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.Read More
London’s Best Hotel Restaurants and Bars
Skip the sleepover and just dine or drink at these top hotel restaurants and bars
Holborn Dining Room
Who ate all the pies..? Blame it on Holborn Dining Room’s founding pastry maestro Calum Franklin, and the team now led by Nokx Majozi. 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.
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 pork and pistachio pie. At breakfast, go for the Berners Tavern full English.
Michelin-starred for 14 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 the simple but special lobster with butter, pepper and garlic, and coconutty prawn masala, and make sure not to scrimp on sides like egg paratha and fried okra. Perhaps one of London’s most underrated restaurants.
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’s refined Italian-Brazilian dishes. Dive headfirst into the long or short tasting menu and expect dishes like a stripy, delicately crimped raviolo sitting in parmesan whey sauce and an elegant take on moqueca, Brazilian fish stew, with halibut. 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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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. Prawn scotch egg comes rich with lobster satay sauce, each triple-cooked chip is something to savour and apple tart tatin is hard to share. A handy tip: the place does a good value menu du jour during weekday lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday. Stretchy pants still required.
Decimo at The Standard London
With views across King’s Cross and sumptuously furnished in shades of burnt red and leafy greenery, Decimo on the tenth floor of The Standard, London is a sure bet for a good time. Soak up the atmosphere with its take on a pisco sour with fino sherry, then turn your attention to the Spanish meets Mexican menu. Highlights include marinated red peppers and sweet red prawns. Prices are as lofty as expected from a top-floor restaurant at a chic hotel, but it’s a fun place for a special occasion.
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 required to while away an evening. Start with a pint and share sardine rillettes or lamb merguez, then after another pint, linger for food. While the menu changes with what’s good, it’s always more killer than filler: diners might find chicken and leek pie, gnocchi pan-fried in brown butter and day boat fish.
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. There are intriguing twists on classic like a gimlet with nettle cordial, a sazerac with pear rye and a piña colada royale with coconut and pineapple-infused rum, topped up with champagne. Just remember, it’ll probably be frowned upon to fall asleep on the sofa like at home.
Theo Randall at the InterContinental
There’s no getting around the fact that the InterContinental Park Lane is quite drab but Theo Randall’s Italian restaurant is still a reason to visit well over a decade after opening. Refined, elegant dishes are the order of the day, with primi a particular draw. Think cappelletti with veal and pancetta, or delicate squash ravioli with sage butter.
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The Colony Grill Room
Shrimp cocktail, oysters by the dozen, cobb salad, rib eye with a choice of sauce … the Colony Grill Room in Mayfair’s the Beaumont unabashedly channels an old-school, upmarket American steakhouse. And it’s wonderful for it. The wood-panelled dining room, deep red booths, table lamps and white tablecloths just add to the allure. Oh, and the tick-box menu to build a bespoke ice cream sundae is the cherry (or butterscotch sauce) on top.
The terrace tables with sweeping city views are the most sought after at Seabird, located on the rooftop of The Hoxton’s outpost in Southwark. But even the inside dining room is a beautiful place to enjoy a seafood feast. Browse the oyster menu (there’s an oyster and martini happy hour during the week) or mix and match dishes like jamon croquetas and salt-baked langoustines. The octopus roll is a must: a smoky tentacle drizzled with aioli, in a hot dog-style bun.
The Wigmore is attached to The Langham so it’s no surprise this is a posh pub. But that’s no bad thing when snacks include fat chips with bloody mary salt, masala-spiced scotch egg and a three-cheese toastie which is worth every penny of its £14 price tag. Come for a pint or a glass of pinot noir, or stay for three courses. There’s pie or gammon and egg … But really, get that toastie.
Dukes Bar London
Not a place for dining, it’s true, but when a hotel bar is as famous for a cocktail as the bar at Dukes is for its martini, there is nothing to do but recommend it. The theatrical presentation; the ice-cold alcohol and glasses, the latter designed to be held by the stem to keep temperature down for longer; the final, flourishing lemon twist. This is quite simply an event.