The recent announcement by Claridge’s that it has reopened its flagship restaurant, once home to event dining from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Simon Rogan and Daniel Humm, as the fuss-free Claridge’s Restaurant might suggest that the era of celebrity chef-helmed hotel dining rooms was at an end. Or it may simply indicate that the world’s supply of big-name chefs has been exhausted, if this year’s crop of new London hotel restaurants featuring the most famous faces in global gastronomy is anything to go by...
The Most Exclusive Hotel Restaurants in London
27th October 2023
We explore the most exclusive hotel restaurants in London from Japanese tasting menus at 45 Park Lane to tuna pizza at The Mandarin Oriental, as well as an inside look on the upcoming launch of ABC Kitchen making its way from Midtown Manhattan to The Emory this winter.
Most Exclusive Hotel Restaurants in London
Best for Fine Dining - Pavyllon London
Yannick Alléno’s Pavillon Ledoyen is the most Michelin star-rated establishment in the world and the closest thing to heaven for lovers of fine dining. The gastrodome houses the three-star Alléno Paris, two-star L’Abysse and one-star Pavyllon; another 10 stars twinkle over the chef’s global empire, from Morocco to South Korea. Alléno’s signature technique is cooking sauces in a vacuum to extract the most concentrated flavour from each ingredient, resulting in experimental dishes such as pounded langoustine with potato and basil tuiles and white onion emulsion. For something more casual, Bar Antoine, named after Alléno’s late son, features a burger that took three months to develop before the young chef was killed in a traffic accident in 2022.
Located at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park
Lane, Hamilton Place, W1J 7DR
Best for Cutting-Edge Cuisine - Akira Back
Akira Back is a very big deal in his native South Korea and the US, his adopted home; the chef operates 22 restaurants around the world from San Diego to Singapore, and holds a Michelin star in Seoul. This autumn sees his first London opening, at the new Mandarin Oriental Hotel Mayfair. Back’s globetrotting cooking blends his Korean heritage with contemporary Japanese technique in creations such as a signature dish of AB Tuna Pizza, featuring tuna sashimi, micro shiso and ponzu aioli balanced atop a wafer-thin crust. The chef is also overseeing the 14-seat Korean counter Dosa, imported from Seoul, plus Asian cocktails and bar food in both the ABar Lounge and ABar Rooftop. Cheffing is Back’s second career; he was a professional snowboarder in Aspen, Colorado, before an injury forced early retirement.
Located at the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, 22 Hanover Square, W1S 1JP
Best for Privacy - House of Ming
This Chinese restaurant, which arrived from India in St James’s in May, is a beautiful space, with embroidered silk panels, antique brass and handcrafted furniture; if privacy is required, whether for business, romance or simply because you’re embarrassed by your chopstick skills, a pair of tables for two can each be curtained off and come equipped with a brass button to summon the kitchen, perhaps to rustle up the 17-course Imperial Dining menu. Drinks are as much of an attraction as the Sichuan and Cantonese cooking, offering Chinese Chateau Changyu Moser XV alongside the Bordeaux and Burgundy, while a tea sommelier dispenses Chinese leaves from a trolley.
Located at St James’s Court, A Taj Hotel, 54 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF
Best for Bling - Lavo Ristorante
Tao Group is one of those multinational hospitality groups better known for the individual restaurants it operates: in London, the snazzy Chinese Hakkasan and Yauatcha; in Los Angeles, Lavo, a seafood-centric Italian coming to London in September when The BoTree hotel opens near Bond Street tube. Signature dishes at the Sunset Boulevard original include tagliatelle al limone with marjoram, sweet butter and kaluga caviar, a whopper of a 500g wagyu beef meatball topped with marinara sauce and whipped ricotta cheese, and salt-based sea bass for two to share. All eyes, however, are just as likely to be on the crowd of diners as the blingy creations on the plate: Kim and Khloé Kardashian and Kendall Jenner have all been spotted at the LA Lavo, at a plum Beverly Hills site opposite Soho House. The London restaurant sits in the 199-room BoTree, the latest UK property from the world’s biggest independent hotel chain, Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In addition to Lavo, the new hotel is home to several bars and a rooftop restaurant.
