These days, London is foodie heaven. In 2017 the capital will have a grand total of 64 Michelin stars, and many more just outside the city limits. Read on for some of our top choices for an exquisite dining experience.
Heston Blumenthal’s attention to detail is legendary. He burst onto the scene two decades ago, honing his skills at The Fat Duck in Bray, 50km west of London. Dinner opened a few years ago in the opulent Mandarin Oriental hotel, which overlooks Hyde Park. With two Michelin stars, Blumenthal develops modernist dishes from forgotten British recipes. A historic cookery trick revived here is the disguising of one food as another. As you slice into what seems to be a juicy mandarin, you realise it is chicken parfait.
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The TV chef’s flagship restaurant has three Michelin stars for a reason. Everything betrays the utmost attention to detail, from the exceptional service to the impeccable wine list. The tasting menu – modern French cuisine – is one of the world’s great culinary experiences. Just make sure you book ahead. Cooking master classes are also available.
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Young superstar Tom Sellers wants to tell you a story, from childhood onwards. The concept extends to the books on the wall: diners are encouraged to leave one behind. The constantly changing tasting menu will last hours, but, taking in views of Tower Bridge and the Shard, you won’t mind. Sellers’s new place, Restaurant Ours in Kensington, has a secret garden.
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It has been called Britain’s most influential restaurant, resparking the once unfashionable tradition of ‘tail to tip’ dining. They eat the whole beast here. St John’s menu is always changing, but expect hearts and livers, trotters and snouts – London’s goriest Michelin star. See also St John Bread & Wine, which does a sort of British version of tapas.
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You’ll need to book ahead for Dabbous, but you won’t regret it. Quirky and inventive, this place made waves when it arrived in Fitzrovia in 2012, and has been innovating ever since. Get the tasting menu.
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There are few better places to spend a sunny summer’s day in London than the River Café’s courtyard, which overlooks a tranquil western chunk of the Thames. The fine Italian cuisine perfected here over three decades has permeated British society, through the Café’s many cookbooks, and through top British chefs trained here, such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Try a risotto, and get a wine from your favourite Italian region.
For more of the best dining London has to offer, check out our destination guide.