu, aubergine and Japanese mushroom clay pot or a black pepper and yellow bean stir fry.

To drink, there are Asian-inspired cocktails such as a Lychee Martini, while Hakkasan’s wine list traverses the globe.

£50 - £79
Chinese
One Michelin star
Restaurant Coworth Park

Restaurant Coworth Park

Coworth Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7SE

The Dorchester Collection’s first foray into country-house hospitality has a location “to die for” – 240 acres of lawns, meadows and woodland surrounding a quirkily restored Georgian manor (“chic but unstuffy”, says one fan).

At its heart is a special-occasion dining room done out in autumnal shades with orange leather, mirrored copper walls, gold-leaf sculptures and oak-leaf plaster reliefs. Head chef Adam Smith arrived here from The Burlington Restaurant at The Devonshire Arms and he’s now the recipient of a Michelin star for his assured top-notch cooking, which adds plenty of modern British oomph to premium British ingredients: heritage beetroot is paired with smoked eel, horseradish and blackcurrant; aged beef sirloin comes with brown-butter mash, oxtail and pickled turnip; John Dory is accompanied by fennel, artichoke and lemon verbena.

Steep prices go with the territory, although all-inclusive ‘Best of British’ fixed-price menus are “startlingly good value” given the surroundings. Service is “charming and attentive but not overpowering”, while the full wine list has been priced with luxury in mind.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
Core by Clare Smyth

Core by Clare Smyth

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

Over £80
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
Hakkasan Mayfair

Hakkasan Mayfair

17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 6QB

Over £80
Chinese
One Michelin star
The Man Behind The Curtain

The Man Behind The Curtain

68-78 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7JH

As restaurant names go, The Man Behind The Curtain is among one of the most avant-garde. Perhaps we shouldn’t expect anything less from chef Michael O'Hare though, who has built his career on playing with the expectations and perceptions of diners who walk through the door.

In case you were wondering, the restaurant takes its name from classic film The Wizard of Oz, although you won’t find any corny tributes to the yellow brick road here. Instead, the dining room is a stylishly appointed space that is flooded with natural light thanks to large windows. Exposed wooden beams and concrete flooring add to the industrial-chic vibe, while graffiti splashed across the walls adds a much-welcomed burst of colour. There is also the benefit of sweeping views across the city’s rooftops, thanks to the restaurant’s position above clothing store Flannels.

Some parts of the menu at The Man Behind The Curtain change with the seasons, but the main draw here is the Permanent Collection – a 10-14 course tasting menu that deals in curious and sometimes challenging dishes. Examples of plates you might be served up include halibut with chorizo and pickled onion, a pairing of foie gras and raspberry, and oysters topped with a strawberry kimchi.

Desserts are equally as arresting (think milk chocolate with violet and honey), while the extensive wine list is made up of bottles from lesser known regions and styles. There are a few house cocktails too, that are as Instagram-friendly as they are tasty.

True fans are also invited to shop at O’Hare’s dedicated shop, which features a handful of products he has created himself. You could get your hands on a Man Behind The Curtain branded skateboard, or a candle designed by the chef himself. There’s even a collaboration between the restaurant and Slingsby Gin (presented in a sleek monochromatic bottle) which you can bring home with you.

Over £80
International
One Michelin star
The Clove Club

The Clove Club

380 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LT

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
J Sheekey

J Sheekey

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

£50 - £79
Fish
The Artichoke

The Artichoke

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

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

Little Bedwyn, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 3JP

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Top 100
A. Wong

A. Wong

70 Wilton Road, Pimlico, London, SW1V 1DE

£30 - £49
Chinese
One Michelin star
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs

Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs

70 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QG

Over £80
Modern European
Two Michelin stars
Midsummer House

Midsummer House

Midsummer House, Midsummer Common, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB4 1HA

The elegant, spacious and light-drenched conservatory dining room commands a panoramic view of the gardens and is set in a beautiful Victorian villa is on Midsummer Common on the banks of the River Cam, Cambridge. Midsummer House was awarded its first Michelin star in 2002, followed by a second in. The restaurant also proudly holds five AA rosettes.

£50 - £79
British
The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck

1 High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ

One of only five restaurants in the UK to receive five Michelin stars, The Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire finds its home in a quaint 16th-century building that was previously home to The Bell pub. Headed up and owned by Heston Blummenthal 

The restaurant is best known for its 14-course tasting menu that features quirky dishes such as nitro-scrambled eggs and a dish called Sound of the Sea which includes listening to audio as part of the experience and bacon and egg flavoured ice-cream.

