The January sales can seem daunting, but they're normally worth it for snapping up a great bargain. All that shopping will leave you tired though, so it’s only right to reward your valiant efforts with a mid-shop pit stop at a fabulous London restaurant. Read on for 10 of our favourites, handily sorted by location.
This tapas bar doesn’t take bookings, so it’s an ideal place for mid-shopping respite. The daily-changing menu offers authentic Spanish morsels, which may include the likes of king prawns with chilli and garlic butter, or octopus with crushed potatoes. There’s also a strong selection of wines by the glass, while its informality means you won’t feel self-conscious if you’re on your own.
Where: 27 D'Arblay Street, W1F 8EN
Fernandez & Wells, Soho
This buzzing café attracts plenty of suits and shoppers alike thanks to its brisk service. An airy and modern space, expect a tempting display of cakes and sandwiches. It’s great for a satisfying, wallet-friendly light lunch but if you’re after something more substantial, go for the grilled Scottish black pudding and creamy egg mayonnaise sarnie, served in a brioche bun.
Where: 73 Beak Street, W1F 9SR
Russell Norman’s trendy take on a Venetian bácaro has spawned many a spin-off, but this original site still impresses. Put down the shopping bags and dine on small plates of venison meatballs and fried olives, or go for something more filling such as Milanese chicken or beef shin ragu.
Where: 41 Beak Street, W1F 9SB
Nopi, Soho (above)
A haven for foodies who find themselves at the bottom end of Regent Street, Nopi takes Yotam Ottolenghi’s healthy and supremely tasty food up a notch, in a high-gloss setting. Diners enjoy the likes of confit duck leg, lemon sole or chickpea pancakes, getting their energy up before hitting the shops again.
Where: 21-22 Warwick Street, W1B 5NE
Cicchetti such as chicken liver crostini, meatballs and softshell crab make for ideal mid-shopping snacks at this glam Italian venue. Classic aperitivo and a strong wine list offer liquid recuperation, but be warned: it might be hard to tear yourself away to the shops again.
Where: 5a Burlington Gardens, W1S 3EP
Hush, Mayfair (above)
In a secluded location just moments from bustling Bond Street, this restaurant makes for a welcome hiatus for shoppers with taste. Despite the location, prices are reasonable, and the European menu offers up dishes including spicy Kerala-style chicken curry with coconut rice and crushed peanuts. Meanwhile, afternoon tea makes for a good post-shopping treat.
Where: 8 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EY
La Petite Maison, Mayfair
This elegant Mayfair destination draws its inspiration from the glamorous French Riviera, with dishes such as garlicky gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and parmesan, or grilled veal chop. The service will make you feel like a celeb and if you’re lucky, you might even spot one or two.
Where: 54 Brooks Mews, W1K 4EG
Mews of Mayfair, Mayfair
A sanctuary from the shops just off Bond Street, Mews offers relaxed fine dining in a classic setting, but with fresh, modern flavours. With an extensive wine list to boot, who said shopping had to be stressful?
Where: 10-11 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EY
Sketch: The Parlour, Mayfair (above)
Sketch is the place to be for those shoppers seeking out fashionable nibbles and swanky cocktails. In the Parlour, the menu offers comfort food like mac ‘n’ cheese and beef burgers with foie gras. There are great cocktails if you need to refuel too.
Where: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
Bar Boulud, Knightsbridge (above)
A slice of New York in Knightsbridge, Daniel Boulud’s brasserie in the Mandarin Oriental hotel is all about the atmosphere, so expect a buzzy retreat with a gutsy menu, which majors in charcuterie, steaks and highly-prized burgers.
Where: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA
Burger & Lobster Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge
The Knightsbridge branch of this uber-popular chain is right at the top of shopping hub Harvey Nics. Happily, that does-what-it-says-on-the-tin menu means you’ll have one less difficult decision to make during your shopping adventures.
Where: 109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ
If the sales have got you in the mood to hunt for more bargains, take a look at our pick of the best cheap eats in the capital.