Located at The BoTree, 30 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2DR
Best for Exclusivity - Sushi Kanesaka
Multi-course omakase menus — omakase roughly translates from Japanese as “I trust you, chef” — have been a big trend in luxury London dining over the past 12 months, with around half a dozen Japanese tasting menu specialists opening in the capital’s smartest postcodes. Now perhaps the ultimate experience has launched within the Dorchester Collection-owned 45 Park Lane, offering guests what is reputed to be the UK’s most expensive menu, at £420 for 18 courses. With each bitesized morsel prepared on the other side of a nine-seat cedar counter it is, at least, easy to see where one’s money is going: fish stored traditionally in hinoki-wood ice chests and expertly sliced by a team of eight chefs brought over from Sushi Kanesaka in Tokyo, where chef Shinji Kanesaka holds two Michelin stars. Diners are attended to by kimono-clad hostesses trained in Kyoto; if nine seats isn’t exclusive enough, there’s also a private four-seat counter.
Located at 45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN
Best for Comfort Food - ABC Kitchen
Alsace-born, New York-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten first made his name in London in the 1990s with fusion thriller Vong at The Berkeley; now he’s returning to the capital at a new sister property, The Emory, an all-suite hotel opening this winter virtually next door to The Berkeley and designed by Ivan Harbour and the late Richard Rogers of architectural firm RSHP. The original ABC Kitchen in Midtown Manhattan, a block up from Union Square, serves local, sustainable, seasonal organic produce along the lines of wild sea bass with minted couscous and a herb and tomato vinaigrette, plus pastas and wholewheat pizzas, so London diners can expect more of the same. Hotel guests also get access to a private rooftop with 360-degree views of central London.
Located at The Emory, Old Barrack Yard, SW1X 7NP
Learn more, launching winter 2023
Best for Bragging Rights - Mauro Colagreco
The first Raffles hotel to open in the UK looks set to be a gastronomic playground when The OWO launches in October, in the former Old War Office where Winston Churchill once worked as Secretary of State for War. Among the 11 restaurants and bars are glamorous Milanese imports Paper Moon and Langosteria as well as Café Lapérouse, transplanted from the Place de la Concorde in Paris to the hotel’s courtyard. Star billing, however, goes to Mauro Colagreco, whose three-Michelin-starred restaurant Mirazur, perched high above the Mediterranean at Menton on the French Riviera, was voted the number one place to eat at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2019 and won a third Michelin star the same year (Argentine-born Colagreco was the first non-French chef to be awarded the honour in France).
If that weren’t enough, Colagreco was recently appointed UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity for his commitment to hyper-local and hyper-seasonal ingredients. The OWO might be unable to reproduce Mirazur’s shimmering sea views or its kitchen garden rambling over the terraces of a ruined villa that once belonged to Prince Albert of Belgium — but diners are in for a treat if signature dishes such as veal tartare with cosmos flower and raspberry,
or guinea fowl with green curry, find their way to London.
Located at Raffles London at The OWO, 57 Whitehall, SW1A 2BX
Best for British - Dovetale
Restaurant Story in Bermondsey has held two Michelin stars since 2021. Sellers is going big on sustainable best-of-British ingredients, with fish and seafood served up from a raw bar and steaks aged on site and cooked over a Josper grill, while to drink, there are English sparkling wines. It all sounds terribly worthy, but a knickerbocker glory trolley whipping up sundaes tableside suggests that the chef who opened Story when he was 26 is writing a lighter-hearted chapter for himself as he approaches middle age. There’s a terrace with a copper fireplace and pergola for autumn alfresco.
1 Dover Yard at 1 Hotel Mayfair, W1J 8DJ
Best for Views - Brooklands
It’s been a busy year for Claude Bosi, the chef-patron of two-Michelin-starred Bibendum in Chelsea. He opened the Provencal bistro Socca in Mayfair in February; now he is chef-director of Brooklands, a contemporary European restaurant atop the first UK property from The Peninsula, the luxury hotel group established in Hong Kong in 1928. The restaurant’s terrace overlooks Wellington Arch, Belgravia and the Buckingham Palace garden; the interior is themed around motoring and aviation, with a scale model of Concorde hanging from the ceiling and classic cars on loan from the Brooklands racetrack and museum in Surrey.
Located at The Peninsula London, 1 Grosvenor Place, SW1X 7HJ