Regardless of the political climate, London’s culinary love affair with Europe endures. Luxos shares its top picks for variety within the city.
Why stick with the culinary culture of a country when you have an entire continent? Wild Honey is the Modern European dining room where the daily changing menu arcs the finest ingredients of Europe – from Welsh lamb to Sicilian seafood, Provençal greens and Greek kofte.
LUXOS Recommends: Try the smoked eel with beetroot and horseradish cream
The Brits have long had a love affair with the European Grand Cafe: a mini-legion of eateries emulating this classic style have opened in London over the past few years. The German Gymnasium is the last word, and probably most ambitious, of these continentally-styled beauties. Set in a Grade II former gymnasium, the food is Mittel-European influenced but the experience is as much about the setting – an all-day Grand Cafe, fine dining restaurant, two bars and an outdoor terrace.
LUXOS Recommends: Traditional German shupfnudln and chanterelle mushrooms
Healthy, flavourful and accompanied by the warmest service, Greek cuisine is everybody’s friend. Milos is a global restaurant powerhouse dedicated to Greek seafood. Situated in the heart of St James, fish and crustacea are caught on the island of Milos then flown in fresh daily and cooked to your specification before landing on your plate.
LUXOS Recommends: Greek ceviche followed by fish in sea salt
Among the capital’s most leisured, not to mention romantic, fine dining experiences, The Greenhouse is the 2-Michelin-starred haven boasting one of London’s finest wine lists and some of the best service in town.
LUXOS Recommends: Pigeon with cocoa, rhubarb and erbette
Portuguese restaurateur extraordinaire Nuno Mendes has forged a career from imagining restaurant concepts and launching them into London’s culinary lexicon. Having trained with the great and the good of Europe, Taberna do Mercado is the authentic Portuguese eatery in historic Spitalfields specialising in faithful Portuguese small plates that earned him a bib gourmand. He resurrects the Michelin-starred Viajante (Portuguese for ‘traveller’) this winter.
LUXOS Recommends: Go for a Portuguese sheep's cheese plate selection
Britain had previously given Nordic cuisine the cold shoulder, but the Scandinavian proclivity for healthful, fresh, crisp cuisines has begun to take London. Aquavit – whose flagship New York outpost boasts two Michelin Stars – lands in the capital this year in the show-stopping St James’ Market.
Without Italian cuisine, London starves. Well, that might not be strictly true but the most romantic country in the world’s superior cooking has long seduced the native palate. Ruth Rodger’s Michelin-starred River Cafe serves sensational antipasti, fish and meats and she’s said to be opening a Mayfair outpost soon.
LUXOS Recommends: A good ‘primo,’ strozzapreti con pesto alla genovese e fagiolini verdi (hand-rolled pasta with pesto sauce and green beans)
Spain introduced tapas to the world – the small plate culture has been adopted by a myriad of cuisines, from Italian to Japanese and Peruvian, but Barrafina specialises in the faithful rendition. Those lucky enough to secure one of the coveted seats around the Soho counter can sample the Michelin-starred Spanish cuisine.
LUXOS Recommends: Spanish tortilla with prawn and piquillo pepper
Luck of the Irish
Irish restaurateur Richard Corrigan flies the flag for his native cuisine via his tetralogy of London restaurants. At Corrigan's, Bentley's and Bentley's Sea Grill you can sample the finest native oysters alongside the Gaelic signatures of seafood and soda bread.
LUXOS Recommends: A dozen Carlingford oysters washed down with Champagne