Use our definitive guide to London’s Michelin-starred restaurants to keep yourself up to date with the capital’s gastro fashions
Restaurants listed in bold indicate new entries for 2011…
Three Michelin stars ***
Gordon Ramsay, Kensington & Chelsea
It’s been an eventful year for Chef Ramsay, with the larger-than-life Scot hitting headlines for all the wrong reasons. But, family feuds and American stardom aside, he’s held on to his Michelin hat trick and the Chelsea restaurant can boast a decade of stardom as London’s longest-running restaurant with three stars.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
London’s answer to South-west France, diners at The Dorchester can enjoy a host of traditional gourmet classics; langoustines, fois gras, veal, lobster and hazelnut soufflé. Not for the faint hearted but a fantastic excuse to indulge the senses.
Two Michelin stars **
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair
Once Alain Ducasse’s right-hand woman, Darroze holds Michelin stars for both The Connaught and her restaurant on Paris’ Left Bank. Descendent from a long line of chefs, Darroze says cooking is in her heart and her blood. “I cook from my heart and put my emotions into every dish.”
Pied à Terre, Bloomsbury
Straddling central London’s trendy districts of Soho and Fitzrovia, Pied à Terre on Charlotte Street provides welcome relief from the mayhem of nearby Oxford Street. With a two-course lunch menu at £23.50, the modern and stylish restaurant provides excellent value and fantastic people watching.
The Ledbury, Kensington
Smashed windows and hiding in the cellar were unlikely to have been what diners had in mind when booking tables at this Notting Hill restaurant, but that’s what happened when it became a target for rioters last month. The staff, however, have been applauded for their quick thinking which included putting customers in the cellar and giving them whisky and Champagne to calm their nerves. Oh, and apparently the food’s pretty good too.
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Belgravia
Once Pétrus and part of the Ramsay empire (Gordon Ramsay Holdings), Wareing and Ramsay went their separate ways very publicly in 2008. The pair’s falling out hasn’t stopped the restaurant going from strength to strength, however, and Wareing is hotly tipped as being in line for a third star. Watch this space.
Le Gavroche, Mayfair
Named after a Victor Hugo character and opened by the celebrated Roux brothers, Michel and Albert in 1967, Le Gavroche offers traditional French cuisine in the heart of Mayfair. Once a holder of three stars, the restaurant was denoted to two in 1993 despite the celebrated Michel Roux Jr taking over as chef patron two years earlier.
A Ducasse protégé, Claude Bosi originally opened the restaurant in Shropshire in 2000. He moved to the gastro heartland of Mayfair in 2007 after receiving his second star. Since then, Hibiscus has garnered rave reviews from the likes of Giles Coren, Jay Rayner and Guy Diamond – with the latter awarding it a Time Out rating of 6/6, the first ever awarded by the guide.
Philip Howard, the proprietor and head chef at Square, is frequently described as a chef’s chef – an accolade he describes as humbling. Of his food he says it is “stomach led”, honest, seasonal and spontaneous. At the more affordable end of the scale, a three-course lunch menu will set you back just £35. Howard is said to be a particularly nice chap too.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Covent Garden
Next door to The Ivy, L’Atelier offers both counter and table seating in its decadent, lavish and Paris inspired two-floor restaurant. A favourite of AA Gill’s, the kitchen accepts food orders as late as midnight and diners can choose between a fun, mini Japanese-style menu or the more traditional à la carte.
One Michelin Star *
Seven Park Place (at St James’s Hotel and Club) St James’s
Gauthier Soho, Soho
Kitchen W8, Kensington & Chelsea
Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond-upon-Thames
Viajante, Bethnal Green
Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields
Chapter One, Bromley, Kent
Club Gascon, City of London
Rhodes Twenty Four, City of London
Harwood Arms, Fulham
River Café, Fulham
La Trompette, Chiswick
St John, Clerkenwell
Rasoi, Kensington & Chelsea
Tom Aikens, Kensington & Chelsea
The Glasshouse, Richmond-upon-Thames
Bingham Restaurant (at Bingham Hotel), Richmond-upon-Thames
Chez Bruce, Wandsworth
Amaya, City of Westminster, Belgravia
Apsleys (at Lanesborough Hotel), Belgravia
Galvin at Windows (at Hilton Hotel), Mayfair
Nobu (at The Metropolitan Hotel), Mayfair
Nobu Berkeley St, Mayfair
Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library), Mayfair
Wild Honey, Mayfair
L’Autre Pied, Marylebone
Locanda Locatelli, Marylebone
Rhodes W1 (Restaurant), Marylebone
Which are your favourites? Let us know in comments below…