The Best New Places To Eat And Stay In London

By Sam Parker
19 December 2019
Travel, Holiday, Hotels, Restaurants, London, Sette, Amazónico, Daffodil Mulligan, Brat, Kimpton Fitzroy, Lina Stores King’s Cross, Bubala, The London EDITION, The Palomar, Hard Rock Hotel

Get stuck into London’s frenetic hotel and restaurant scene with our pick of the best places to fill your belly and lay your head

Britain’s capital may be in the news for its turbulent politics at the moment, but it remains one of the best places in the world to have fun, relax and eat like a king. Here’s our guide to the best new restaurants and hotels to try out during your next visit to the city.

Sette

There are too many restaurants in Knightsbridge that look the part - sexy dining room, beautiful people everywhere, food arranged like a Pollock painting - but when it comes to actual flavour, fail to deliver. Sette, the latest London venture from Manhattan Italian fine dining dynasty Scarpetta, is different. With its concave bar (serving great mocktails) it is as gorgeous as you’d expect from the postcode, but the menu is also a genuine delight offering up modern fare with real substance. Our tip? Try the short rib and bone marrow agnolotti, or their twist on the traditional cacio e pepe that include mixed mushrooms and hazelnut. This is West London decadence done right.

settelondon.co.uk

Amazónico

In 2016, an unusual restaurant in Madrid began to attract the country’s rich and famous in their droves, enticed by the promise of ‘a sensory journey along the flow of the Amazon river.’ This year, the team behind Amazónico decided to expand overseas and chose London and Dubai, meaning you may already be familiar with owners Sandro Silva and Marta Seco’s ‘exploration of the offering of Latin American culinary landscape.’

But what does that actually look like? In the UK, it’s a huge room with over 280 diners, covered in enough exotic foliage to single-handedly cancel out the city’s air pollution problem (if only), as well as the odd wooden peacock. It’s all rather gache and good fun, and the menu - a Peruvian-heavy rollick through South American dishes - is a riot to match. Expect sea urchin-infused guacamole, slabs of charcoal-grilled steak, sushi, ceviche and plenty of plantain.

amazonicorestaurant.com/

Daffodil Mulligan

Irish chef Richard Corrigan is the man behind some of the most esteemed restaurants in London, including Corrigan’s in Mayfair and Bentley’s Sea Grill in Harrods. His latest venture is as wonderful as both of those but a far less buttoned up affair. Located in Old Street in central London, Daffodil Mulligan is as quirky as the name suggests, a 50-cover dining room with a downstairs snug hosting live entertainment that ranges from jazz to spoken word to (of course) traditional Irish fiddle bands. While all that’s going on there are world class oysters to slurp on (from their own dedicated bar) or a range of inventive dishes (our favourite: the spatchcocked partridge and mash with bone marrow crumbs) to choose from. The restaurant's tagline is ‘the life of the party’. You find yourself arguing.

daffodilmulligan.com

Brat

Sometimes, a new restaurant in London acquires a ‘buzz’ because of its famous chef. Sometimes it’s the location, the wacky interior or the even wackier name (looking at you, Sexy Fish). Then, just sometimes, it’s all about a single dish, whispers of which spread from mouth to salivating mouth, usually accompanied by the words have you tried it yet?!

Brat is an old English term for turbot, a fish that is the star item on the menu of an east London restaurant that shares its name. Enough for two lucky diners, it arrives whole, sizzling and golden brown, cooked simply and to perfection, ready to be mopped up from cheek to dorsal fin. Brat’s chef Tomos Parry is rightly making waves with his Basque-region inspired, open-fire cooking - just make sure you book well in advance.

