Whether you’re looking for an extra special restaurant for your bridesmaid proposals, or you’re planning a classy hen do for a food-loving bride and her close friends and family – these are the best places to eat and drink in London right now…
The Best Restaurants in London Right now
STK London, Covent Garden
Located in the ME London Hotel, Covent Garden, STK London offers guests a fresh, modern alternative to the conventional dining experience.
The seasonal, innovative menu, along with the sophisticated, stylish décor and decidedly lively and sultry atmosphere lets guests know that this is definitely a steakhouse cut above the rest.
STK is a unique concept that artfully blends the modern steakhouse and chic lounge into one, offering a dynamic, fine dining experience with the superior quality of a traditional steakhouse.
STK distinguishes itself as the “in place” for hen parties by focusing on the social experience with a sleek, contemporary design and an in-house DJ who creates an infectious, high-energy vibe.
STK London also offers a number of private and semi-private dining spaces for hen parties and all of these rooms can be customised and decorated to match the hen’s theme.
The menu features reimagined classic American cuisine with signature dishes like bite-sized Lil’ BRGs made with Wagyu beef, Lobster Mac & Cheese and the highest quality steak.
Must-have on the menu? The Truffle Mac & Cheese
For more information or to book, visit stkhouse.com.
The iconic Quaglino’s – or Quag’s as it’s called by those in the know – offers fine dining, boasts a vast menu of signature cocktails and oozes in retro glamour.
Frequented by royalty (both the monarchy and Hollywood alike) since the 1950s, the restaurant has been a favourite with the celebrity set for decades. Still one of the best restaurants in London, Prince Harry, David Beckham and Benedict Cumberbatch are among the latest cohort of VIP patrons since its relaunch in 2014.
Nestled in a quiet side street in the heart of Mayfair, Quag’s transforms into a hub for late night dancing. Tables are cleared and the dance floor fills as live music and DJs take to the stage at the front of the restaurant.
The signature dish? Quaglino’s Seafood Cocktail (served with a crisp glass of champagne, of course).
For more information and reservations, visit quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk.
100 Wardour Street, Soho
If you’re on the lookout for a night on the town with the girls, or somewhere lively for a pre-wedding meal, you can’t go far wrong with a night in Soho. A hub of restaurants, clubs and bars, ranging from extravagant private members’ clubs to speakeasies, pop-up eateries to fine-dine. And nestled in the heart of Soho is 100 Wardour St.
Launching in 2016 as 100 Wardour St, the restaurant & club is set over two levels. On the ground floor there’s a relaxed feel in the bar & lounge, which offers up everything from morning coffee to lunch, lite bites and after-work cocktails.
Downstairs, however, is where the real fun happens. In the restaurant & club, delicious and indulgent food is served until 2am, complemented by an extensive wine list and creative cocktail menu.
Harking back to the restaurant’s past as iconic music venue the Marquee Club (which once hosted the likes of David Bowie and The Rolling Stones), in its current incarnation, it boasts DJs and live music five nights a week.
Whether you’re booking in for a bottomless brunch at the weekend, or an evening of dining á la carte, 100 Wardour St is a real taste of Soho.
For more information and to book, head to 100wardourst.com.
Located in the heart of Mayfair, Novikov offers two beautiful restaurants – their Asian restaurant and Italian restaurant. The latter offers a grand cheese wheel – perfect for couples (think lady and the tramp!) but both provide the perfect ambience for a classy hen do.
Novikov Restaurant & Bar combines cool and contemporary interiors with a superlative culinary offering while the separate Lounge Bar is a must-visit destination for celebratory drinks with an extensive cocktail menu, live music and performances by some of the world’s top DJs.
A real feature of the Novikov Asian Restaurant is its open kitchen. Fronted by an amazing display of seafood and vegetables, it evokes the atmosphere of an Asian food market. The atmosphere here is at once welcoming and relaxing, but subtle enough not to distract from the food itself. The menu uses novel flavours and texture combinations, inspired by Chinese and Pan Asian cuisine.
As soon as you enter in Novikov Italian Restaurant you cannot miss the imposing wood-fired oven, suede wall panelling, mirrors in solid oak frames and the rustic chandeliers. The indulgent menu offers regional Italian dishes with a contemporary twist.
Novikov also offers private spaces for hen parties – the Italian restaurant has two beautiful semi-private rooms: the Vino Room and Poppy Room. And with its eclectic furnishing and intimate lightning, the Lounge Bar private room works perfectly for canapé parties of up to 50 guests. The music and lighting can be adjusted to suit the occasion.
