Dining in London can be hard. There’s a plethora of mouth-watering restaurants to visit and with only one mouth to work with, you have to be wise in your foodie decisions. To make things a little easier, we contacted DesignMyNight to scout out London’s prettiest places to eat. From picturesque riverside gems to terraces overlooking the city’s iconic sights, you’ll never have to question your restaurant choice again (until you get through these ten, that is).
Possibly, okay let’s scrap that, definitely one of the quirkiest places you’ll ever lay your eyes on, Sketch is one of those London gems you just have to visit at least once. Although there are many rooms to gawp at and admire (five restaurants and bars to be exact), The Gallery takes hold of the trump card. Its walls are home to a myriad of cheeky cartoon illustrations and it’s decked out with luxurious candy-pink sofas. Food-wise, there are different menus in each room, but The Parlour Room has an all-day menu with breakfast, comfort food, and, wait for it, cocktails.
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Paradise By Way of Kensal Green
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green is perched on the corner of Kilburn Lane and is one of those venues that everyone loves. It flaunts five rooms, each with its own unique twist (including a beautiful conservatory roof terrace that’s made for cocktails and catch-ups). But perfect for a sit-down meal is the downstairs bar; it’s characterised by grand chandeliers, oil paintings and wax candles, giving the space an understated chic edge. The food here is exceptional with chefs using fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients, and if you want to stay here a little longer, they open their Music Room until 2am every weekend.
The Bloomsbury Hotel and Bar
Sitting pretty underneath the 4 star Bloomsbury Hotel is The Bloomsbury Club Bar - one of London’s newest hidden gems. Word of advice? Pay them a visit before the cat’s out of the bag. Dangerously delicious dishes like the Crispy Lamb Goujons and Salt and Pepper Squid will win over your palate, while the cocktail list bombards you with a dozen reasons to stay for ‘one more drink’. These food and drink offerings combined with the welcoming interior - made up of twinkling fairy lights, inviting seating with plump cushions and greenery - make for a stand-out dining and drinking experience.
The Zetter Townhouse
Last year The Zetter Townhouse expanded its empire into marvellous Marylebone, and in a cut-throat decision we decided to include it in our top 10 list instead of its Clerkenwell sister venue. Why? Seymour’s Parlour; that’s why. Designed by Russell Sage, this quirky drinking den is home to mismatched antique furniture and a mountain of quirky adornments. Rich red walls, bookcases spilling with vintage spines and a crackling fire also make for the perfect backdrop to a relaxed and unique evening. Talking food, these guys offer a menu with small dishes but Aunt Wilhelmina’s Afternoon Tea is where it’s at; it offers boozy treats like Pina Colada Tarts and Sloe Gin Sandwiches.
A restaurant in a greenhouse? Don’t knock it until you try it. Petersham Nurseries has taken a simple concept and turned it into something truly beautiful with stripped back wooden furniture, plenty of foliage and seasonal, organic dishes. Completely down to earth, don’t be shocked when you spot the chefs wandering from the kitchen to pluck herbs from the garden to use in your dishes. Hands down, it’s one of the prettiest spots to dine out in London. Top tip: head here come nightfall, that’s when they turn on the twinkling fairy lights.
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The clue is in the glaringly obvious name… Japanese and Brazilian cuisine coupled with views of London’s skyline make for one kick-ass restaurant. Ladies and gents, let us introduce you to Sushisamba. Located on the 38th and 39th floor at 110 Bishopsgate, the panoramic views and astounding interior will take your breath away. With two outdoor terraces and a restaurant indoors, it’s fair to say each space is as striking as the last. A magnificent burnt orange tree sculpture stands tall in one terrace while the other is dominated by a view of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Sold yet?
Having been voted the world’s most romantic restaurant, we couldn’t not include Clos Maggiore to our list of prettiest places to eat in London. Hundreds of tiny twinklings lights dominate the conservatory’s space and lay tangled in a permanent nest of blossoming flowers. Prepared for the changing seasons, the roof is retractable and they have an open fire to keep you warm come winter. Truly unique and enchanting, make sure to request a table in the intimate conservatory area.
Only opened in 2015, Spitalfields’ Blixen has continued to impress the masses with its stylish surroundings and casual atmosphere. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and has three distinct dining areas, all with a unique twist. Don’t ask us to choose our favourite one; we simply can’t. Inside, the ceilings support dangling lights, intimate leather booths - most of which show an eagle eye view of the bar. But wherever you sit, make sure you check out the terrace area. It’s just beyond the vine covered pergola, and is guaranteed to take your breath away.
You’ll find Boundary Rooftop Bar and Restaurant on top of a boutique hotel near Shoreditch High Street. If their cocktails don’t make your knees go weak, their confident interior and spectacular views will. The space is decked out with leafy shrubbery, a wood-burning fire and the weatherproof pergola meaning you can lounge about this East London hotspot any god-damned time you like. Do yourself a favour and plan a visit with your gal pals asap.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Known as a bit of a celeb hangout, The Ivy Chelsea (that is set in a Grade II listed building) has gone from strength to strength since its 2015 opening. It boasts a variety of rooms including a main restaurant, extensive terrace and garden, orangery and café. Talk about going all out. Decorated by Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, the venue’s interior is the definition of Instagram-worthy. Everything from the turquoise painted walls inside to the vintage mirrors hung in the outdoor garden, tie in together to give The Ivy its unique edge. What’s even better is the garden’s log fire; it means you can enjoy British dishes (and champagne) from January right through to December.
The Summer House
A cute riverside restaurant situated in Little Venice and due to popular demand, it now stays open all year round. Highly regarded for the seafood, The Summerhouse offers a great variety of dishes to choose from, including starters like Popcorn Shrimp and freshly Baked Whole Seabass for mains. The use of whitewashed wood, wicker seating and bright lighting give the venue a happy holiday feel, too. A cosy destination with a beautiful view, whatever the weather.
For more information on the coolest bars and the best restaurants in London visit DesignMyNight, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram: @DesignMyNight.