Garments and gourmets: Where to eat at London’s top department stores

These luxury fashion emporiums are particularly well equipped in keeping London’s shoppers fed and watered.

Selfridges, Oxford Street
Selfridges: A department store with restaurants, or a restaurant arcade with shops? This is only debatable due to its score of excellent eating and drinking options. These include European cuisine under a giant Pegasus at Brasserie of Light; Alto by San Carlo’s rooftop pastas, burrata and croquettes; romance and Champagne abound at Aubaine; and the living embodiment of the Hemsley sisters’ wholesome ethos towards food at Hemsley + Hemsley.

Fortum & Mason, Piccadilly
Fortnum’s is over 300 years old and, despite being a cathedral of shopping, its restaurant 45 Jermyn St. is arguably its highlight. Even the toasties are suspected to have descended ‘from heaven’, according to food critic Marina O’Loughlin. Meanwhile, the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon helps fuel Britain’s obsession – and those wanting to experience it – for finger sandwiches, tea, and freshly baked scones.

Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge
Harvey Nichols is all about luxury, even when the conversation turns to food and restaurants. The likes of Zelman Meats, considered to dish up the ultimate steak, and Burger & Lobster, which brings together two of the world’s most popular edible indulgences, are a case in point. For something a little lighter, head to the Fifth Floor Café for a Caesar salad or sea bass with beurre noisette.

Burberry, Regent Street
At Thomas’s – Burberry’s in-store restaurant – expect to find a few items as British as the brand’s famous check pattern. There’s afternoon tea. There’s shepherd’s pie. There’s porridge and fruit compote in the mornings. But the flag’s hoisted even higher with teacakes and crumpets toasted over the AGA. As country folk may know, no other toast compares.

Harrods, Knightsbridge
Another option for those with a fondness for choice, legendary department store Harrods houses 19 bars, restaurants, and cafes – from their especially popular Tea Rooms, right through to the beautifully designed Dining Hall featuring pasta, seafood, and sushi bars. There’s plenty of variety in between, mind: traditional Chinese fare from Chai Wu; oysters, caviar, and bubbly at the Champagne Terrace; and dim sum from Bao Kitchen, for instance.

Fenwick, New Bond Street
Bond Street Kitchen, at Fenwick, is designed to resonate with the Mayfair crowd. Expect a refined sort of dining – one with lobster croque monsieurs, Niçoise salads, and crème caramels. Aside from the fact it shuts before dinner, the restaurant has most bases covered, from morning eggs to afternoon tea.

Liberty, Regent Street
Straight out of the early 1900s, Liberty still shares much in common with the time of its founder, Arthur Liberty. The restaurant, also named after him, is no different. Stocked with produce from their mini British food hall, Arthur’s has a pretty wide-ranging menu, with special attention paid to British home comforts – smoked chicken sandwiches, lemon curd with shortbread, and so on.

This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.