Far from simply a gimmick, The Fat Duck has stood the test of time and is one of Berkshire’s most famous - if not the most famous - dining destination. The restaurant plays on playful memories and adventure from your childhood and the unexpected dishes are designed to bring back that awe and magic you experience as a child.

Over £80
British
Three Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Kitchin

The Kitchin

78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Swift

Swift

12 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TQ

Bars
Benedicts

Benedicts

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

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Ritz Restaurant

The Ritz Restaurant

The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR

Over £80
French
One Michelin star
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
The Walnut Tree

The Walnut Tree

Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 8AW

£30 - £49
British
The Palomar

The Palomar

34 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1D 6DN

The Palomar brings modern plates inspired by the food of Jerusalem to the city, with a mix of counter-dining and cosy tables and chairs offering up something for everyone.

£30 - £49
Middle Eastern
International
SquareMeal London Top 100
Orasay

Orasay

31 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2EU

Orasay is named after an island found off the west coast of Scotland, spelled Orosay. The menu is inspired by the Outer Hebridean region surrounding the island and focuses heavily on seafood. You can expect to tuck into the likes of scallops, oysters, crabs and lobster, while some produce (vegetables, honey, etc.) comes from the business’ own organic farm in West Sussex, which is also chef Jackson Boxer’s family home.

The simple interiors see lime-washed walls and antique French oak, while a 60-bin wine list features Euro-leaning bottles available both by the glass and carafe.

£50 - £79
British
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
Sabor: The Counter

Sabor: The Counter

35 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BS

£30 - £49
Spanish
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Kricket Soho

Kricket Soho

12 Denman Street, Soho, London, W1D 7HH

Despite its Asian credentials, Kricket was set up by two British friends whose Anglo-Indian approach to small-plates dining propelled it into becoming one of the most talked-about restaurants on the London scene. With a host of celebrity fans, including Pierre Koffmann and Michel Roux Jr (who apparently cited the restaurant as one of his favourite restaurants, saying that ‘places like this are the reason why London is the envy of Paris and New York), Kricket’s ability to pull the crowds seems to have lost no magnitude since its opening in 2015.

As with many popular eateries in the capital, Kricket started out as a pop up, in this case a shipping container in POP Brixton. Just one year into trading the team made moves to open a bigger sister site in the thriving heart of Soho. This venture was backed by The White Rabbit Growth Fund, a company founded by an ex-Soho House commercial director.

The small dining room attracts a mix of locals and tourists, but is always heaving, with a queue of people trailing out the door keen to wait for a spot at the bar or in the basement dining room. The counter dining allows you to view the chefs at work or gaze onto the street ahead for some people watching while the handful of booth seats upstairs and tables downstairs allow for more relaxed dining.

The menu changes periodically with the season but some standout dishes have become so popular that they are a permanent feature. Small plates like the samphire pakora and the Keralan fried chicken have acquired cult-like status and are served up to nearly every table in the joint as far as we can tell. Kricket is open for lunch and dinner daily, taking a break to refresh the kitchen in between, except Sundays when it’s closed all day.

£30 - £49
Indian
SquareMeal London Top 100
Dukes Bar at Dukes Hotel

Dukes Bar at Dukes Hotel

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

Bars
Sorrel

Sorrel

77 South Street, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2JU

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
The Sportsman

The Sportsman

Faversham Road, Seasalter, Kent, CT5 4BP

The Sportsman, based just outside the small seaside village of Seasalter, may not look like much from the outside but is in fact widely regarded as one of the UK’s finest gastropubs. Having held a Michelin star since 2008, the pub serves a menu of classic British food in a relaxed environment. Set in what feels like the middle of nowhere, The Sportsman gives guests a real sense of escape and also maintains the cosy feeling of a traditional country pub. This makes it a glorious spot to enjoy chef Steven Harris’s bold plates of food.

The outside of the large pub is painted white, with a large conservatory dining area running around two sides of the building. The interiors however, are far more rustic with large wooden tables surrounded by a variety of mismatching chairs spread out around the bar area and menus written up on a blackboard.