For more information or to book, visit www.novikovrestaurant.co.uk.
ZELA, Covent Garden
ZELA restaurant jetted into London in October 2018 with a unique blend of Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine, craft cocktails and slick service with Ibizan beats.
ZELA’s London home is in the vibrant West End – a 100-cover restaurant and an absolute hidden gem at the ME London Hotel on The Strand in Covent Garden.
The cuisine is led by acclaimed Michelin starred chef Ricardo Sanz, as gastronomic director, whom together with TATEL culinary team has created the fusion menu of Japanese techniques and flavours applied to Mediterranean products and traditions.
Offering an abundance of fresh fish and seafood from the Mediterranean; ZELA’s own style of raw dishes includes tatakis, tartars, sashimi, sushi, gyozas and tiraditos among others.
Signatures include scallops with Ibizan sobrasada and butterfish nigiri with white truffle. Asian influences can be found in dishes such as Iberico pork gyoza, usuzukuri toro pa amb tomaquet (thinly sliced tuna belly sashimi with grated tomato, olive oil and breadcrumbs) and 48-hour braised Wagyu teriyaki.
ZELA is making its mark on the city’s culinary and nightlife map, for London’s foodies and the international jet-set alike, with its exotic menus and vibrant atmosphere with a touch of Mediterranean flare.
For more information or to book, visit zelarestaurants.com.
Bloomsbury Street Kitchen, Holborn
If you’ve been lucky enough to frequent any of London’s ‘Kitchens’ – Monmouth Kitchen, Mayfair Kitchen, and Leicester Square Kitchen among them – you’ll have some sense of why expectations for this new opening on Bloomsbury Street were so high.
Bloomsbury Street Kitchen, which opened its doors on 10 August 2019, sells itself as a Mediterranean and Japanese fusion, its a la carte menu boasting a mix of sumptuously appetising small plates and signature cocktails that truly pack a punch.
Highlights on the left side of the menu – that being the Mediterranean offerings – include a black-pepper-crusted beef carpaccio with shaved truffle and parmesan, and slow-cooked glazed lamb shoulder gyros with chilli fries and lemon feta yoghurt. More, if not equally delicious is the oven-baked lobster and king prawn with parmesan creme and chilli herb crust.
The Japanese offerings, however – owing to personal taste – totally steal the show, and begin with a serving of edamame beans coated in lemon butter and chilli sea salt.
It’s worth tucking into the Kitchen’s signatures, too, namely the crispy soft-shell-crab harumaki rolls with spicy ponzu, as well as a side of chilli-and-sake-flamed tenderstem broccoli.
The real showstopper though? It’s all about the bincho grills, and the chilli-and-lemon-roasted baby chicken is absolutely packed with flavour, steam literally pouring off it as it sits proudly within a smoked hoba leaf.
Polish your meal off with a helping of Rococo hot chocolate and a chocolate bento box with coconut sorbet – a perfectly indulgent finale – or for a dish with a more unusual texture, try the brilliantly creamy yoghurt and white chocolate cheesecake with activated charcoal sorbet. We’ll certainly be returning for more in a hurry…
For more information or to make a reservation, visit bloomsburystreetkitchen.co.uk
Scarpetta, Bishopsgate, Cannon Street, and Canary Wharf
Londoners are obsessed with pasta, so it stands to reason that this small, no-fuss Italian chain has been drawing in hoards of happy diners since 2014. Whether it’s for a quick, pre-theatre meal with your bridal crew, a bite to eat before you hit the wine bar, or just the chance to appreciate some truly delicious, authentically-made Italian food, Scarpetta seems to hit the spot every time.
Based in Bishopsgate, Cannon Street and Canary Wharf, each restaurant – despite its luxe interiors and top-notch ingredients – has a laidback, almost informal charm that’s completely to its credit. There’s no sense of pretentiousness or self-importance here; it really is all about the food.
Wine here is served by the glass – the red Montepulciano is especially smooth – and just a glance at the menu of cicchetti (starters) is enough to get your mouth watering. Don’t expect anything as basic as dough balls here either – the n’duja and mozzarella bruschetta is absolutely exquisite and packed with smoky flavour, while the truffle and mascarpone arancini is both light and crisp in texture.
