If we know one thing it’s this: London has its fair share of absolutely stonkingly fabulous hotel restaurants. For what seemed like an eternity, most appeared so intimidating you dare not step inside them unless you were a hotel guest – but over the past few years (that Covid pandemic aside), all of that has changed. How so? Well, the hotels have clocked on to the fact that the Insta-craze is here to stay with most tempting Londoners (and visitors to the capital) with photogenic spreads, dreamy interiors and makeovers LA starlets can only dream of. There’s also the fact that London is home to some of the biggest culinary household names and gastronomic magicians the world has to offer: Alain Ducasse, Heston Blumenthal, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Hélène Darroze and more.
Whether you’re looking to spoil yourself, find the perfect dinner for two, or just want a good night out with friends; with cuisine that has no borders or limits, from Italian to French and everything else in between, here’s our pick of London’s best and finest hotel restaurants.
Nobu at Nobu Shoreditch
When Nobu opened its first London hotel and second London restaurant in Shoreditch in 2017, it felt like a curious choice. The capital’s flagship restaurant had been part of Mayfair’s splashy food scene since its opening in 1997. Shoreditch, as it turned out, was a savvy move from the eponymous Nobuyaki Matsuhisa and his business partner Robert De Niro (yes, that Robert De Niro). It is still buzzier and pluckier than its West End counterparts, but it’s long been one of London’s foodiest corners. A clutch of smart hotels has scattered around its graffiti-strewn streets over the past few years – of which Nobu was one of the first, and is still one of the best. The restaurant itself is a purposefully serene recess from its frenetic neighbourhood. Concrete and steel – the furthest the hotel goes to acknowledge its urban setting – jut up seamlessly against a bar stocked with Japanese spirits and a classic sushi counter. Stick with the famous-for-a-reason classics and order pitch-perfect black miso cod and Japanese wagyu beef, as well as lesser-raved-about Japanese beef tacos (oozing with punchy flavours) and crispy shrimp tempura. Dishes are best shared between the table and washed down with carefully crafted cocktails. Afterwards, slink upstairs to the minimal bedrooms – terraces that protrude from the architecturally fascinating, cascading building’s edge have views over those thrumming streets below, tempting you away to join the crowds or leaving you thankful you have a sanctuary away from it all.
The Ritz Restaurant at The Ritz London
For a serious dose of Louis XVI-inspired glam pomp, plant your suited and booted tushes here. With all its pink marble, Phantom of the Opera-esque chandeliers and starry-eyed emoji worthy golden gilt, a theatrical experience is something the UK’s fourth current best, and Michelin-starred, The Ritz restaurant guarantees. Executive Chef John Williams MBE runs a tight ship of dishy waiters who waltz about in almost nerve-numbing minute precision, serving up Instalicious showstoppers from the signature beef wellington to a crepe suzette whisked up flambe. Seasonality is key to the award-winning chef’s ‘Best of British’ winning formula, with impeccable ingredients – St Malo butter, Native Lobster, Cornish turbot, heritage carrots and more – used to give the palette a zing of epicurean freshness. Aside from the food and all the gloriously intricate details, your hard-earned bucks are also paying for polished service, China plate domes and live performances that verge from piano renditions of hit movie classics to live music.
