Restaurants for service

We celebrate London's outstanding service.

"Service" is the one element of a restaurant experience that's commented on more than any other in the user reviews submitted to the website - but we've never put a "best for service" list together... surely we're letting our own service slip a bit there.

Getting the service at a restaurant right is heck of an art - you don't want to be ignored all night but similarly you don't want your waiter to pull up a chair and join you for your starter. Dessert maybe, but never starter.

Therefore, we've put together our list of eateries in the capital who get the level and standard of service just right.




Le Gavroche
43 Upper Brook Street W1K 7QP
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Marble Arch (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: The front of house at Le Gavroche is exceptional: staff never put a food wrong, are incredibly considerate and will serve your meal with a smile. The attention to detail provided by everyone from manager Emmanuel Landre down to every last member of staff sets the benchmark for what restaurants should aspire to.

  • FRENCH
  • 6/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 9/10
Colbert
50-52 Sloane Square SW1W 8AX
Region: Chelsea
Nearest Station: Sloane Square

AIL Says: It’s not surprising that Colbert’s service is impeccable given that it comes from the same stable as The Wolseley and The Delaunay. Here the refrain “the customer is always right”rings especially true as staff will do their utmost to accommodate diners, including preparing ad hoc dishes if they desire.

  • FRENCH
  • USERS 8/10
Galvin At Windows
22 Park Lane W1K 1BE
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Hyde Park Corner (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: General manager Fred Sirieix has won several awards, co-hosted Michel Roux’s Service on BBC 2 and founded National Waiters Day in 2012, all of which gives the measure of how seriously Galvin at Windows take their front of house. Coupled with the incredible view from the 28th floor of the Hilton on Park Lane, the experience is quite a treat.

  • FRENCH
  • 40/100
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 10/10
The Wolseley
160 Piccadilly W1J 9EB
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Green Park

AIL Says: The Wolseley needs very little introduction, but it’s worth reiterating that the standard of service matches the luxurious décor of the venue, famously styled as an early 20th century grand cafe. These two aspects, along with now legendary breakfasts and pastries, have made it a hit with celebrities, tourists and Londoners alike.

  • EUROPEAN
  • 89/100
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 5/10
The Ledbury
127 Ledbury Road W11 2AQ
Region: Notting Hill
Nearest Station: Westbourne Park (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: The Ledbury frequently comes at the top of restaurant lists whether they are rating establishments in London or in other parts of the world. One of the reasons is the excellent front of house, which ensures diners are looked after. As head chef Brett Graham says: “We want to make sure they have the best possible experience.”

  • FRENCH
  • 3/100
  • OUR REVIEW 10/10
Gordon Ramsay
68 Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HP
Region: Chelsea
Nearest Station: Sloane Square (0.5 miles)

AIL Says: It’s one of only two restaurants in the capital with three Michelin stars (the other being Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester), therefore unsurprisingly Gordon Ramsay’s flagship eatery boasts top notch service. There is a seemingly never ending flow of staff but rather than feel over-attentive they form part of a very slick operation.

  • FRENCH
  • 2/100
  • OUR REVIEW 10/10
  • USERS 9/10
HKK
88 Worship Street EC2A 2BE
Region: The City
Nearest Station: Bethnal Green (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: HKK’s USP is offering an experience akin to a Chinese banquet, serving 15 course tasting menus that earned them a Michelin star within a year of opening. Shortly after this accolade they came fourth on a list of Toptables’s top 50 UK restaurants for best service.

  • CHINESE
  • 46/100
Chez Bruce
2 Bellevue Road SW17 7EG
Region: Wandsworth
Nearest Station: Wandsworth Common (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Classic French cuisine and smartly dressed waiting staff provide an old school, formal style of service that will never go out of fashion. Opened in 1995, this has beenamong the capital’s favourite eateries for almost 20 years.

  • ENGLISH
  • 25/100
Marcus
Wilton Place SW1X 7RL
Region: Knightsbridge
Nearest Station: Hyde Park Corner

AIL Says: Providing faultless service with just a touch of theatre, the staff take such great care of the diners that a meal here becomes a flattering experience. The sumptuous dining room which was recently refurbished and the beautifully presented food is enough to make anyone feel like a VIP.

  • BRITISH
  • 10/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 10/10
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
53 Park Lane W1K 1QA
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Super-luxe Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has three Michelin stars and high prices, while service is warm and attentive. From head chef Jocelyn Herland: “I have never worked before in an environment as dynamic as Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. The energy at work is very positive and everyone is giving their best to achieve excellence. I am impressed by the harmony in between the different departments, front of house, kitchen, reservations and marketing.”

  • FRENCH
  • 5/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 7/10


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