Gone are the days when British food was something to be suspicious of. Today, London is filled with modern British restaurants that are able to compete on the world stage and which have helped to redefine British dining culture.
At the moment, it could be said that British gastronomy is going through a true renaissance with artisan farming, agriculture and new waves of distilleries, vineyards and micro-breweries that seem to be launching up and down the country. London is still very much at the heart of this renaissance, with the best chefs, producers and commentators all congregating in the capital to champion our gastronomic prowess.
The following restaurants cover a range of categories, from the relatively casual right through to the highest forms of fine dining but the recurrent theme across all of them is that their chefs show a sensitivity to the wonderful range of ingredients to be found across the British isles, and each uses them with great skill to create excellent menus.
Here are our highlights for this season...
1) Hunter 486
The cuisine is modern British and on-trend, with the action focused on the open kitchen where much of the activity can be observed. Select a cocktail and enjoy the show.
Hunter 486 at the Arch: 50 Great Cumberland Pl, London W1H 7FD, Tel: 020 7724 0486, www.thearchlondon.com/hunter-486-brasserie
2) The Restaurant at The Ritz
The most attractive dining room in London where Scottish chef John Williams uses the finest British ingredients to craft a menu of exquisite delicacy and balance.
The Ritz: 150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR, Tel: 020 7493 8181
3) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Dinner is one of the few restaurants that puts London at the very forefront of the international fine dining scene. Many of the dishes reference ancient British classics that have all but been forgotten today.
Dinner by Heston: Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, Tel: +44 (0) 207 201 3833, www.dinnerbyheston.com
4) Alyn Williams at The Westbury
Alyn Williams at The Westbury is Williams' first outing alone and it is fair to say it has been an eagerly anticipated arrival and features carefully sourced and expertly constructed dishes.
The Westbury Hotel, 37 Conduit St, London W1S 2YF, Tel: 020 7183 6426
5) The Gilbert Scott
It is perhaps no coincidence that The Gilbert Scott, the finest of English brasseries, is the last London restaurant you'll encounter before boarding the Eurostar to Paris, the home of the grand brasserie.
The Gilbert Scott, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Rd, London NW1 2AR, Tel: 020 7278 3888, www.thegilbertscott.co.uk
6) HIX at Brown's
The menu includes a spectacular array of seasonal British food, which, as a nod back to earlier traditions, always includes something ever-changing from the trolley. This is a treasure of a restaurant which celebrates all that is great about modern British cuisine.
HIX at Brown's: 33 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BP, Tel: 020 7493 6020 website