London's best Fine Dining Restaurants

So much more than just a dandy plate of food

Restaurants which aspire to fine dining really do give you so much more than just a dandy plate of food. Somehow they even bring out the finery in you.

You won't turn up to Le Gavroche in ripped jeans, flip-flops and a musky wife-beater would you? (Actually, you couldn't even if you wanted to: Micky Roux is pretty hot on his obligatory jacket dress requisites.) If you're eating fine, then you want to dress fine.

And when you're seated: it's shoulders back, elbows off the table (you wouldn't want to crease the 900 thread-count ironed tablecloths). If you're eating fine, then you want to project some finery.

... and the bubble of conversation from your table... it's unlikely to recall Sunday's X-factor results punctuated with a litany of F-bombs. Let's, instead, effervesce with chatter of Puccini, of Proust, of Titian and of Linekar (OK, some things don't change).

Finally, the food... oh, this will be fine.

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

AIL Says: It’s not often that a meal requiring you to take out a second mortgage is worth the money, and while we wouldn’t recommend you use up your life savings on a meal, in the case of Le Gavroche, it’s true. Michel Roux Jr.’s superb cuisine, coupled with service that is second to none ensure this restaurant continues to be an institution more than 40 years after opening.

  • 6/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 9/10
La Dame de Pic
10 Trinity Square EC3N 4AJ
Region: The City

AIL Says: The first UK restaurant from Anne-Sophie Pic, expect a focus on unusual flavour combinations set within the grand surrounds of Four Seasons Hotel London.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
53 Park Lane W1K 1QA
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: It’s hard to imagine French cuisine getting any better than this. The attention to detail is second to none, from the perfect cooking to the pairing of cheeses with individual condiments to suit, and entering the beautiful dining room is akin to stepping into a different, far more opulent world.

  • 5/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 7/10
Gordon Ramsay
68 Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HP
Region: Chelsea
Nearest Station: Sloane Square (0.5 miles)

AIL Says: Ramsay’s flagship restaurant is among the best, and within that pool, it’s among the best of the best. Head chef Clare Smyth’s flavours are rich, varied and expertly put together, presentation is sublime and there is a top wine list. The elegance and intimacy of the dining room (there are only 45 covers) are even more of a bonus.

  • 2/100
  • OUR REVIEW 10/10
  • USERS 9/10
Wilton Place SW1X 7RL
Region: Knightsbridge
Nearest Station: Hyde Park Corner

AIL Says: What should one expect from a fine dining establishment? A super-plush interior? Service that makes you feel like royalty? Flavours so good they linger in the mouth for hours after the meal, and prices that make your eyes water? Wareing’s restaurant has all this in spades.

  • 10/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 10/10
The Ledbury
127 Ledbury Road W11 2AQ
Region: Notting Hill
Nearest Station: Westbourne Park (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: This neighbourhood restaurant serves exquisite, French-inspired food in an understated yet elegant restaurant. Service is slick, yet friendly, and head chef Brett Graham is a deft hand in the kitchen - the clever dishes are as pleasurable to eat as they are to look out. It’s little wonder The Ledbury keeps clocking up awards.

  • 3/100
  • OUR REVIEW 10/10
The Square
6-10 Bruton Street W1J 6PU
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Green Park (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: The Square has been delivering exceptional food consistently for over 20 years now, therefore this restaurant is approaching institution status. As with sister eatery The Ledbury, the décor can feel a tad plain, but it’s the food that does the talking.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 9/10
Galvin La Chapelle
35 Spital Square E1 6DY
Region: Shadwell
Nearest Station: Liverpool Street (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Mouthwatering modern French food combined with one of London’s most breathtaking settings (it’s housed within a Victorian chapel), and let’s not forget the never-ending, highly informative wine list. This is undoubtedly gourmet heaven.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
Pied A Terre
34 Charlotte Street W1T 2NH
Region: Fitzrovia
Nearest Station: Goodge Street (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: David Moore opened this fine French eatery in 1991, and it has firmly established itself as one of London’s premier haute cuisine restaurants. The menu has thoughtful flavour pairings like scallops with toasted hazelnuts, caramelised celeriac and confit of Buddha lemon, and a very broad selection of European wines.

  • 77/100
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 9/10
l'Atelier De Joel Robuchon
13-15 West Street WC2H 9NE
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Covent Garden (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: It’s a clever concept: the countertop eating may be Japanese-inspired, but the dishes are modern takes on Gallic classics. Diners watch their meal being prepared to their own specifications; stunning presentation, and of course flavours, complete the experience.

  • 64/100
  • USERS 9/10

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