As the winter months edge closer, the warm familiarity of traditional British food is most welcome. For a long time British food was considered inferior to its neighbouring French cuisine – our pub food to their gastronomie.
But thanks to the creative mastery of a select few, this opinion is coming into question and the revival of British cuisine is well underway. British food has been reimagined and can offer an exquisite alternative to the most celebrated of foreign delicacies.
In and around Mayfair – the capital’s most desirable neighbourhood, which is home to the nation’s most luxurious real estate – some of London’s best British food can be sampled, prepared by Michelin-starred chefs in lavish restaurants. We’ve hand selected only the very finest; taste perfection at one of these five culinary institutions.
The Dining Room, The Goring Hotel
Just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, The Goring Hotel houses The Dining Room, the quality and elegance of which was rewarded this year by its first Michelin star. Chef Shay Cooper reinterprets British classics in a contemporary manner, while the celebrated Eggs Drumkilbo remains the star of the menu. It was, after all, rumoured to be The Queen Mother’s favourite dish.
Fera at Claridge’s
Located in Mayfair, Fera at Claridge’s serves an innovative menu or stunningly decorative dishes in an equally spectacular setting. The restaurant’s elaborate and ever-evolving menu is inspired by the changing seasons and the produce is sourced from British farms, resulting in a very fresh approach to British classics. Fera means wild in Latin, which underpins the restaurant’s heavy association with nature – a nexus that they aspire to illustrate visually on their plates.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Further west and with a stunning view over Hyde Park, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is a symbol of the luxuries on offer in London. A far cry from its experimental counterpart, The Fat Duck, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal delves into Britain’s gastronomic past, re-emerging triumphantly from as far back as 1300 with creations such as the mysterious Meat Fruit. Blumenthal’s years of research paid off: Dinner is one of only eleven London restaurants with two Michelin stars to its name.
Berners Tavern, The London Edition Hotel
Venture north of Mayfair into Fitzrovia, on the edge of Soho, to find Berners Tavern nestled in The London Edition Hotel. Run by British restaurateur, Jason Atherton, owner of three Michelin-starred restaurants, Berners Tavern is not simply celebrated for its fine British cuisine but also for its ornately decorated interior. Recognised by the likes of GQ and Elle, the opulence of the décor, combined with the finest of British culinary exploits, makes Berners Tavern a statement of gastronomic pride, as well as a great success.
Coming back into the heart of Mayfair, Scott’s on Mount Street offers something a bit different. Scott’s is a venerable London institution, originally opened in Haymarket in 1851. Instead of taking on all British classics, Scott’s specialises primarily in seafood, although a variety of options appear on the menu. The tables look onto the elegant oyster and champagne bar, offering an enjoyable way to await a sumptuous roasted shellfish for two.
Undoubtedly, British cuisine as we know it is taking a confident step forward. As these restaurants and their renowned chefs redefine our homely classics, even French gastronomie might learn a lesson or two in modernity from the very best of British food.