Il Pampero at The Hari London
Ask anyone in this part of embassy-land London and they’ll tell you it can be sometimes quite difficult to find a decent hotel Italian beyond the borders of the square mile. Luckily Il Pampero at the uber discreet boutique chic hotel The Hari delivers. Clad with geometric tiles, futuristic, perfectly polished leather booths and a mish-mash of eclectic art and photography, it’s a lively spot (the weekend brunch with live Italian music can attest to that fact) headed up by Sicilian-born, Tuscany-raised chef Calogero Carlino. Surprisingly authentic for London, expect a fusion of classics á la Italia including Cacio e Pepe, roast octopus, homemade pizzas, spicy salami and lots and lots of truffle. The bread is made fresh in-house (as is all the pasta for that matter) and has a home-cooked feel that’s somewhat eerily comforting. Puddings? Plentiful, but the must try is the extra creamy, beautifully thick tiramisu. So delicious in fact, we had seconds.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Welcome to the home of London’s finest haute French cuisine courtesy of master celebrity chef, monsieur Alain Ducasse. Executive kitchen maestro Jean-Philippe Blondet, Ducasse’ guardian culinary pro behind the gastronomic sorcery at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, arguably plates up the most inventive and aesthetically pleasing food the capital has to offer…which probably explains the three Michelin stars. Set deep inside the iconic Park Lane hotel, the dining room offers a dose of zen with its string curtains and ultra-private stone-grey, monolithic sofas. World-class ingredients with a dose of theatrics form the basis of the grand tasting menu made up of all sorts of bejewelling delights that shine a light on the brilliance and technicality of French cuisine: Kristal caviar, lobster medallion, the signature truffled chicken quenelles and homemade pasta; tender veal and the most otherworldly French cheeses you’ll put in your mouth this side of the channel to name a few. Overall, it’s an experience worthy of the heart-stopping price tag (start saving is our advice), but the lovely service, stellar wines and the fact you can say you’ve eaten in one of London’s, indeed the world’s, best restaurants trumps the hit on the wallet.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Fun fact: The Queen and sister Princess Margaret learned to dance inside the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s glamourous ballroom perched just next door to Heston Blumenthal’s mini empire, Dinner by Heston. And yes, you can peek inside to get a snoop, too. The restaurant has a prime focus on a spin on heritage dishes from the days of yore, and given the nod to historicism, don’t be shocked to find that everything on the menu here gives you a good schooling on all kinds of cuisine through the ages. The look? Dinner’s setting is swish, daringly masculine and looks out on to the grand expanse of Hyde Park and the pretty seasonal terrace. And the food? Knockout outstanding. Must eats include the ‘Meat Fruit’, a mandarin rind covered chicken liver parfait on buttery sourdough; the chicken cooked with lettuces (it’s pretty much like eating air); and the signature ‘Tipsy Cake’, a brioche sponge lathered in custard and brandy served with a side of spit roasted pineapple for dessert. Everything here is flawless, and in the most exceptional way possible.
Ting at The Shangri-La hotel at The Shard
Where else can you go in London that lets you expose yourself in a restaurant toilet without the police locking you up? Nowhere but Ting at The Shard’s statement, glass-walled loos. Unique selling point out of the way, Ting at The Shangri-La hotel at The Shard is all about Southeast Asian and regional Chinese dishes that pack a punch (plus awesome views of Tower Bridge, the south and the city, too). On the seriously jam-packed, and well thought out menu, you can expect all sorts from miso marinated cod, crispy chilli chicken and a few Shangri-La signatures from stir-fried Mongolian beef and the very delicious kung pao chicken loaded with spice and flavour. While the décor is on the very corporate, business type kind of the design spectrum, the sunset panoramas make up for what’s lost in the lack-lustre designer details. The cocktails are pretty darn good and delicious, too.
Kerridge’s at The Corinthia Hotel London
At first glimpse, it’s easy to see why this gastro-pub-like joint from West Country chef Tom Kerridge was such a hit when it first opened its doors inside the very bougie Corinthia Hotel London back in 2018: crimson walls draped with nondescript indie art, forest green vaulting, gorgeous dining booths and the odd art deco detail make it an instant hit for le ‘gram. Kudos to the team at David Collins Studio for nailing the design memo. Coo factor to one side, the very hearty, incredibly rich (calories, the smartly dressed in tartan waiters will tell you ‘do not exist here’) grub is worth the extra on-trend spin class. What to eat? The very posh fish and chips have been a hit since day one. Immaculately battered in brill, the fish of the day beast is served with triple cooked chips, tartare, pease pudding and Matson spiced sauce to give it that extra kick. Broaden the palette with a medley of sides (the roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese and greens are mandatory) and a desert or two courtesy of the banana souffle will keep your belly wooing… pretty forever.