The Sportsman offers three different food menus: an a la carte, a daily 5-course tasting menu, and a longer full tasting menu which needs to be ordered in advance. The a la carte menu begins with starters such as salt baked celeriac, apple and fresh cheese, and slip sole grilled in seaweed butter, as well as a choice of local oysters. When it comes to main course options, expect big dishes like roast saddle of lamb with mint sauce, and roast chicken with sausage and truffle cream sauce. Whereas seafood dishes might include roast gurnard fillet with bouillabaisse sauce and green olive tapenade. If you have room for dessert, you might be tempted by the warm chocolate mousse with salted caramel and milk sorbet.

The food is of course accompanied by an extensive list of wines by both the bottle and glass, as well as a huge selection of local ales, spirits and soft drinks.

£50 - £79
British
Gastropub
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Seafood Restaurant Padstow

The Seafood Restaurant Padstow

Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8BY

Over £80
Fish
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Wilks

Wilks

1 Chandos Road, Redland, Bristol, Bristol, BS6 6PG

£50 - £79
Modern European
Tast

Tast

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

Under £30
Spanish
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
SquareMeal London Top 100
St John Smithfield

St John Smithfield

26 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4AY

£30 - £49
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Church Road, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, OX44 7PD

Over £80
French
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
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
The Ledbury

The Ledbury

127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2AQ

Over £80
Modern European
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London

Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London

252 High Holborn, Bloomsbury, London, WC1V 7EN

Bars
Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

6 Middle Street, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AP

£50 - £79
Modern European
Daphne

Daphne's

112 Draycott Avenue, London, SW3 3AE

£50 - £79
Italian
The American Bar at The Stafford

The American Bar at The Stafford

The Stafford Hotel, St. James's Place, London, SW1A 1NJ

Bars
Over £80
Morston Hall

Morston Hall

Morston, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7AA

Over £80
Modern European
City Social

City Social

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

Found on the 24th floor of Tower 42, right in the heart of London, City Social boasts incredible views across the city, paired with a beautiful modern British menu.

City Social is one of 18 impressive restaurants run by chef-patron Jason Atherton. Atherton started his career working alongside some great chefs, including Marco Pierre White, Nico Ladenis, Pierre Koffman and Ferran Adria, before joining Gordon Ramsay Holdings in 2001 and first opening Maze in London, before launching five further sites globally. In 2011, Atherton opened his first solo restaurant, Pollen Street Social, and now has an international restaurant portfolio.

Within the same venue as City Social, you will find Social 24, the dedicated bar space that is inspired by the famous London landmarks that surround it. 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.

Guests can choose from a selection of City Social’s menus, the à la carte, the tasting menu – which is also available as a vegetarian option – and the vegan menu. Open for lunch and dinner, read our review for a closer look at what we thought of this central London eatery.

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
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
Som Saa

Som Saa

43a Commercial Street, London, E1 6BD

£30 - £49
Thai
Forest Side

Forest Side

Wildsmith Hotel, Keswick Road, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9RN

Over £80
British
Coupette

Coupette

423 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AN

Bars
Le Cochon Aveugle

Le Cochon Aveugle

37 Walmgate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9TX

£50 - £79
French
Olive Tree Bath

Olive Tree Bath

Queensberry Hotel, 4-7 Russell Street, Bath , Somerset, BA1 2QF

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
Lyle

Lyle's

The Tea Building, Shoreditch, London, E1 6JJ

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Bar Termini Soho

Bar Termini Soho

7 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JE

Bars
Elystan Street

Elystan Street

43 Elystan Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 3NT

Phil Howard’s more casual follow-up to The Square has established itself as a Chelsea essential, the sort of restaurant to go to for supper on the way home or something more challenging for a special occasion: in other words, a terrific local that merits a journey from further afield.

Prices are the Chelsea norm (ie. high), but portion sizes are generous and if you spend some time with the carefully constructed wine list, you’ll discover plenty of interesting drinking for under £30 (as well as a lot more).

Displays of modern art in the chic, contemporary dining room show the connoisseur’s eye of co-owner Rebecca Mascarenhas, while service comes from the same well-drilled, well-spoken stable as the pair’s other projects, Kitchen W8 and Church Road – neighbourhood restaurants that also have an instinctive understanding of what their customers want.

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

Northcote

Northcote Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB6 8BE

Over £80
British
Afternoon tea
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Araki

The Araki

12 New Burlington Street, London, W1S 3BH

Over £80
Sushi
MARCUS

MARCUS

The Berkeley, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7RL

A towering room of mahogany panels, gleaming architrave, deep-pile carpets and plush, peppermint-leather seating attended by battalions of suited staff, MARCUS (the restaurant) is as imposing as Mr Wareing’s culinary reputation – and “totally worth it”, according to one of its many fans.  

