‘They were the breeding grounds for gastronomic greatness: the grand hotel kitchen was the fiercely beating heart of high-end eating,’ says Tom Parker-Bowles. ‘Their patron saint was, of course, Auguste Escoffier, the culinary titan. Alongside Cesar Ritz, he introduced brigade de cuisine at The Savoy, and went on to wow at The Ritz in Paris, before returning to London and the Carlton Hotel.
‘Today, the brigades might have slimmed down, but many of the world’s most famous chefs are still happily residing in London’s grandest hotels. Marco Pierre White may have left The Oak Room at Le Meridien Piccadilly at the peak of his Michelin-starred magnificence, and Gordon Ramsay checked out of Claridge’s last year, but Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has a heady three Michelin stars, while Marcus Wareing’s eponymous place, Marcus, at The Berkeley has two, alongside Hélène Darroze at The Connaught and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental. One starrers are represented by the likes of Fera at Claridge’s, Galvin at Windows, Alyn Williams at The Westbury and Outlaw’s at The Capital.’
But is it all about the Michelin stars? Here are our 14 favourite London hotel restaurants, stars or none…
1 Great Northern Hotel, King’s Cross
Not one, not two, but three wonderful restaurants make this a stand-out in the King’s Cross revolution. Mark Sargeant creates the menus at Plum & Spilt Milk, GNH Bar and Kiosk – and we love them all.
King’s Cross Station, Pancras Road N1C 4TB; 020 3388 0800; gnhlondon.com
2 South Place, The City
More double your money as this City hotel is home to the laid-back 3 South Place and terrific Angler, the Michelin-starred seafood restaurant with a menu by Executive Chef Tony Fleming.
3 South Place EC2M 2AF; 020 3503 0000; southplacehotel.com
3 The Zetter, Clerkenwell
Bistrot Bruno Loubet gave us many happy nights out, but now it’s all changed – Grain Store Unleashed has literally just opened its doors. Excited? You better believe it.
86-88 Clerkenwell Road EC1M 5RJ; 020 7324 4444; thezetter.com
4 Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington
Not one but two great restaurants can be found at the Royal Garden. There’s Park Terrace, run by Executive Head Chef Steve Munkley and Min Jiang, which serves the best roast duck in London.
2-24 Kensington High Street W8 4PT; 020 7937 8000; royalgardenhotel.co.uk
5 Apero, South Kensington
An all-day brasserie housed in the cellars of The Ampersand Hotel, Apero restaurant focuses on Mediterranean dishes with sharing menus. The kitchen is run by chef Chris Golding, formerly of Galoupet.
2 Harrington Road, South Kensington SW7 3ER; aperorestaurantandbar.com
6 The Laslett Hotel, Notting Hill
It’s presumptuous to recommend a place that has yet to open, but we’re excited by the upcoming launch of The Laslett (estimated July), as it will feature dishes from Sally Clarke on its bar menu.
8 Pembridge Gardens, Notting Hill W2 4DU; thelaslett.co.uk
7 No.11 Cadogan Gardens, Knightsbridge
This hotel, hidden among a sea of red brick buildings, is not easy to find but its restaurant, Tartufo is worth the hunt. Its head chef Manuel Oliveri serves excellent Modern European dishes.
11 Cadogan Gardens, Knightsbridge SW3 2RJ; tartufolondon.co.uk
8 High Road House & Brasserie, Chiswick
A popular French brasserie on the site of the historic Foubert’s Hotel, with Art Deco detailing, a vintage bar and terrace, and 14 hotel rooms if you’re entertaining guests (or if you’re too full to stroll home).
162-170 Chiswick High Road W4 1PR; 020 8742 7474; highroadbrasserie.co.uk
9 Hilton London Syon Park
Like steak in a historic, picturesque setting? Head to Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse, Bar & Grill at Hilton London Syon Park. All beef is aged for 28 days and there’s an impressive wine list too.
Syon Park TW8 8JF; 020 7870 7777; londonsyonpark.com
10 Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Wimbledon
Cannizaro House has long been a resident favourite and now it’s owned by Hotel du Vin & Bistro. Do check out the new restaurant and admire the beautiful setting with views over Cannizaro Park.
Cannizaro House, West Side Common SW19 4UE; 03300 240 706; hotelduvin.com
11 The Windmill, Clapham
Clapham Common’s very own hotel, The Windmill, prides itself on its British menu. With beef from Exmoor National Park, as well as British vegetables, it offers top class pub favourites (and a bed for the night).
Clapham Common, South Side SW4 9DE; 020 8673 4578; windmillclapham.co.uk
12 Bingham Hotel, Richmond
Boutique hotel the Bingham’s kitchen is known for creating seasonal, British cuisine using sustainable, locally sourced ingredients. The stylish dining room has an enviable Richmond riverside location.
61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 6UT; 020 8940 0902; thebingham.co.uk
13 Tulse Hill Hotel, Tulse Hill
This 19th century public house is barely recognisable after an extensive refurbishment in early 2015. The front of the building lends itself to a contemporary pub, while the rear houses an excellent restaurant serving modern British dishes with exotic influences. There are also nine beautifully appointed hotel rooms upstairs, all with bespoke en suite bathrooms.
150 Norwood Road, Tulse Hill SE24 9AY; 020 8671 7499; tulsehillhotel.com
14 The Greenwich Hotel, Greenwich
This beautiful boutique hotel is home to the Oasis 01 Restaurant – a restored firearms shooting gallery that features a live projector showing live images of the London Skyline from the high resolution rooftop camera. The locally sourced ingredients are the freshest available, changing seasonally and cooked to perfection by talented chefs.
Catherine Grove, Greenwich SE10 8FR 020 8469 4440; thegreenwichlondon.com