Since restaurant closures in March, we have had to make do with homemade cooking and takeaways, but the experience of dining out is one that cannot be replicated.
Make up for lost time in these restaurants dedicated to providing the safest dining experiences in the most beautiful settings.
Once guests step past the doors of Circolo Popolare they immediately leave behind the streets of Fitzrovia and are transported to the island of Sicily. The theatrical interiors are delightfully over-the-top, resulting in a sensory overload of the best proportions. 20,000 spirit bottles line the white stone walls, hanging wisteria drapes from the trellised ceiling, and a mixture of festoon and candlelight fills the restaurant with a warm glow. Complete with an open kitchen, lively Italian staff and a large outdoor terrace, the restaurant is an exuberant replica of a Sicilian trattoria experience. As much as the décor is a spectacle in itself, the menu is also larger-than-life. Authentic Italian dishes have been creatively transformed to embrace London’s grandeur with metre long pizzas and XXL deserts available. Brought to us by the Paris-based Big Mamma group, Circolo Popolare has been listed by Conde Nast Traveller as one of London’s most beautiful places to eat, and is an exciting addition to the city’s restaurant scene.
Must try: Meter long Truffle Shuffle pizza with fresh black truffle and provola cheese
With Damien Hirst’s 24ft Swarovski-encrusted Pegasus as the centrepiece of the restaurant, Brasserie of Light is just about as luxe as it gets. Created by the internationally-acclaimed design studio, Martin Brudnizki, contemporary elegance has been combined with Art-Deco chic to create a restaurant where “dreams come true”. Double height windows flood the restaurant with light which is continuously reflected off of an abundance of antique bevelled mirrors that decorate the space. Colour is injected by the plush leather seating with yellow and pink dining chairs complementing blue banquettes. Additional spectacles include a gold leaf ceiling in the second dining room and the most stunning female bathroom covered in pink marble. A place of such grandeur requires two entrances with guests able to access the restaurant through Selfridges on Oxford Street or the main entrance on Duke Street. The menu has been created by head chef Emanuel Machado and is an “eclectic mix of British and internationally-inspired dishes” which complements the sophistication of the décor.
Must try: Sumptuous lobster linguine served with blistered Datterini tomatoes, chilli and garlic
Making the most of its prime location on St James’s Street, Chutney Mary combines the glitz of London’s West End with Indian opulence, by blending contemporary glamour with authentic Indian design. Antique Indian furniture and art works, bespoke Tekri mirrors and mother-of-pearl tables decorate the restaurant with inspiration drawn from Indian palatial homes. Neighbouring Pall Mall clubs have inspired the use of dark wood interiors and fluted glass chandeliers. The combination of traditional and contemporary style is not limited to the interiors, with Chutney Mary aiming to redefine the Indian culinary experience by refreshing traditional recipes with contemporary techniques. The impressive menu boasts a variety of regional Indian cuisines that “reflect the country’s regional tastes, styles and nuances”. To ensure authenticity, the food is prepared by chefs who have been trained within their Indian birthplace meaning guests can simply relax and trust in their expertise.
Must try: Roasted scallops in Mangalorean sauce with watermelon chaat
As well as Brasserie of Light, the Martin Brundnizki Design Studio also includes the Sexy Fish restaurant in their portfolio and, as the name suggests, it is a sensuous dining experience throughout. In keeping with Mayfair’s reputation of affluence, the restaurant is estimated to have cost £15 million to create, and is filled with high-class art works. Damien Hirst’s bronze mermaids stand proud at each end of the bar where diners can indulge in the world’s biggest Japanese whisky collection, whilst illuminated by Frank Gehry’s iconic Fish Lamps which swim overhead. A 13ft glossy black crocodile, also designed by Gehry, reflects the Iranian Esmeralda onyx marble floors without detracting from the coral inspired ceiling mural, designed by Vanity Fair’s style director Michael Roberts. If this wasn’t enough, guests can dine next to two of the world’s largest live coral reef tanks in the private dining room. While guests are drawn to the restaurant by its extravagant interiors, they stay for the superior food. A Japanese-inspired menu of sushi, sashimi and Robata grilled fish and meats, have ensured Sexy Fish a feature in the 2020 Michelin Guide.
Must try: Pepper crusted Wagyu tataki with tarragon mustard and black truffle
Located on the 14th floor of 120 Fenchurch Street, 14 Hills restaurant receives unparalleled views of the London City skyline including The Shard, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the Thames. While you would not be mistaken for thinking that it is the unique location which draws guests to the restaurant, it is the luxurious interiors which are the real spectacle. Filled with an abundance of evergreen plants, shrubs and olive trees, 14 Hills is a “forest in the sky”. Illuminated by warm ambient lighting, the green of the plants compliments the plush pastel furnishings, evoking the feeling of being in a lush English garden in summer time. The botanical marvel was created by the award-winning design studio Robert Angell and has been shortlisted by luxury interior magazine, Design Et Al, in the 2020 International Hotel & Property Awards. Inspired by its English garden interiors, head chef John Barber has created a menu focusing on the best of British seasonal produce with a hint of French flair.
Must try: Grilled sea bream served with freekeh rice, and peach and rose harissa
By Holly Johnson