In May I spent two weeks in my beloved London (again, I know)! In between home hunting, catching up with old friends, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, there were plenty of new restaurants and cafes that I fell in love with. Yes, some I mention have been insta-raped and I’m pretty much late to the party but others will never be insta-raped just because of the price tag and waitlist to get through the door. What can I say? I have fallen in love with London all over again and have loved experiencing this wonderful city through sober eyes. Gone are the days of knowing where all the best watering holes in London are and in with the culinary experiences and mocktails. I’m even shocked by this sentence.
In Croatia, I am a creature of habit when it comes to restaurants. It takes A LOT for me to try somewhere new to eat. However, in London, I am always open to new places…
Here is a list of restaurants and cafes I recommend in London
1. The Restaurant, Home House
Home House is a luxury Private Members Club located in the prestigious Portman Square in Marylebone. To be honest, I’d never heard about Home House before a close friend recommended it to me as they had a membership there and could get us through the door (and also membership). There are three restaurants at Home house, The Restaurant, The garden and the Octagon Dining Room. There’s also a very posh Victorian-Esque bar downstairs just as you walk, the perfect setting for drinks before dinner or even business meeting. No matter how beautiful you believe this bar is, bear in mind in this one Members Club there are plenty more. Apparently, after midnight at Home House, the real run starts where everyone enters a part of the member’s club called “The Vault.” You can guarantee that I never made it past midnight, that’s way past my bedtime, perhaps next time.
Dirty Martini vs. Berry Mocktail
Inside The Restaurant, at Home House, you’ll love the Georgian rooms, ideal for an intimate encounter.
The cuisine on offer is modern British in a brasserie-style setting. All produce is sourced locally.
My experience and time at Home House was nothing short of the best, from the customer service to the food, everything was top class. Then again, I’ve never had a bad experience at a Private Members Club in London, and they are usually my most treasured moments in London.
Home House Private Members Club
Phone: +44 20 7670 2000
2. Le Gavroche, Mayfair
My husband’s dream since he was a teenage boy was to have dinner at Le Gavroche. By some miracle, I was able to secure one of the last free tables for a Saturday night, six weeks in advance for his birthday. At Le Gavroche, it isn’t uncommon to have to book three months in advance. What makes Le Gavroche so good and special? Le Gavroche was the first restaurant in the UK to receive 3 Michelin stars and has been around on the London fine dining scene since 1967.
Read more about my experience at Le Gavroche here.
Any serious foodie will respect and appreciate a table at Le Gavroche.
Le Gavroche, Mayfair
3. The Ritz Restaurant, The Ritz
Is there anywhere in London more glamorous than The Ritz? I don’t believe so. My husband and I are serial returnees to The Ritz in London’s ritzy Mayfair and find new reasons to fall in love with the luxury hotel upon each visit. We decided to extend our time in London and celebrate our one year wedding anniversary in London instead of Barcelona, booking a table at the lavish Ritz Restaurant. What better way to celebrate our first year wedding anniversary than at the world-class Michelin star, Ritz Restaurant at The Ritz? A little warning ahead if you do choose to dine here, it will set a whole new benchmark on future restaurant experiences.
The Ritz Restaurant, The Ritz London
4. Peggy Porschen
Peggy Porschen is all over social media, without a doubt you’ve come across this cute cupcake cafe in London with the floral facade. When I walked by Peggy Porschen in Belgravia (there’s another on King’s Road, Chelsea) there was a line. My husband asked if I wanted to have coffee there, “I’m not waiting in line for a coffee…” were my exact words. After a brief stroll up Ebury Street, all the cafes were full for brunch. I ended up waiting in line at Peggy Porschen, succumbing to the social pressure, Oh my God, I’ve become one of those people. Fortunately, we didn’t need to wait more than 5 minutes as the table turnover is quite fast.
One thing that is very evident that this place really is ideal for the picture perfect Instagram photo, everyone is shamelessly doing it and won’t judge you for shamelessly doing it either. Even the staff know how to get the right angle. Looking for one of the best locations for an Instagram picture in London? Go to Peggy Porschen.
Is there anything better than a hyped-up place that delivers on the hype? I ordered the salted caramel cupcake and it was the best salted caramel I’d ever had. Do I recommend Peggy Porschen? Yes, if there’s a line you can be bothered to wait in.
5. Shoreditch House, East London
I am not an East London girl and I never liked stepping out of my Sw3 bubble. It’s not my scene, nor is it my husband’s but how do you explain this to someone who has never been? I told him it’s more “hipster” and youthful while Chelsea is more old money and preppy. Regardless of the words, I choose to use to describe the East London scene, you don’t get the full picture until you’re there.
My mentor has a membership at Shoreditch House which happens to have a hip, cool and very busy premises in Shoreditch. Shoreditch House falls under the Soho House group and is an International Members Only Club, having a membership opens the door to all the other Soho Houses around the world including Barcelona, New York and LA. It is pretty cool and a great membership to have as it gives you access to a great network of likeminded people.
Why would I mention the Shoreditch house? I had a really interesting and different meal there. I ordered the baked cauliflower that literally was a large cauliflower head with pesto, melted cheese and nuts. It was amazing!
6. Aubaine, Selfridges
Here is another Insta-raped restaurant with actual merit. Located on the second floor of Selfridges, after passing the women’s shoe gallery you’ll come across Aubaine. The trick is to get through the shoe gallery of Selfridges without being distracted, “We will come back later,” my husband says as we pass by Jimmy Choo and the only shoe I ever wanted from there, the Sacora 100. “Food and coffee come first,” I am reminded. He has a point, I am no good to anyone when I am hangry.
Avocado on toast, smoked salmon and truffled eggs may not seem like a big deal but as I’ve mentioned many times, the whole brunch concept is not big in Croatia so I’m always looking forward to a good one when I am in London. What I didn’t photograph was the large bowl of truffle that arrived on the side with my eggs…. heaven!
Address: 400 Oxford Street, 2nd Floor, London, W1A 1AB
Phone: 0207 318 3738
7. The Sands End, Fulham
I used to be a regular at The Sands End as it was my local. It’s located on the other end of King’s Road towards Fulham and Chelsea Harbour and has never let me down when it comes to food. It’s honest modern British food without the big price tag. The Sands End is popular among locals and was once frequented by Prince Harry, obviously a long time ago!
A special mention to this asparagus, pea and fetta cheese salad… game changer!
The Sands End
Polpo has several locations around London, a few years ago I dined at the one in Chelsea and I loved it! I was so excited to go back to this restaurant known for its Venetian sharing plates. The idea is to order several different plates and to mezze off each. It’s a very casual atmosphere, great friendly service with a great selection of dishes, as you can see below…
**Feature image taken at Home House.**