bratrestaurant.com

Kimpton Fitzroy 

When it comes to luxury hotels in London, it’s tempting to play it safe and stay in Mayfair or Kensington. But if you’re looking for a different corner of the city to explore, consider Bloomsbury. Not only does it have a rich cultural heritage - most of British avant garde lived there at some point - is has, in Lamb’s Conduit Street, some of the best independent menswear boutiques in the country. Our favourite hotel is the Kimpton Fitzroy on the corner of Russell Square, which in addition to one of the most beautiful foyers of any hotel in London has a proper old school cocktail bar with great non-alcoholic options, and a buzzy new seafood restaurant, Neptune.

kimptonfitzroylondon.com

Lina Stores King’s Cross

Right in the heart of London’s Soho is an old-fashioned Italian deli with a green marble facade and flour-coated salami hanging in the window over some giant blocks of cheese. From the outside, it has barely changed at all  since it was opened in 1944 by a formidable signora from Genova. But behind all that, Lina Stores is slowly building a London empire based on arguably the best fresh pasta available in the whole city. After opening an extremely successful restaurant up the road on Greek Street, the newest outpost is in the rejuvenated area of King’s Cross, home of London’s central train station. If you’re passing through, be sure to stop and treat yourself to antipasti or a bowl of ravioli. You’ll be dreaming about it all the way home afterwards.

linastores.co.uk

Bubala

Among other things, 2019 was the year that Londoners went vegetarian - well, flexitarian at least. As concerns about the environment grow, ‘eat less meat’ has become this generation’s ‘remember to turn the lights off’, only a lot more fun. One new restaurant showing London the green light is Helen Graham’s Middle-Eastern Shoreditch venture Bubala. A stylish cafe full of bare wood and plotted plants, the food is a sucker punch you didn’t see coming: meat-free yes, but full of flavour and deeply satisfying. Caramelised aubergine in spicy pesto, blackened cabbage in pomegranate juice and halloumi in black seed honey are just some of the delights on offer. It might just turn you: for a night, anyway.

bubala.co.uk

The London EDITION

Since it opened in November 2018, Abu Dhabi EDITION has cemented its status as one of the most stylish places to stay in the UAE. But what about its British counterpart? As you might expect, it’s a slightly more understated affair, located in the heart of Fitzrovia (an underrated area north of the more famous Soho). Inside, a 19th-century stucco ceiling and a low-lit bar quickly confirms it as one of London’s more stylish hotels - and that’s before you get to the Punch Room, a dark wood panelled throwback to peak-empire Britannia with no less than 30 specialist concoctions to try. The real treat though? Has to be Berner’s Tavern, overseen by British fine dining legend Jason Atherton and one of the best modern British restaurants in town. Beef Wellington, anyone? It’d be rude not to.

editionhotels.com/london

The Palomar

When it first opened in 2014, The Palomar was the name on every trendy pair of lips in London. A tiny spot on an unfashionable street in Soho, it sought to recreate the buzz of Jerusalem’s famous market restaurant Machneyuda and transformed the capital’s foodie scene in the process. Six years on and it’s something of a Soho institution and just as fun and delicious as it ever was, but that doesn’t mean brother and sister due Layo and Zoe Paskin have rested on their laurels: on the contrary, the hiring of new head chef Omri McNabb has shaken the menu up and put The Palomar back at the top of everyone’s must visit list, with new creations including a wild sea bass tartare with yoghurt ‘caviar’ and chicken livers and sweetbreads.

thepalomar.co.uk

Hard Rock Hotel

If you’re tired of luxury served with a stiff upper lip and feel yourself craving something a little more… rock and roll, there’s a bonkers new hotel just around the corner from Marble Arch that pays homage to Britain’s musical past (yes, it’s an American chain, but let’s not dwell on that). The Hard Rock Hotel is as well appointed as anywhere you’d expect down the road in Mayfair, but it has the undeniable benefit of housing Freddie Mercury’s piano, David Bowie’s famous ‘Relax’ t-shirt and one of Paul McCartney’s Beatles suits. If you like that sort of thing. (We like that sort of thing).

hardrockhotels.com/london