We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

From David Gandy to Richard E Grant, we ask London's top movers-and-shakers where to dine

Deciding where to eat out in London is like solving a riddle wrapped in an enigma that’s been vacuum-packed and sous vide in a stew of crosswords. 

With over 70 Michelin-rated spots, restaurants inspired by every continent and a cornucopia of bistros, brasseries and bakeries that line the city’s streets, the Big Smoke offers a breadth of eateries that few city’s boast, which can – more often than not – make for an overwhelming task if you’re looking for a bite. 

Thankfully, we’re here to lend a hand, and in an effort to help you find the perfect three-course experience in the capital, we’ve asked London’s finest tastemakers – from a beloved British thesp to one of the biggest names in menswear – where they’d recommend to wine and dine right now. You can thank us later… 

Native, Neals Yard — Recommended by Nicholas Campbell, Founder and managing director of Narcissus Arts

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Why book a table? “Its menu is based on the concept of wild, foraged foods, and the results are excellent. It’s also charmingly cosy and unpretentious.”

Menu highlights: “Everything except for the bone marrow white chocolate balls for pudding.”

And the vino? “The House wines are more than good enough.”

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Native, Neals Yard

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Lemonia, Primrose Hill — Recommended by Eric Underwood, Former soloist with the Royal Ballet

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Why book a table? “The waiters have expert knowledge of the menu and they’ve all worked at the restaurant for years, which, in my opinion, is a telltale sign of a good restaurant. Lemonia is not incredibly posh or expensive – it’s just great food, great wine and excellent service.”

Menu highlights: “I would suggest starting with the hummus, pita and saganaki cheese then moving on to a classic chicken shashlik. If you have room for dessert, you have to get their delicious baklava.”

And the vino? “I would recommend a bottle of Greek Santo Santorini Assyrtiko Greece 2016.”

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Lemonia, Primrose Hill

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River Café, Hammersmith — Recommended by Oliver Spencer, Founder of menswear brand Oliver Spencer

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Why book a table? “The food is impeccable and you can sit in the herb garden by the River Thames – perfect!”

Menu highlights: “Simple pasta pomodoro.”

And the vino? “Gavi de Gavi.”

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

River Café, Hammersmith

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Aquavit, St James’s — Recommended by David Gandy, Model and director

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Why book a table? “I love trying food from different regions. One of my favourite cuisines is Nordic, and Aquavit is authentic Scandi-inspired food. Every plate and mouthful is a taste sensation. While it serves high-end, Michelin star dishes, it isn’t over fussy with big portions.”

Menu highlights: “Shrimp skagen and oysters to start from the smörgåsbord, monkfish or whole trout for mains and the almond cake to finish off.”

And the vino? “The sommelier is incredible there and always suggests the perfect wine to accompany the food. They also have some amazing Nordic gin, which makes the perfect G&Ts.”

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Aquavit, St James’s

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Spring, Somerset House — Recommended by Richard E Grant, Actor, screenwriter and perfumer

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Why book a table? “Skye Gyngell’s cooking is sublimely mouth-watering and always inventive. The restaurant is also an oasis of light and calm in the middle of the West End.”

Menu highlights: “Crab salad, monkfish stew and lemon tart”

And the vino? “I’m allergic to alcohol, but they have delicious homemade ginger beer.”

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Spring, Somerset House

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Sabor — Recommended by Francesco Mazzei, Chef patron of Sartoria, Radici and Fiume

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Why book a table? “Nieves Barragán Mohacho [the head chef] is a master of simplicity, using the most incredible ingredients to create authentic, yet sophisticated, dishes. She is a good friend, and I am so impressed by everything that she has achieved. Sabor is also a beautiful and stylish restaurant with a great atmosphere – Nieves leads a hospitable, skilled and fun team, and I could eat upstairs at El Asador every day!”

Menu highlights: “The suckling pig, cooked in the traditional wood-fired oven, is incredible!”

And the vino? “La Ina Jerez – a brilliant and very reasonably priced Fino.”

We asked the great and the good for the best restaurant in London right now

Sabor

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Fancy some heartier grub? These are London’s poshest pubs…

Further Reading