Forget dinner with the in-laws, impressive first dates and mixed group birthday dinners. This is our definitive list of 10 restaurants in London that we believe every gentleman should eat at before he dies. So you can stop worrying if there’ll be a gluten free dish for your sister-in-law, or a meat free option for your newly vegan girlfriend – these are real restaurants for real gentlemen. Whether it’s a business lunch, a father-son dinner or just the beginning to a memorable boys night out, just promise us that you will at least try to visit all 10 before you die.
WHAT: Inspired by Colonial Indian gymkhana clubs, set up by the British Raj, where members of high society came to socialise, dine, drink and play sport. This restaurant offers contemporary Indian cuisine using British ingredients in an old-timely setting befit for true gentlemen.
WHY: Delicious Indian food in an atmospheric setting with moody enclaves perfect for a group of gentlemen looking to indulge and enjoy.
WHERE: 42 Albemarle St, London W1S 4JH // gymkhanalondon.com
WHAT: Impeccable and original 2 Michelin Stared food in a subtle and elegant setting with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, giving diners a view of the kitchen and its unique pulley system.
WHY: Heston Blumenthal never disappoints, so if you are looking for an extravagant dinning experience with good company then this is a fail-safe option. Ensure you try the ‘Meat Fruit’ starter of mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait with grilled bread.
WHERE: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA // dinnerbyheston.com
3. SIMPSON’S TAVERN
WHAT: ‘The oldest Chophouse in London’ – is hidden away down a maze of the city’s side streets. Once you’ve managed to find this iconic restaurant, established in 1757, sit back and relax in the old-school decor and delicious food.
WHY: Perfect for entertaining clients for lunch, this quirky hidden treasure is full of regulars – and they’d like to keep it that way. Go for their famous “stewed cheese and slow cooked belly of pork with crackling” – whilst it certainly isn’t famed for it’s haute cuisine, (it’s more good old fashioned home cooking), the atmosphere and ‘time stands still’ approach more than makes up for this.
WHERE: 38 Cornhill, London, EC3V 9DR // simpsonstavern.co.uk
WHY: Our absolute favourite restaurant in Notting Hill, whilst it certainly would impress a date, it’s just as good for a night with fellow gents. Enjoy faultless food in the wonderful decor and exemplary service.
WHERE: 127 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AQ // theledbury.com
WHY: The best way to satisfy a Neanderthal craving for red meat with an exceptional wine cellar to choose from to accompany your perfect cut of meat – even the most well fed Gaucho would be impressed by the style and flavours that this place offers.
WHERE: 52 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PH // constancia.co.uk
WHY: Whilst the hype around the recently renovated St Pancras Hotel has died down, the Gilbert Scott dining room continues to amaze. The Victoriana decor provides maximum grandeur, yet the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. The menu reads like a what’s-what of traditional British fare.
WHERE: St. Pancras Hotel, London, NW1 2AR // thegilbertscott.co.uk
WHY: The unmissable signature dishes such as Peking duck with caviar and grilled Wagyu beef with king soy sauce are out-of-this-world, but make sure you start with a platter of perfectly turned out dim sum. The moody lighting makes this the perfect restaurant to start a night out with the boys and simply begs for a little dose of debauchery!
WHERE: Hanway Place, London, W1T 1HD // hakkasan.com
WHY: Pork heavy, nose-to-tail cooking in an intentionally utilitarian surrounding where the focus is on turning out incredibly high stands of food – perfect for gentleman who know their food with a give-or-take attitude to elaborate decor.
WHERE: 26 St. John Street London EC1M 4AY // stjohngroup.uk.com
WHY: Unless you’ve been living under a rock this year, you’ll know this the go-to spot for A-List celebrities, but the hype does not disappoint. Put on your best shoes, grab some good friends and head here for fantastic dishes and some serious people watching – if you can get a booking that is!
WHERE: Marylebone; London W1U 7PA // chilternfirehouse.com
WHY: Because this is the best steak in the West End and the cocktails are equally as irresistible, all set behind a discreet fronted facade.
WHERE: 5A Air Street, London, W1J 0AD // thehawksmoor.com