Luxury hotels and star chefs are an unbeatable combination, and one that London does very well indeed. Make the right hotel choice and you won’t even need to set foot outside the front door to experience the very best of haute cuisine in the British capital. Whether it’s French, American or modern British that you’re craving, our round-up of top-flight properties with extraordinary kitchens will have you covered. Bon appétit!
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Alain Ducasse is widely considered one of the best chefs in the world and the Frenchman’s London flagship at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Dorchester is considered one of the British capital’s best restaurants. Most of the ingredients of the classic French dishes are sourced from British and French suppliers. We love the saddle of venison with pumpkin and chestnuts, and can’t get enough of the hand-dived sea scallops with chicory and black truffle. If, like us, you find decisions hard to make, there’s always the tasting menu, a seven-course feast including an assortment of French cheeses. The restaurant’s central design motif, as well as its crowning culinary experience, is the Table Lumière, a private room surrounded by 4,500 fibre optics. With such a strong decorative feature, there’s no need for overstatement elsewhere – a neutral, calming palette of whites, greys and tans lets the food and wine shine.
Cut at 45 Park Lane
Austrian-born, American-primed chef Wolfgang Puck is probably best known for his Los Angeles restaurants, including Cut, the inspiration for his first foray into the European dining scene. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Puck’s dining room at Five-Star 45 Park Lane oozes Hollywood glamor, all soaring ceilings, elegant drapes and starburst chandeliers. The menu is inspired by the Los Angeles Cut, serving succulent steaks from the US, UK, Australia and Japan. If you’re not in the mood for red meat, there’s pan-roasted lobster, salmon and ribs. Seasonal salads make the most of luxury ingredients like burrata mozzarella, marcona almonds and micro basil. The impressive wine list boasts 700 bins, including 450 American labels.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Another great British culinary brain works his magic at the Four-Star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. Heston Blumenthal is famous for the molecular creations he serves up at The Fat Duck, his restaurant just outside the city, but Dinner is a very different affair, a celebration of British cookery following many hours spent researching at the British Library. The menu may be steeped in tradition, with dishes dating from as far back as the 16th century, but the décor and open kitchen are as modern as they come, characterized by stark lines, contemporary lighting and an edgy grey-white color scheme. One of the most celebrated items on the menu is the strange and wonderful “meat fruit,” chicken liver parfait made to look exactly like a mandarin. But there are less strange things on offer, too. Try the cod in cider with chard, onions and smoked artichokes, from the 1940s, and finish with the gingerbread ice cream, from the 1600s.
Hix Mayfair, Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel
British chef Mark Hix has made his name at restaurants across London with winning modern takes on classic British dishes. Though Hix isn’t the executive chef here — Lee Kebble is — the hotel director of food’s stamp is still all over the kitchen. Start with a half dozen oysters or a rich prawn cocktail and follow up with a hearty plate of Kingairloch red deer and blackface haggis Wellington with bashed neeps (that’s turnips in Scottish, don’t you know). Art by big names – the likes of Tracey Emin and Bridget Riley – line the elegant wooden paneled walls of the dining room at the Four-Star Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel, providing the perfect design counterpoint to Hix’s food philosophy. Super fans can rub shoulders with the great man himself at regular intimate carving masterclasses. The events, which take place monthly, include a two-hour class, dinner and a goodie bag.
Roux at the Landau, The Langham, London
Guests arrive at Roux at the Landau at Four-Star The Langham, London with high expectations, thanks not just to father-and-son team Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr.’s exalted reputations on the British restaurant scene, but also to Michel’s numerous appearances on TV shows, including MasterChef. And those expectations are not disappointed. The bright dining room, with its picture windows overlooking the northernmost end of shopping mecca Regent Street, serves up French cuisine with a decidedly contemporary vibe. There’s so much to make you drool, from the monkfish tail with lardo, salsify, trompettes and red wine butter to the Iberico pork chop with trotter-lentil fondue, smoked bacon and hispi cabbage. But make sure you save room for the cheese trolley that appears at the end of the meal – its selection of over a dozen British and French fromages is one of the best we’ve found.