Legend has it that two knights fought to the death on a bridge over what is now the Serpentine – which became Knightsbridge.
Fighting to the death there now are the number of quality restaurants owned by A-list chefs and elite business groups that are parading their house banners in the battle for top dog in London’s most expensive postcode.
Get your glad-rags on, arm yourself with a fully loaded credit card…
…and let battle commence.
Harry’s Dolce Vita
One of the Caprice holdings series (along with The Ivy and J. Sheekey), this glamorous den is serving ’50s and ’60s inspired Italian food and drink from morning to night.
Walking into the dining room you’d think it was the set of an old fashioned who-dun-it movie: wood panelled walls and parquet flooring are offset by golden features, soft retro lighting and a mirrored ceiling. If you look carefully, you can probably see the cast of Murder on the Orient Express sipping sgroppino cocktails (Limoncello, sorbet and prosecco) at one of the intimate booths.
While you’re there, why don’t you see what they’re eating, too? Harry’s tagliolini with truffle, parmesan and cream; bistecca di manzo (sirloin steak with rocket salad and datterini tomatoes); and spigola grigliata (simply chargrilled seabass with courgette, and herb salad) will probably all be on the table. READ MORE
Details: 27-31 Basil Street, SW3 1BB | Open daily, 9am-midnight (11pm Sundays)
Dinner By Heston
Heston Blumenthal’s only London restaurant is inspired by the history of British gastronomy from the Middle Ages up to the Victorian era – and has earnt itself two Michelin stars on its journey.
With a historically accurate pineapple roasting pulley as its centre piece – the restaurant (somewhat in keeping with Heston’s style) looks like something out of The Science Museum: culinary sculptures and dark wooden panelling give it a post-modern feel.
If you enjoyed the pineapple exhibit – the arrival of the food is going to knock you back to the Dark Ages…literally.
Meat Fruit (c.1500) arrives dressed as a mandarin, only to be revealed as chicken liver parfait; Frumenty is a 14th century dish of grilled octopus, spelt, smoked sea broth and pickled dusle; and lamb and cucumber (c.1830) – saddle of lamb, cucumber heart, peas, sweetbread, borage and mint – will have you rubbing your belly like William IV. READ MORE
Details: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA | Open daily for lunch and dinner
Zuma is based on izakaya-style dining, small plates to be shared with friends along with a couple of drinks.
On entering, the mouth-watering smell of the open-flamed robata grill scorching bits of flesh is unbearably good. Couple this with the huge granite dining bar where you can see the chefs working said grill, and every sense (except that of taste) has been satisfied before you’ve even sat down.
The kitchen, and therefore the menu, is broken down into three parts: the main kitchen, the sushi counter and the robata grill. Expect dishes such as: spicy yellowtail tuna, sansho pepper, avocado and wasabi mayo; grilled Chilean seabass with green chilli and ginger dressing; and sirloin steak with fresh wasabi and yuzu tahoon cress.
If you’re not dizzied by the food, the 40 strong shakes the bartenders have at their disposal should do it. Try the Hokkaido Blossom which ties gin together with lillet blanc, plum sake, orange blossom and champagne. READ MORE
Details: 5 Raphael Street, SW7 1DL | Open daily for lunch and dinner
What would normally be considered as a treat-yourself night out is almost downgraded to a don’t-worry-I’ll-get-this-one restaurant, amongst the grandeur of the Knightsbridge elite.
Hawksmoor’s usual leather seats, art deco lighting and gold trim are all there, like a comfy pair of slippers – but a large marble banquette that dissects the restaurant lets you know that you’re in Knightsbridge.
Other exclusive-London-postcode idiosyncrasies include a caviar blackboard (to enjoy with or without chilled vodka), Brixham lobsters (devilled, Singapore-style or in a roll with yuzu and & sriracha); and a fist-sized, house-made Ferrero Rocher-esque chocolate ball for dessert.
What? You’re in Knightsbridge. READ MORE
Details: 3 Yeoman’s Row SW3 2AL | Open for lunch & dinner Mon-Sat, then all day Sun (12-9.30pm)
Wedged between One Hyde Park and the Bulgari Hotel, Mari Vanna looks like an ageing mother between her two enormous sons.
Like a life-sized Russian dolls’ house from a bygone era, antique dressers, chandeliers and old family photographs on the walls give this place its quirky charm. You could just as easily come here and look around like it was a museum.
For the sake of the waiters more than anyone, we’d recommend you sit down to eat the food, which is based on homely babushka-style Russian fare. Blinis with caviar, Pelermi (Siberian dumplings with a light herb sauce); and Ukranian Galubtzi (meat and rice in cabbage parcels) are all on the menu.
And as if she’s going to let you leave without a glass of vodka to warm the cockles. There’s a large selection to choose from including house infusions like cherry and beetroot. READ MORE
Details: Wellington Court, SW1X 7PJ | Open daily
Marcus (formerly Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley) is the eldest and most distinguished sibling of the three London restaurants owned by celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, sporting one Michelin star.
The dining room evokes thoughts of other classic Michelin starred outfits like Le Gavroche, with its French style, white-cloth-adorned round tables and large, expensively upholstered chairs. But a contemporary streak runs through it – claret leather booths and mint green tones replace the more traditional velvet and dark wood.
At £90 per head (considering you’re in The Berkeley) the menu is good value. Especially once you tuck into roast veal sweetbreads, mushroom, pea and bacon broth; or roast squab (young pigeon), pigeon leg pie, heritage carrots and swiss chard.
Details: The Berkeley, SW1X 7RL | Open for lunch & dinner, Mon-Sat
We had to place it next to Marcus in the listing.
Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin starred restaurant (previously co-owned and headed up by Marcus Wareing, before the two had a barney and went their separate ways) is now in its second incarnation, and named after both his and Marcus’ favourite wine.
So, no surprise then, that the whole restaurant is designed like something out of Star Trek – a restaurant voyager, around a sleek, glass wine cellar that holds several vintages of Château Pétrus, amongst a selection of other top notch vino.
Once you’ve settled into your seat and set course for dinner, you’ll notice that the menu here is also at a fixed price – but at £95, it’s a tad more expensive than Marcus (fight, fight, fight).
Modern European dishes are the style here: sautéed foie gras with pickled blackberries, amaranth, smoked duck and mead; turbot with linzer potatoes, coastal herbs, leek and seaweed beurre blanc; and Herdwick lamb, trombetta courgette, Kalamata olives, violet artichoke and marjoram.
Details: 1 Kinnerton Street, SW1X 8EA | Open for lunch and dinner daily | Smart dress code
French restaurateur Daniel Boulud owns 7 restaurants in New York (one of which, Daniel, has 2 Michelin stars) and 6 more restaurants around the U.S. – but this is his first spot in Europe; a French/American brasserie mash up.
The energy that is emitted when you enter the space is that of a big, gutsy, buzzy New York haunt: hefty wooden floorboards, slick lighting and red leather banquettes are matched with a big semi-circular bar in one corner and a busy open kitchen at the back.
The French element comes through in the food. Classic brasserie fare such as steak tartare, escargot and steak frites are all on the menu, as well as a charcuterie menu and a selection of coarse, farmhouse style pâtés (pork, chicken liver and black truffle will suffice). As a nod to his American success, there is also a short list of burgers that are stuffed with slow-cooked short rib or pulled pork as well as a thick, fatty, medium rare patties.
Details: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA | Open daily from noon-10.30pm (11.30pm Thurs-Sat)
Last Updated: 12th September 2019
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