London’s Most Wonderful Hotel Restaurants
Long gone are the days when hotel dining rooms were sad, and sadly empty, affairs. The capital has entered its era of abundance when it comes to beautiful hotel restaurants that are destinations in their own right. By turns decadent, mischievous, and classic, they are gladdened with the genial blur of visitors and Londoners alike. From a Soho newcomer to Mayfair icons, reborn, here are a handful of our favorites.
Dear Jackie at Broadwick Soho, Soho
Soho has a new muse, the hotel it has always deserved, and its name is Broadwick. Fabulous, mischievous, and just the right side of bonkers, it is the long-term passion project of its owner Noel Hayden — and was inspired by his childhood growing up at the family hotel on the British seaside, where his mother ran the show and his father moonlighted as a magician. Broadwick’s neighborhood heart is Dear Jackie, a glamorous Italian restaurant dedicated to Hayden’s legendary mother. Here, designer-du-jour Martin Brudnizki has gone to town with silk crimson walls, sexy Murano lighting, and intimate booths, and created just the place to linger until the small hours with friends and lovers over plates of rabbit pappardelle. Afterward, you can continue the party on the top floor in the spectacularly flamboyant Flute bar, where zebra prints clash with mirrored ceilings and an onyx bar serves up brilliant martinis.
Claridge's Restaurant at Claridge’s, Mayfair
This September Clardidge’s reopened the art deco doors of The Claridge’s Restaurant — as it was known 20 years ago pre-Ramsay et al — and the result is exquisite. Designed by Bryan O’Sullivan, the elegant dining room is shaped from Calcutta Viola marble and antique brass, with Guy Oliver’s starburst skylights reminding one to look up from one’s plate, while ensconced in one of its moss-green leather banquettes. We recommend arriving early to have an aperitif at the tiny, high-gloss tortoiseshell bar, before settling in at your table for chef Coalin Finn’s beautifully rendered classic dishes. The steak tartare, whole lobster with sauce Americaine, and chocolate souffle tart are highlights — with a couple of truffle crumpets thrown in for good measure. In short, this is somewhere to bookmark for a special occasion.
The Twenty Two at The Twenty Two, Mayfair
A lavish 2022 addition to the Mayfair scene, The Twenty Two is part members’ club, part hotel. Set within an old Georgian manor house on the corner of Grosvenor Square, its maximalist interiors by Natalia Miyar are something to behold — and dress up for. Although many of its spaces are for members and hotel guests only, you can book into its neighborhood restaurant where cornflower blue walls and sumptuous burnt honey chairs are lit by plenty of soft candlelight. Order the pasta al limone —for the table — followed by a sharing steak or the roasted truffle chicken and fries. The Twenty Two’s expert barmen also whip up some of the best cocktails in London, including the excellent Before Midnight: a heady concoction of Patron Silver, grape-infused mezcal, lime, and grapefruit.
Side Hustle at The Nomad, Covent Garden
The Nomad’s Mediterranean-style courtyard might be a beauty, but we are even bigger fans of Side Hustle, its bar-slash-Latin-American-diner. Located in the building’s old police station, it is a great spot for a spontaneous bite to eat in central London. Pull up a stool at its gleaming bar and watch as the team shake up your cocktail order — a Seasonal Margarita or an Oaxacan Old Fashioned — before settling into one of the nearby booths for some food. We always go for the baja-style fish tacos and tuna tostadas, or the short rib to share.
Holborn Dining Room at Rosewood London, Holborn
A handsome space with red leather banquettes and a gleaming bar, Holborn Dining Room is known for its exceptional pies — and with good reason. Book in for a long lunch with a long lost godfather, or similar, and order away: half a dozen Cumbrae oysters to whet the appetite, before moving onto one of the aforementioned pies, which range from seasonal beauties such as slow roasted lamb shoulder or chicken, chestnut mushroom and leek fondue. Plus, of course, a dauphinoise potato pie for the table. After lunch, roll across the courtyard to Scarfes Bar, for whisky cocktails by the fire.
Berners Tavern at London Edition, Fitzrovia
One of the older players on this list, Berners Tavern always brings a vibe: a decadent dining room with triple height, ornate ceilings dripping with chandeliers, and vast walls covered top to toe in paintings. The Sunday roast is particularly good, with a two- or three-course set menu that features dishes such as Dingley pork belly or Buccleuch Estate sirloin, followed by strawberry and pistachio millefeuille. If you still have energy in the tank, prop up the bar that runs along one side of the restaurant for a digestif or two.