From elegant and understated neighbourhood hideaways, to grand dining rooms that can’t fail to leave a lasting impression, we list restaurants worthy of any occasion. Read about romantic restaurants featured in The Michelin Guide, here.
Hakkasan Hanway Place, Bloomsbury
A sultry restaurant and the original site of the now global fleet, Hakkasan showcases refined Chinese cuisine. The sophisticated, moodily lit space comes courtesy of Christian Liaigre, with Chinese history mixed seamlessly with high fashion. Glossy black lacquer and dark stained wood sit against ornate gilded panels and carved screens, while the sweeping under-lit cocktail bar emits a soft blue glow. Select Cantonese and Chinese dim sum, or opt for one of the elaborate tasting menus.
Book Bamboo signature menu with a glass of Louis Roederer £85 per person
With its founding pair alumni of French restaurants Taillevent and Mirazur, OX’s Irish-European menu is spearheaded with elegant French accents. Perched next to the River Lagan, the high-ceilinged OX dining room strikes the perfect pitch between intimate and airy. The room is flooded with natural light from the huge windows, and design features include G-Plan-style furniture, whitewashed walls and low-hanging filament lighting.
Book 8-course tasting menu, meet the chef & kitchen tour £70 per person, optional wine pairing £40
Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden
An otherworldly hideaway in Covent Garden, Clos Maggiore serves a classic French menu alongside an extensive list of international wines. The blossom-covered conservatory with its retractable roof remains the focal point, though there are plenty of other intimate spaces, including plush leather booths and foliage-sheltered nooks.
Clock House, Ripley
With its arched windows and twisted beams, Clock House’s Georgian setting is nestled in a tranquil pocket of Surrey. Dishes bring simple, seasonal ingredients to the forefront, and a menu centred around vegetables is always on offer. Local artwork is on display inside, and sash windows frame views out onto the Mediterranean-style walled garden.
5-course lunch tasting & Sherlock and Son gin with tonic £55 per person
Dining Room at The Goring, Victoria
An ethereal dining space designed by David Linley, The Goring Dining Room is bathed in natural light by day, while a cherry blossom-esque chandelier casts a gentle glow by night. Their commitment to ingredient sourcing is demonstrated through details such as a resident forager, while the timeless British menu, from Chef Richard Galli, brings modern flourishes to classic dishes.
A majestic Venetian-style dining room in The Lanesborough hotel, Céleste presents artful French cuisine. A beautiful domed glass ceiling lets light cascade into the room, onto the imposing chandeliers, Grecian-style pillars and pristinely dressed tables. Luxurious tasting menus showcase the chefs’ breadth of skill, and can be enjoyed alongside specially matched wine flights.
Social Eating House, Soho
Social Eating House sees Jason Atherton bring a playful, experimental approach to British dishes at this intimate yet bustling restaurant in Soho. The softly lit dining room is filled with bistro furnishings, leather booths and metro tiles, and boasts an open kitchen. Enjoy boldly flavoured Atherton creations alongside cocktails inspired by childhood stories from the speakeasy bar, The Blind Pig.
A crackling open fire and a soft candle-lit glow make for a romantic ambience at Wilder in Stroud. Menus are coined that day, based on the chef’s selection from daily trips to local markets, and are accompanied by bespoke wine pairings. Everyone arrives simultaneously, and tables remain guests’ for the duration of the evening, making for a relaxed and steadily paced experience.
A beautifully elegant, light-filled space within Somerset House, Spring is a venture from Chef Skye Gyngell, formerly of Petersham Nurseries. Offsetting honest, wholesome menus that lean towards the bold flavours of Italian cooking, understated decorative features include petal-covered walls, coral-pink upholstery and marble.
Odette’s, Primrose Hill
A firm neighbourhood favourite opened back in 1978, Odette’s showcases seasonal menus from Welsh owner, Bryn Williams. Odette’s is set in a leafy part of North West London, and teal banquettes, wall-mounted sketches, and parquet floors run the length of the long, narrow dining room. Menus convey the chefs’ passion for produce, with seasonal tasting menus including an adventurous vegetarian version.