The Grill at The Connaught Hotel London
Every hotel restaurant deserves some kind of renaissance, and the mighty Connaught Grill is no exception. Originally opened in 1955, the hole-in-the-wall (quite literally) used to be the place to be, but like all things, it eventually fell from grace to the trends and closed its doors in the year 2000. Fast forward to 2022 and its back at The Connaught Hotel, and the result is in a word, fantabulous. It’s the opposite of its well-known Michelin-starred neighbour Hélène Darroze, boasting a chill, intimate vibe hidden down a box corridor opposite the world’s best bar, The Connaught Bar. The man behind it all? Hotel favourite chef Jean-Georges Vongerichte, of course. The new grill prides itself on its open kitchen concept where white hats rustle up meats on a wood-burning grill and rotisserie. The produce, naturally, celebrates the best of what Blighty has to offer with A-grade meats (the spit-roasted chicken is a triumph), fresh veg in the form of a super tasty beetroot carpaccio and an orange crepe suzette that will give Paddington Bear a run for his money.
The Holborn Dining Room at Rosewood London
It’s all about the details in this stunner of a brasserie designed by celebrity interior designer Martin Brudnizki. The name of the game at Rosewood London’s bling eatery is very much Mad Men meets Manhattan speakeasy. Well-heeled diners give the space an extra dose of Art Deco glam, which adds to its old-fashioned, blast from the past kind of charm. Don’t worry, stepping back in time in here is refreshingly modern, and there’s not a whiff nor sign of high-brow stuffiness in sight. The much-hyped ‘pie room’ is what really keeps the punters coming in all year round. The curried mutton pie is the star of the show – think tender meat, with extremely flavourful curry sauce and a dash of mango for a hint of sweetness against all the buzzing spice – plus perfectly flaky pastry. Elsewhere on the menu, the offering is distinctly British: Cornish crab on toast; beastly Scotch eggs and marinated prawn bangers. It’s all too delicious, in every way imaginable.
The Dining Room at The Goring
It’s all very plush, showy, and positively exquisite at The Dining Room restaurant housed inside the family-owned, internationally adored, The Goring Hotel in Belgravia. A firm favourite of the Queen and family, swishy and dishy bow-tied waiters swoon with charm under the glistening Swarovski chandeliers that crown the light and airy Edwardian space. Fittingly palatial, the carpets and drapes are luxuriously thick, the windows ginormous and the fresh yellow mustard custard walls give it that touch of regal class. Surprisingly, the food served here is anything but stuffy. British classics are very much at the forefront of the menu with an only-the-best ingredient sourcing policy made clear from the get-go. Ask the waiter what you should try, and chances are they are likely to utter the same signature dishes since the joint opened more than a century ago: The Goring Eggs Drumkilbo (with native lobster, caviar and roasted tomato) and the legendary The Goring lobster omelette – legend has it the dish was a favourite of the late Queen Elizabeth.
Cut at 45 Park Lane
It’s a swanky steakhouse in a swanky Art Deco setting. There’s no denying that Wolfgang Puck, who came to fame thanks to his Beverly Hills smash hit Spago (and let’s not forget his lovely namesake restaurant at Hotel Bel Air) knows how to cook a fine piece of meat. With a menu devoted to the delights of ‘merican staples, our advice is simple: skip breakfast and lunch before you sit down here. USDA prime cuts, alongside Australian cuts of beef wow, while deliciously rich Japanese wagyu Kagoshima beef numbers from Japan shows you just how tasty a slab of protein can actually be. Elsewhere on the menu, expect maple-glazed pork belly, steak tartare and jumbo prawns, enjoyed inside or out on the pretty Park Lane facing terrace. Even if you don’t end up eating here, it’s well worth checking out the arty interiors. Expensively decorated and draped in swishy curtains and giant chandeliers, the extra wow-factor is thanks to a good dozen Damien Hirst pieces scattered on the restaurant’s pretty walls.
