With traditional specialities such as black pudding and liver and tripe on the menu, it’s no surprise that British cuisine has struggled to shake off a less than favourable reputation. In recent years, however, the food scene in Britain has experienced something of a big time revival – with old favourites transformed into elegant contemporary dishes and celebrity chefs like Mark Hix and Heston Blumenthal paving the way for many more. Take a look at our selection of the best British restaurants in London for some truly world-class food.
The Chesterfield Mayfair is the ideal base from which to explore the crème de la crème of the London dining scene. Located in the heart of Mayfair, this luxury four-star hotel is designed to reflect the old-time elegance and refinement of this exclusive part of town.
Rules is the oldest restaurant in London, and has the history to prove it. A favourite haunt of Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, and Graham Greene, this landmark establishment is famed for its traditional fare of oysters, pies, and puddings.
2. St. John
You’ll never see the same menu twice at St. John. Housed in a former bacon smokehouse, this place adheres to tradition (but with a sophisticated, modern twist) with rolled pig’s spleen, roasted ox heart, and pickled tripe. Better leave the vegetarians at home.
3. City Social
City Social showcases what Jason Atherton does best: contemporary British haute cuisine, including delectable morsels of pig’s trotter with ham hock, served up alongside spectacular views across London.
You can’t say more British than dinner at Butlers, inside the Chesterfield Mayfair hotel. Enjoy traditional fine dining at its best, with the famous chopped Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak, succulent king scallops, and the best Dover sole in town.
Located in the former premises of a Victorian butcher’s shop, Hereford Road is unsurprisingly unsentimental about its food. The traditional, seasonal menu comprises calf’s kidneys and lamb’s sweetbreads with green beans and mint.
Story by name, story by nature, this creative Michelin-starred restaurant tells the history of British Food through the vision of chef Tom Sellers. Nostalgic feasts include bread and dripping, and heritage potatoes with asparagus and coal.
This gourmet gastropub serves up hearty portions of pickled herring and crème fraiche, sautéed lamb’s sweetbreads with bacon, peas, and mint – and of course, a mean Sunday Roast.
8. HIX Soho
Foodies swear by Mark Hix’s Soho outpost, where a weekly-changing menu of seasonal British food keeps diners guessing. Expect traditional offerings of Kentish nettle and spring leek soup with bacon, blue cheese and walnuts, and a robust goatherd’s pie.
Another winning venture brought to you from chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton, Social Eating House is a marriage of old and new, awash with copper pipes, exposed brickwork, and well-loved leather banquettes.
There’s nothing pretentious about locals’ favourite Newman Street Tavern in Bloomsbury, which does all its own meat-ageing, butchery, and fishmongery on-site. The seasonal menu changes daily, offering honest British classics such as golden battered fish and chips, and roast beef sandwiches with horseradish and pulled beef.
Header image: Entrance to The Butler’s Restaurant at The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel © Karen Bryan/Flickr