British, Modern Restaurants in Mayfair
1. Bellamy’s British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 18-18a Bruton Pl - W1
“Everybody is smartly attired which makes a nice change” at Gavin Rankin’s (ex-MD of Annabel’s) “old-fashioned-in-a-good-way” bastion: “a picture-lined dining room”, tucked away in a quiet mews, which – to those of a blueblooded disposition – makes “a much more attractive choice than some of its flashier Mayfair rivals”. “Well-drilled”, traditionally-attired staff deliver “classic” – if “fairly simple” – Anglo/French cuisine and, in particular, the package makes “an excellent choice for a business lunch” (of the kind where “a couple of dry Martinis before you get started will not raise an eyebrow”).
2. Ormer Mayfair by Sofian, Flemings Mayfair Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 7-12 Half Moon Street - W1
“A delight!” – Shaun Rankin’s “exceptional” and “beautifully presented” cuisine at this posh, Mayfair hotel dining room wins acclaim from all reporters this year: “not sure why it doesn’t have a stronger following – highly under-rated”. He made his name on Jersey – an ‘ormer’ is a Channel Islands gastropod – before shifting to the capital in 2016. “It’s a beautiful interior, but the basement setting can make it a bit gloomy for lunch”.
3. Corrigan’s Mayfair British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 28 Upper Grosvenor St - W1
“Classic and club-like (without being oppressive)” – Richard Corrigan’s spacious Mayfair HQ, just off Park Lane, offers a traditionally luxurious experience, focused on “unfussy”, top-quality British cuisine (from head chef, Aidan McGee). Its ratings looked less secure this year, though, with mounting concerns about its vertiginous pricing – to fans “even if it’s expensive, the quality is there”, but to foes it now seems “extremely overpriced” to an extent some feel is “ludicrous”. Top Tip – “superb value set lunch”.
4. AW, Westbury Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 37 Conduit St - W1
“Outstanding cooking, with first-class service” consistently hits the bullseye at this relatively unsung venue, tucked away at the back of a luxury Mayfair hotel. There’s a “thoughtful” approach to the meal, with “chefs coming out to tell you about dishes” – while some diners are “invited into the kitchen to meet Alyn”. It’s a “very comfortable” set-up and “the space between tables is incredible by modern restaurant standards, which creates the intimacy that a romantic meal requires”. And, especially at lunch, the elegant room’s lack of windows and natural light adds to the cocooning nature of the experience.
5. Above at Hide British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 85 Piccadilly - W1J
“An extraordinary restaurant for an extraordinary occasion!” – Up the “beautiful staircase” accessed through Hide Ground (see also), “no expense has been spared in the creation of this exquisite restaurant”, and the “cool” and incredibly spacious first-floor dining room of this Russian-owned yearling provides an impressively luxurious backdrop, “especially if you bag one of the tables facing Green Park”. You can choose from either the six-course or nine-course tasting menu, which comes with a vegetarian alternative (and a shorter, “more affordable” option at lunch) and there’s the “astonishing complement” of “nearby Hedonism Wines’ incomparable 6,000-strong list, as they will run your preferred bottle over if it’s not in the restaurant’s own cellar”. When it comes to Ollie Dabbous’s Scandi-inspired cooking, most reporters feel that “thankfully the food lives up to the posh surroundings”, delivering “precise, light and intriguing” cuisine that’s a “worthy successor to Dabbous”. “Impeccable”, “helpful” and “charming” service adds further to the mood. “OMG it’s oligarch prices” though, leaving doubters – who also feel some plates are a tad “over-engineered” – to conclude that “the biggest impression it leaves is the dent in your wallet!”
6. The Grill at The Dorchester British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 53 Park Lane - W1
This “sophisticated and impressive” Mayfair chamber has had its ups and downs in recent times, and despite scoring a respectable level of customer satisfaction in the last couple of years, still came nowhere near realising its potential as one of the capital’s best traditional dining rooms. The hotel has seen a lot of changes in recent times, though, with the June 2019 appointment of Stefan Trepp as Executive Chef (replacing Henry Brosi who’d been in-post for 20 years); and with the July 2019 hiring of 26-year-old Tom Booton, who shifted over from heading the kitchen at the highly rated Alyn Williams at the Westbury. Can this potentially magnificent dining room now finally regain its place as one of London’s foremost hotel venues?
7. Hide Ground British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 85 Piccadilly - W1J
As a way of dipping your toe into the Hide ‘waters’, the ground floor of this huge, Russian-backed project near Green Park tube is the safest place to start, offering a selection of menus from early morning onwards, and with a grazing menu, in addition to the (“punishingly expensive”) à la carte. As with Above, this likewise is a “beautifully designed and spacious set-up that’s good for more than just business but certainly good for a working lunch”. Top Tips – “wonderful breakfasts, with a coffee list too” and “lovely afternoon tea watching the world go whilst trying a variety of teas”.
8. The Wolseley British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 160 Piccadilly - W1
“Always buzzing whatever the time of day”: Corbin & King’s “magnificent” Grand Café near The Ritz remains a linchpin of metropolitan life; the capital’s No. 1 venue for a business meal – especially breakfast; and “a must-visit” for anyone getting to know London. “The space always impresses” – a converted Edwardian car-showroom that provides a “uniquely London” take on a “vast Belle-Époch-style brasserie”. It has “the right cosmopolitan feel” to lend an air of sophistication to any meal, plus “familiar faces from media and TV” to inject further excitement. “There’s a huge menu, so you’ll always find something you fancy”, but while its “retro”, “comfort” cuisine (with a Mittel-European twist) is “served with urbane panache”, it is widely acknowledged by regulars that the dishes themselves are “uninspired” and taste “to be honest, average”. But who cares? “It is hard not to love this place”. Top Tip – “A grand setting for a quintessential and well-priced afternoon tea experience”.
9. The Promenade at The Dorchester Afternoon tea restaurant in Mayfair The Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane - W1
“Impeccable in every way: from the quietly unintrusive pianist in the background, to the service…” – this plush Mayfair hotel lounge is an orgy of opulent soft furnishings with a spoiling afternoon tea to match (plus other luxury bites from breakfast on); “not cheap”, say fans, “but actually worth every penny”.
10. The Punchbowl British, Modern restaurant in Mayfair 41 Farm St - W1
Approaching its 300th birthday, this Mayfair pub is more stylish than most in the West End, partly due to its history of celebrity ownership (it was part of Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s divorce settlement, with Ritchie getting The Queen of Pop’s share when they split). Foodwise, it’s also been a decent bet in recent times (although it did receive one ‘off’ report from a former fan this year).
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