Cecconi’s at The Ned
Chances are you’ve seen this former bank turned fancy hotel, The Ned, all over your well decorated Instagram feed. The ever so cool and dangerously on-trend people behind member’s club Soho House offer not one but six dining spots across its mammoth 3000 square meter, Gringotts-style banking hall. The perk? There’s oodles on offer to suit even the fussiest of stomachs. Cecconi’s (no major secret) serves a fine mixture of Italian classics from ode-to-Amalfi coast vongole to veal Milanese; Lutyen’s Grill, a fine soiree of British classics (the beef wellington is especially good); mean baps and diner ready eats are up for scoffing at Electric Bar & Diner; superfood salads, cured fish and meats and plant-based dishes are the name of the game at the California-inspired Malibu Kitchen; Poke bowl galore headlines Asian foodie paradise Kaia; and for something more international, The Parlour dishes out all sorts from caviar to lobster thermidor and a rather lovely chicken Kiev.
The Restaurant at NoMad London
It’s cool here, and effortlessly so. The Covent Garden newbie is your next Instagram obsession, and for good reason. The first international venture for stateside The NoMad Hotel group, the super swanky Nomad London is housed inside a grand storied Grade-II-listed former Magistrate’s Court, featuring a vast collection of art, from post-war American to the European avant-garde. The crown jewel in this stellar gem of a building (it was once the Bow Street Magistrates court) is the glassy Pandora’s box of an atrium where the hotel’s main restaurant lives. A row of dramatic lights tops the greenhouse-like hall, flecked with all sorts of plants and imaginative curios. Executive Chef and NoMad stalwart Ashley Abodeely proceeds over all the nommy fare. The roast chicken for two stuffed with foie gras is lush, as is the lobster tagliatelle drowning in a lemon and butter sauce. Wash it all down with a spritz, or three as you watch the rich and famous glide about the place.
Seabird at the Hoxton Southwark
You’ll shimmy into this place, shoulders perched humming summer, summer time. Yes, this rooftop stunner boasts some of the best views of the city, and come the warmer months, is often packed out with cocktail and beer sipping Londoners lapping up the capital’s (often rare) rays. Sun or no sun, it’s a laidback, Cali affair set amongst the backdrop of some of the city’s most famous icons, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the glimmering Renzo-Piano designed The Shard. All very Instagrammble – especially the seafood bar – the menu is refreshingly simple and to the point. Octopus tentacles laced in sauce and wrapped in a brioche bun; de-boned seabass, grilled langoustines and padron peppers to share are highlights. The main attraction is easily The Calypso, a mammoth chilled on ice platter of clams, grilled mussels, red prawns and tuna tartare. Share it if you can. Oh, and the Basque cheesecake for dessert is 100 percent non-negotiable and really bloody good.
The River Restaurant by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy London
The world-famous, and Britain’s first luxury hotel – The Savoy, has its fair share of restaurants and brilliant bars, but if you are in search of something more casual that verges on date night (we saw plenty of couples here), hit up this relatively new Gordon Ramsay classic. Following in the legendary Kaspar’s seasteps, the celeb chef’s gastronomic mantra is to showcase the very best shellfish and wild seafood our little isle has to offer up and down the country. Think fresh oysters handpicked along the southern coasts; lots of ceviche using veg plucked from hand-selected British farms, and caviar served at the raw bar. Other standouts include the scallops, hand caught right from the in Devon, the very delicate monkfish burger and the grilled Cornish lobster – something to gorge on if you really want to rock the boat. Best table? Ask for one at the very back of the restaurant for great views of the space, as well as The Thames.