2010: A Golden Age of London Hotel Dining

Not that long ago, the best you could hope to find in most hotel dining rooms were uncomfortable diners wearing unfamiliar ties and eating potted shrimps, grey meat and custard.  There were some stunningly exceptional kitchens of course – Pierre Koffmann at the Savoy in the 1980’s, for one.
But hotel-by-hotel and restaurant-by-restaurant the scene has changed entirely over the past fifteen years thanks in no small part to Gordon Ramsay and his talented team.  Now the exciting reopening of The Savoy Grill is finally here and we at toptable are certain that a new age has dawned, a golden age of hotel dining.

Gordon Ramsay at Claridges

No longer are hotels the place you book only when the aunties are up in town from the counties.  These days they are grand spaces that have an element of delight about them.  The service is really good, really good.  Some of the food is absolutely out of this world (see below).  And would it kill you to wear a tie once in a while?  We’re a bit excited — bear with us.
Take London’s only triple Michelin-starred restaurant. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is what we’re talking about: a lovely space in what is traditionally the smartest address in town serving sublime food with great professionalism.   It’s French cuisine in the modern style with classic technique.  And if you dine early or late and book through us, you get 15% off the total bill.
While we’re at The Dorchester, Brian Hughson’s very grand and old school The Grill at The Dorchester took the plush old décor and brought it up to date, then made the menu into something superb and modern.  The gorgeous grilled meats and fish are at the heart of it and everthing is confident and perfectly sourced.  Oh, and toptable has several special offers to entice you into lunch, dinner or Sunday lunch.
At Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, a pair of Michelin stars marks out another totally brilliant restaurant.  The dark purple décor is glam, the discreet service is professional with a light touch and the food, oh the fooooood.  It’s some of the best fine dining you will ever experience.
Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay at Claridges is currently toptable’s second highest-rated restaurant overall and top hotel dining room and it deserves all the praise it gets.  It’s a glamorous, grownup room, a soaring space that makes you feel incredibly special.  The food under Head Chef Steve Allen is a modern European menu of flavour and finesse.  Even the loos are lovely.

The Ritz

There’s more modern old style glamour at The Landau at The Langham Hotel because super designer David Collins was in charge of the look of the place.  Rare wines are part of the draw here, as is Graham Chatham’s contemporary European cuisine.  A pair of lunchtime set menus for meals ‘at a canter’ guarantees you’ll be out the door in 45 minutes to an hour.  How modern is that?  And we have lunch and dinner special offers here now.
Impressive, romantic old school glamour in a world-famous hotel:  The Ritz Restaurant will transport you to another era where you just may want to stay.  There’s a reason that Ritz rhymes with glitz and it’s evident in every detail from the décor to the table settings.  European cuisine is the thing here served with flourishes and grace.

Asia de Cuba

Want something hip and wow?  Asia de Cuba is a jaw-dropping restaurant designed by Philippe Starck set in the cool St Martins Lane Hotel.  The menu is an exciting fusion of Asian and Latin American cuisine inspired by Old Havana, served family-style at supper or in pre-theatre bento boxes.
Or is ethnic more your bag?  Nahm in the Halkin Hotel is Europe’s very first Michelin starred thai restaurant and it is really fab.  It’s stylish and chic with antiqued gold pillars set against simple wood panelling.  Chef David Thompson artfully concocts Thai cuisine with a deft hand, and there’s also a street food-based lunch menu – genius.
Bar Boulud, one of the most exciting new restaurants in town, is found in the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge (it has its own entrance though) and is the creation of triple Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud.  It’s charming and modern and the signature dish at lunchtime is the best hamburger you’ll ever eat.
The simple, smart, stylish Refuel in the Soho Hotel is another of the new brand of superb hotel dining rooms that are comfortable and stylishly modern and serve less-than-eyewateringly-expensive meals of extremely high quality.  Especially if you take advantage of our current special offers.

Bistrot Bruno Loubet

Bistrot Bruno Loubet is another hot modern restaurant that’s actually a hotel dining room, in this case, The Zetter in Clerkenwell.  With lovely views over St Johns Square and a global sensibility, this restaurant is an icon of 21st century hotel dining.
Have we convinced you?  Maybe that’s because we haven’t even mentioned the superb Apsleys – A Heinz Beck Restaurant at the fabulous Lanesborough Hotel, or longtime favourite Brasserie Roux at the Sofitel St James’s or any of the Andaz Hotel’s super restaurants like 1901 at Andaz or Indigo at One Aldwych.
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