In the past, hotel restaurants and bars got a bad rep, and rightly so. Dingy dining rooms that serve buffet breakfasts and tepid microwaved lasagnes. Shady bars where guests travelling on business expense stiff whiskies on the rocks. But that was then, and this is now: London’s hotels have upped their game. Restaurants and bars within hotels are becoming destinations in their own right, attracting those not sleeping over, and earning awards and Michelin stars. Here are the 12 best restaurants and bars in London hotels.Read More
London’s Best Hotel Restaurants and Bars
Skip the sleepover and just dine or drink at these top hotel restaurants and bars
1. Red Rooster Shoreditch
Located in The Curtain Hotel, Red Rooster, U.S. chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Shoreditch outpost of his Harlem original, is the definition of sophisticated soul. From the incredible artwork on the walls and elegant deep-fried yard bird and waffles to gospel brunches and late-night gigs (we’ll take the drunken doughnuts from the late-night menu, please). PS the recently-opened Green Room hotel bar is banging too, with cocktails inspired by east London.
2. Neptune at The Principal London
Margaret Crow and Brett Redman, formerly of The Richmond in Hackney, are behind this sleek seafood restaurant in The Principal. Neptune’s menu celebrates the best of Britain’s waters so expect fresh oysters, scarlet poached crayfish, grilled scallops with kaffir lime butter and red prawn agnolotti. The Russell Square restaurant seals the deal with sumptuous interiors and an exciting wine list curated by Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron.
3. Roux at The Landau
Scrub up and head to The Langham for an evening of fine dining and wining. Pop into Artesian, one of the world’s best bars, for a ridiculously fun pre-dinner cocktail (just embrace the deconstructed and themed drinks) then head to the restaurant proper. Mix and match at the counter with a few things “from the ice” (shellfish) or “from the slicer” (charcuterie), or dive into the refined à la carte dishes. Choose from braised turbot or lamb chops with coco bean ragoût, then decide between apricot soufflé or poached cherries with pistachio ice cream.
4. Holborn Dining Room
Who ate all the pies..? Blame it on Holborn Dining Room’s pastry maestro Calum Franklin. Sure, Holborn Dining Room in the Rosewood London has a bar with more than 500 gins and serves dependable British classics but Franklin’s wellingtons, curried mutton pastry parcels, and steak and kidney puddings are the bomb. There’s also a dedicated pie room: takeaway pies by day and private dining room by night.
5. Berners Tavern
This cavernous dining room in London Edition harks back to old-school glamour. The walls of Berners Tavern in Fitzrovia are adorned with art in gilt-edged frames and brown leather banquettes are the best seats in the house. The contemporary British menu offers dishes like slow-cooked Herdwick lamb and Colchester crab on toast. At breakfast, go for the Berners Tavern full English.
6. Ella Canta
The high-end Mexican restaurant from chef Martha Ortiz brings bright colours and bold flavours to the (admittedly quite drab) InterContinental Park Lane. Sip moreish margaritas, snack on shrimp aguachile, before moving on to duck with black mole and finish with tres leches cakes… and another margarita.
Michelin-starred for 10 years, Quilon in St James’ Court serves excellent southwest Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist. Naturally then, seafood is what the restaurant does best. There’s pan-fried lemon sole with fragrant Goan spices, chargrilled scallops with paw paw and chilli relish, and coconutty prawn masala. Make sure you don’t scrimp on sides like egg paratha and fried okra. Perhaps one of London’s most underrated restaurants.
8. Da Terra Restaurant & Bar at Town Hall Hotel
Following in the footsteps of Nuno Mendes’ Viajante and Lee Westcott’s The Typing Room, the fine dining space at The Town Hall Hotel now serves Rafael Cagali and Paulo Airaudo’s refined Italian-Latin American dishes. Hang out at the bar with a drink and small plates like pickled mackerel on toast or skewered teriyaki chicken wings. For the whole hog, dive headfirst into the tasting menu for Isle of Mull scallops with apple and fennel; pork belly with black beans and banana farofa; and sourdough waiting for a generous scoop of bone marrow. If in need of something more informal, head across to sister restaurant The Corner Room, which serves seasonal Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
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9. Kerridge's Bar & Grill
A place to loosen belts and bank balances, Tom Kerridge’s place at the Corinthia is all about comfort food classics turned up to 11. Omelette comes rich with lobster, each triple-cooked chip is something to savour and brown butter tart is hard to share. A handy tip —the place does an excellent value set lunch and pre/post-theatre menu. Stretchy pants still required.
10. Isla at The Standard London
The ‘70s are back at recently-opened The Standard. The walls might be furry, the interiors might be loud, and come the weekend, the fash pack will be out in force, but the menu is a million miles away from mystery meat set in aspic. The fun part here, though, is coming for something stronger. The cute and compact bar or outside terrace are calling out for a martini. Go classic or try one of the house specials: Mediterranean with limoncello and amaro or Cross Sea with tequila and PX sherry. Groovy baby…
11. The Buxton
Located on the Aldgate East end of Brick Lane, The Buxton is a perfectly formed, polished pub with rooms upstairs from the team behind The Culpeper, another top watering hole/restaurant/crash pad. It’s got everything you need to while away an evening. Start with a pint and share a scotch egg or duck rillettes, then after another pint, linger for food. While the menu changes with what’s good, it’s always more killer than filler: there’s bavette with chimichurri, wild mushroom gnocchi and day boat fish. Go soon while there’s still frangipane tart for dessert.
12. The Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell
Get cosy in the Zetter’s cocktail lounge, which feels more like a Pinterest-ready, Etsy-everything living room in a good way than a bar. The recently relaunched menu has been devised by Matt Whiley and Rich Woods of Shoreditch’s inventive Scout so drinks are intriguing. Have an Epiphany with yarrow, British pastis, clarified banana, tarragon cordial and tonic after drinking the Elixir of Truth with gin, lavender, fortified wine and catnip aromatic. Just remember, it’ll probably be frowned upon if you fall asleep on the sofa like at home.