British, Traditional Restaurants in London
. E Pellicci
Italian restaurant in Bethnal Green
332 Bethnal Green Rd - E2
“You don’t come here for the food: the welcome and the banter are the main attraction!”, say fans of the Nevio family’s “buzzy” (but hipster-free) Bethnal Green greasy spoon, which is a top choice for a “simple breakfast”. Architecture anoraks will also want to examine its (listed) Art Deco interior (often used as a location for TV).
. The Wigmore, The Langham
British, Traditional restaurant in
15 Langham Place, Regent Street - W1B
“Setting the standards for a central London bar” – Michel Roux’s two-year-old near Oxford Circus “has found a real niche” as a top West End rendezvous (“almost too successful for its own good” during peak times, when it risks becoming too thronging and loud). “You wouldn’t know that it is part of a hotel” (it’s actually carved out from – and a partnership with – the neighbouring five-star hotel, The Langham) and the unusually “classy” conversion of the space “burnishes the large, pub-style setting”. “Its food is stretching the concept of gastropub food” in terms of ambition, but “definitely worth the money”.
. The Dining Room, The Goring Hotel
British, Traditional restaurant in Belgravia
15 Beeston Pl - SW1
“Still glowing from its Royal Wedding connection” (and nowadays with a Royal Warrant to show for it) – this once-sleepy, nowadays increasingly fashionable, traditional British five-star hotel is situated conveniently behind Buck House. Established in 1910, it is still run by the Goring family, who have been investing heavily of late, with the creation of Siren (see also) and the recent relaunch of the hotel’s bar. Its “delightfully old-school” dining room is a “perennial stalwart”, whose “quintessentially-British menu” was slightly bizarrely starred by Michelin a few years ago. That’s not to say that the cooking is not “traditional and of high quality”, but the real reason why this is the perfect venue for lunching your maiden aunt or “wowing visiting prospective clients” isn’t the food, but its “impeccable”, “old-fashioned” service and the “impressive surroundings” of this “light, elegant and high-ceilinged” chamber (whose “roomy tables allow for serious business discussions”). No surprise that prices are a tad “steep”. Top Tip – afternoon tea in the adjoining lounge can be “crowded” but otherwise is as it would be done by Disney – “like a fantasy step back in time” – “we went wild for the sandwiches and scones which were offered in abundance!”
Fish & seafood restaurant in Mayfair
20 Mount St - W1
“Pure glamour” attaches to Richard Caring “really classy” and “sophisticated” Mayfair A-lister – 007’s favourite lunch spot – which is “an ideal place to go celeb spotting… if you’re into that kind of thing”. Culinarily speaking, it’s famous for its “spanking fresh” fish and seafood (and vies with its stablemate J Sheekey as the capital’s top venue for such specialities) although it also offers “enough meat choices to keep the carnivores happy”. In terms of style, it’s “smart” and quite “formal”, which – together with its “silky smooth service” and “well-spaced tables” – makes it an “impressive” choice for entertaining and “clients love it” (although, by the same token, “the room can be overrun with business suits”, especially at lunch, robbing it of some of its habitual sparkle). Top Tip – “the terrace tables are great, weather permitting!”
. St John Smithfield
British, Traditional restaurant in Clerkenwell
26 St John St - EC1
“The original nose-to-tail flag-bearer, and still a joy!” – Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson’s “stark” ex-smokehouse in Smithfield has won fame with “top quality, distinctive British cuisine” (“using unusual cuts”, most famously offal), and “although they might have started the trend, they still lead from the front with exciting, innovative and surprisingly delicious food”. It’s “honest, skilful cooking that puts the produce front and centre” on “an uncompromising and sometimes challenging menu”; and the “hearty-yet-nuanced” results are a case of “simple things done well”… “perfect”. With its brutally “simple and stylish”, “whitewash-walled” interior (“deafeningly loud” at times) and “relaxed but attentive service”, it remains “a must-go” (“what a place to take visitors to show off London’s restaurant scene”). Top Tip – “Eccles Cake with Lancashire Cheese is outstanding”.
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