The joy of eating is not just about food anymore but rather having an entire experience. Diners want a restaurant that has style, creativity, and even a certain magical quality that elevates the whole eating experience to a level beyond just the food. One place you might find such magic? London. London is known for a lot of things: musicians, music, and of course the royals. But one thing that rarely gets mentioned in this city is the food. Perhaps all the attention on Prince George and company has overshadowed the fact that there are over 12,000 places to eat in London.
In fact, traditional cuisine in London has come a long way due to the integration of other cultures and flavors. If you ever travel to London and are willing to splurge on a great meal, the following are five restaurants where the most rich and elite take a bite.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
At Restaurant Gordon Ramsay you know you’re getting a piece of fame as the chef’s celebrity status has sky-rocketed due to his shows on TV. If you are lucky enough to get in, you’ll find an absolutely excellent British restaurant where delicate touches complement the excellent seasonal ingredients. Opened in 1998, the menu has plenty of traditional options, as well as twists on classic dishes. As you would imagine, the service is superb and the food is heavenly. It is the only restaurant run by a British chef to have received three Michelin stars and you will certainly be able to taste why.
Chutney Mary opened in Chelsea 25 years ago and offers refined Indian food in the center of London. It’s owned and operated by the Panjabi sisters. They relocated to a new plush location in St James’s in June of 2015. A long bar by the entrance leads to a lavish dining space. The price is not cheap but you’ll find the food exemplary. They offer light flavors and classic dishes. A popular menu item is their deboned fried meat that is reassembled into neat cubes and then topped with browned skin and a syrup made from dried fruit. A soupy rendition of nihari, a Mughal stew, is also a popular item. It’s made with chicken instead of lamb, and nestled under a pastry crust. It has rich broth and a spicy steam. It’s also one of the most popular spots to entertain business colleagues, or for a romantic dinner for two. Despite their change of location, it hasn’t slowed things down for the Panjabis’ Indian restaurant empire.
Momo is home to celebrity sightings and is considered one of the finest ethnic cuisine restaurants in town. You’ll find lamb and shrimp mixed with authentic Moroccan pastries. While you wait, the mellow music and designs will take you to another place. There are North African furniture pieces in the traditional Tea Room right next door. In order to eat here you have to make a reservation at least two weeks in advance. The setting is exclusive located down a small street and makes it a perfect choice for the rich and famous.
Julie’s Restaurant and Champagne Bar
Julie’s Restaurant and Champagne Bar has been a staple in London for over 40 years. It used to be a hippie go-to spot when it opened in the late sixties. Known as the “rock chick of the restaurant world”, it is eclectic with its decor and the meals are organic. There are glamorous rooms, church pews and pulpits, as well as a medieval-style banquet area. The tables are private and small, with meals costing about $80 per person. Julia’s is a destination of rock stars, including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. No need to worry about your children, because they have their own playroom. The restaurant is currently closed for refurbishment but will reopen in spring 2017. Fans can keep up with the progress on social media.
You’ll find amazing puddings, sundaes, and classic British cheeses at the iconic Bluebird Cafe. The cafe is a modern-European destination: bar, café, courtyard, wine cellar, and store. Guests often say that when they eat here, it is a taste of their youth. For Mother’s Day, Pippa Middleton took her mom Carole there for a three-course meal priced at $75 per person. They use only the freshest local ingredients. Here, oysters and champagne will cost $115 per person and dim sum is about $65 per person. The bar team is always developing new cocktails every night, as they are open seven days a week. It is known as the perfect place to be after work or for a pre-dinner drink or two.