I’m not a massive foodie, and I’m an absolutely terrible cook, but I do love going out for dinner or lunch with my friends. In fact, it’s probably my favourite way to socialise: over a good meal.
So if you’re travelling to London anytime soon, here’s the three places I absolutely recommend you try for an evening meal.
[Note: All information accurate at time of publication.]
Contact: +44 (0) 207 287 4029
Location: 21 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BG T
Piccolino is hidden away in a little side street with a few other restaurants and bars. It’s pretty reasonably sized (with extra seats outdoors and space for large groups downstairs). This place does amazing, authentic Italian food and the service has always been top-notch.
“Located on Heddon Street in Mayfair, an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street in London, Piccolino restaurant, lower ground Prosecco Bar and alfresco terrace befitting to one of the most fashionable cities in the world. Serving only the best and freshest seasonal produce, Italian cheeses, meat and seafood that reflect pure Italian flavours. The restaurant offers a wonderful combination of both modern and classic Italian dishes prepared in an open kitchen in full view of diners.”
My favourites: The homemade bread is absolutely amazing. Seriously — snaffling the bread-basket choices between courses is my greatest weakness. I also really enjoy whichever seasonal antipasti sharing platter they have: you get a great selection of amazing cured meats and cheeses.
Location: 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED, England
Visiting Zédel’s is an experience all one it’s own. You enter on the ground floor, and through a nice, but fairly standard, looking bar/cafe. Then, it’s a spiralling staircase down into a glorious gold and marble 1930’s Art Deco atrium. There’s a cocktail bar, cabaret suite, cloakroom, ticket office and, of course, the restaurant itself. The French cuisine is delicious and very reasonably priced, and the setting will make you feel like a princess or like you’ve joined a mysterious secret society.
“A large, bustling Parisian brasserie transported to the heart of London. Open throughout the day, offering great value with remarkably low prices, its glorious, historic Art Deco interiors also play host to a ‘Bar Americain’, ‘The Crazy Coqs’, a live music and cabaret venue and ZL Cafe.”
My favourites: The beef bourguignon is rich and delicious, and I really enjoy the ile flottante for dessert.
The Floating Lotus
Contact: +44 (0) 207 515 6445
Location: 9 Oakland Quay Inner Millwall Dock, London E14 9EA
Okay, so the restaurant is docked, you won’t actually be floating down the Thames, but boarding is a nice novelty and the view, especially at night, is lovely. This place is always really busy, so you really need to give them a call and reserve a table; there’s (currently) no online booking option, my only complaint.
“London’s largest floating Chinese restaurant situated on the eastern dockedge of Millwall Dock, Isle of Dogs, in the heart of London Docklands.”
My favourites: They do really nice dim sum if you go at lunchtime (it’s not available in the evening) and the orange chicken is the nicest I’ve had.
I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these restaurants, or if you have a favourite you’d suggest I try!