The handmade pasta is, of course, the main event at Scarpetta, and each dish is clearly influenced by the owners’ Puglian heritage, with almost every ingredient sourced from the farms, roasteries and mills they grew up with. The slow-cooked lamb ragu is a wholesome, hearty dish, while the mushroom and pancetta pasta is wonderfully creamy and peppery.
Desserts aren’t done by halves here either, and the brilliantly rich honeycomb chocolate mousse is definitely not to be missed. Don’t forget to polish it off with a Son of a Peach cocktail – made with Hendrick’s gin, peach pulp, and lemon juice – particularly during happy hour (4pm to 7pm), when all cocktails are just £5. Now that’s the kind of quality Italian dining we can get on board with…
For more information or to make a reservation, visit scarpetta.london.
Kitchen at Holmes, Baker Street
The clue’s in the name (and location) – this seasonally inspired all-day dining spot does indeed take much of its influence from Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous fictional creation, and having opened in summer 2019, it’s garnering love from London foodies by the bucket load.
In-house mixologist Pepe Corallo, whose background spans from Mr Foggs to Blakes Hotel and Nobu, has also turned this Marylebone resident into a must-visit cocktail bar, with a menu of liquid delights that truly tickle the senses; the brilliantly bitter Negronis, served up in a glass pipe, come highly recommended.
Waiting staff here are professional, charming, and know the menus inside out, only too happy to suggest dishes, quantities (most meals are made for sharing), and suitable pairings. And you’ll need advice, too – Head Chef Stefano Motta has crafted a simply divine menu that’s packed with irresistible choices, and asking for recommendations is definitely the best way to go.
Start your night with the Scottish Black Angus Beef Carpaccio, served with foie gras and black truffle, which is simply unmissable. The Testun al Barolo cheese is equally packed with flavour, and pairs wonderfully with a helping of wild boar salami.
Follow this up with a bowl of buffalo ricotta ravioli and black truffle, topped with a simply divine butter sauce (of which you’ll want to inhale every last drop). And when you’re ready for the main event, we recommend ordering the Dover sole, totally flavoursome and filleted in front of you at the table. The melt-in-your mouth wagyu rump steak is worth a taste, too, served with jus and rosemary and best served rare.
Room for pudding? The yuzu and pistachio with candied kumquats is your best bet for a non-filling, light dessert, but the limoncello baba is also said to be a highly popular choice.
All in all, you’ll leave this uber-chic dining spot undeniably impressed, with little room in your stomach for even the tiniest morsel. Better yet, for couples tying the knot at Marylebone Registry Office – just a short four-minute walk around the corner – the restaurant also welcomes small wedding parties, should you wish to start married life celebrating (and eating) in style. We’re sure you won’t regret it.
For more information or to book a table, visit kitchenatholmes.co.uk
1947 London, Fitzrovia
Having opened its doors in mid-September, the entrance to this decadent Charlotte Street resident feels like that of an exclusive members’ club, where diners are greeted and escorted downstairs by the welcoming door staff.
Walk down the stairs and you’ll be visibly struck by just how modish and opulent its interiors are; the marble-effect walls and rustic-chic brick flooring balance effortlessly against the mood lighting and dark green velvet chairs. Look out for the flower wall as you arrive, too, which is ideal for photographs – particularly if you’re with your bridal crew.
The menu, much like the surroundings, is packed full of flavour and flair, and made up of the finest Northern Indian cuisine at genuinely affordable prices. Small plates vary from home-smoke tandoori salmon and chilli paneer, and the Maharaja prawns – which are marinated in a blend of spices and absolutely enormous – are not to be missed.
Meat-eaters should also try the crispy lamb kebabs, which are packed with a mix of green herbs and masala cheese. And if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, order a Chai Martini (or two); you won’t be disappointed.
Biriyani fans are spoilt for choice, and the lamb dum offering arrives in an impressive pastry sealed pot packed with tender meat and delicate clove flavouring. Off the main menu, the Dhaaba Murg – a simple, light curry from the roadside kitchens of Punjab – is packed with the most succulent chicken you’ll have ever tasted.
Polish your order off with the chef’s selection of breads, because, naturally, one type of naan is never enough.
Dessert-wise, opt for the Phirni, a pistachio, cardamom and coconut-flavoured rice pudding if you’d like something lighter. Though, of course, you simply can’t go wrong with chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream, and 1947’s take on this classic pudding is really quite impressive.
For more information or to book a table, visit 1947london.com