Readers are rightly enamoured of the “stunning food” and “sensational, seasonal dishes” on offer in this patrician hotel dining room, although current chef-patrons Mark and Shauna Froydenlund (long-serving Wareing alumni) are starting to make their mark on proceedings with many new ideas fleshing out the already fascinating repertoire.  

One reader’s “excellent lunch taster menu” yielded sourdough crumpets with cockle butter, turf-smoked trout with wild leek and sorrel oil, then slow-cooked rib of beef with braised onions and wild garlic, all culminating in Mr Wareing’s genre-defining Lancashire custard tart complete with a perfect wobble.

The fuller tasting menu is similarly appealing and eminently approachable, as in rack, loin and confit belly of Herdwick lamb with heritage beetroot and girolles or a pairing of Dorset snails, turbot and razor clams with Delica pumpkin – typical of the kitchen’s tried-and-tested take on cracking produce. To finish, there might be a salted milk chocolate ‘aero’ with honeycomb or a wizard take on peaches and cream presented, cheekily, in an open tin can.  

Dining at MARCUS is undoubtedly a top-end experience designed to impress, although staff are nonetheless discreet and attentive, creating a “relaxed atmosphere” that “makes you feel nothing can go wrong in the world”. A thick wine list excels when it comes to big-name producers, while pairings show the sommeliers at their passionate best.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Bocca di Lupo

Bocca di Lupo

12 Archer Street, Soho, London, W1D 7BB

Opened over a decade ago, this Italian establishment continues to wow patrons with their honest, authentic representation of Italian cuisine in the heart of London. Located in buzzy Soho, this restaurant is superbly located in the mecca of foodies, and holds its own very well – having won many awards and accolades over the years.

The interior of the restaurant is modest for its well-known reputation, with a family-run atmosphere that exudes a great passion for service and good food.  Dressed simply with an understated colour palette of muted greys and wood, the most dramatic feature of the room is stunning, round glass chandelier that disperses light around the low-key restaurant.

The menu claims to offer punters a taste of the twenty main dialects of Italian cuisine, and with a twice-daily changing menu according to season, Bocca fares well. While you cannot expect the same menu every time you go, you will notice that a location is attributed to each dish, so that punters can learn about the regional differences within Italian cuisine.

In true Italian style, the menu offers plenty of courses for punters to dine on for hours. To begin, the crudi and salumi (raw and cured) plates offers tuna tartare, Galician sea urchins, and confit tuna for patrons to whet their appetites with, while the fried section offers red prawns and squid with blood oranges slices. Swiftly moving on, the pasta selection is modest – as all the pastas are handmade – featuring a variety of shapes and sauces such as cime di rapa orecchiette and agnolotti dal plin. From the oven, you can order a pigeon and bread lasagne topped with truffle or a polenta with wild boar stracotto from the stewing pot section. The menu perpetually seems all-encompassing, as it changes from lunch to dinner, and you can be guaranteed authenticity with every bite. Plus the all-Italian wine lists truly seals the deal.

£50 - £79
Italian
Yauatcha Soho

Yauatcha Soho

15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 0DL

Yauatcha is an international brand which has bases in London as well as Indian, the US and Saudia Arabia. Their winning combination is found in the pairing of traditional dim sum with larger Chinese plates, like stir fried rib eye of beef in black bean sauce or kung pao prawns with cashew nuts. This chain of high-end restaurants are also famous for their bakeries, which churn out deliciously delicate tea time treats, which are served up with a range of hot beverages – perfect for an afternoon snack.  

£50 - £79
Chinese
Dim Sum
SquareMeal London Top 100
108 Garage

108 Garage

108 Golborne Road, London, W10 5PS

£50 - £79
Modern European
Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at The Caledonian

Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at The Caledonian

The Caledonian, Princes Street, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH1 2AB

£50 - £79
French
RIGO’

RIGO’

227 New Kings Road, London, SW6 4RD

£50 - £79
Italian
Gazelle Bar

Gazelle Bar

48 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4DH

Bars
Hedone

Hedone

301-303 Chiswick High Road, London, London, W4 4HH

Over £80
Modern European
Scandinavian
One Michelin star
Restaurant MCR

Restaurant MCR

Tower 12, Bridge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3DS

Modern European