Toughest places to get a table in London

Who doesn't love a challenge?

What is it about taking up a challenge? We just can't resist it...

You won't be able to climb that...
The dog is definitely faster than you...
You'll never be able to walk straight after you've drunk that...
I bet you can't fit all of that in your mouth...

Well, add to that list: try and get a table at one of this incredibly popular/ over-subscribed venues.

Good luck...

Chiltern Firehouse
1 Chiltern Street W1U 7PA
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Marble Arch (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Owned by famous hotelier Andre Balazs, the kitchen is headed up by the just as famous Nuno Mendes, formerly of the much-missed Viajante. Their crab doughnuts have generated almost as many headlines as their celebrity regulars, who pile in after fashion parties and premieres. To get in, go for lunch or brunch at the weekend.

  • 94/100
  • USERS 8/10
Sexy Fish
Berkeley Square W1J 6BR
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Green Park (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Rita Ora and Kate Moss were at the opening party of this pescaterian-themed restaurant owned by the Caprice group. To eat here you'll have to grab a late lunch or an early dinner around 4 and 5 pm - we can't guarantee you'll spot any celebs at those times, but you will be dining among artworks by Damien Hirst and Frank Gehry.

Kitty Fishers
10 Shepherd Market W1J 7QF
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Green Park (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: This teensy restaurant is named after the 18th century courtesan who could out-Kardashian any member of the K family by being famous just for being famous. Since the rave reviews of its modern European menu with a Spanish twist came out dates get booked up weeks in advance. However if you're prepared to plan ahead you can still nab a table for dinner.

  • 80/100
39 Whitfield Street W1T 2SF
Region: Fitzrovia
Nearest Station: Goodge Street

AIL Says: There was a furore of publicity surrounding the launch of this mega-trendy eatery, with Raymond Blanc's disciple Ollie Dabbous at the helm. The hype has never died down and happily the food is just as good as when it first opened. If you can't get a reservation, the downstairs bar has some of the same dishes as the restaurant, or you can head there for lunch instead.

  • 50/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 3/10
201 Tooley Street SE1 2UE
Region: Borough
Nearest Station: London Bridge (0.4 miles)

AIL Says: Noma alumni Tom Sellers' first restaurant is all about experimental cuisine. Inspired by literature and taking a leaf out of Heston Blumenthal's textbook style, there are dishes like candles made from beef dripping and Oreo-type biscuits with squid ink and smoked eel mousse. There's a two month waiting list for an evening meal but you can book lunch with a few days' notice, which has the added benefit of costing you half as much.

  • 14/100
110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY
Region: City
Nearest Station: Liverpool Street (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: It's clubby, it's on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower, and has a lengthy wine, cocktail and champagne list to go alongside the Japanese-Latin fusion menu. Small wonder it's a hit with the deep-pocketed. Get a late night dinner (past 11pm) or eat here in the afternoon.

  • 22/100
Sushi Tetsu
12 Jerusalem Passage EC1V 4JP
Region: Clerkenwell
Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: This one's not impossible to get into because of an elite booking policy, but rather because it only seats seven around the chef's counter. The very definition of cosy, it's possibly the best sushi restaurant in the capital, and you get to watch it all being prepared milimetres away from your eyes. Ask the chef to prepare it to your own specifications if you want to show off your expertise.

  • 1/100
  • USERS 10/10
Scott's Restaurant
20 Mount Street W1K 2HE
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Bond Street (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Unless your surname is Saatchi you'll struggle to get a table at this famous fish restaurant. Part of the Caprice group, their online booking system helpfully guides you to one of their other eateries, among them 34, The Ivy or Le Caprice, all similarly popular with the A list. Even sitting at the bar is beyond reach unless you book way in advance, so your best bet is going for lunch.

  • USERS 9/10
104 Chepstow Road W2 5QS
Region: Notting Hill
Nearest Station: Westbourne Park (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: A few years after winning MasterChef, Marianne Lumb opened this 14 cover fine dining eatery in Notting Hill. If you don't feel like getting on the three month waiting list, check for cancellations a few days before you want to visit. It's also open at lunchtime.

  • 89/100
5A Burlington Gardens W1S 3EW
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Cecconi's may have been around for decades, but it's still nigh on impossible to get a table there unless your last name sounds similar (i.e Madonna's). They're open all day however, so book for breakfast or an early dinner at 6pm.

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10

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