18 OF LONDON’S BEST COUNTRY-INSPIRED RESTAURANTS
1 The Windsor Castle, Kensington
With its hanging plants, old-fashioned monochrome front and friendly staff, The Windsor Castle feels like it just crash landed in from the Lake District, and thankfully, it does lovely upmarket pub food too.
114 Campden Hill Road, Kensington W8 7AR; thewindsorcastlekensington.co.uk
2 The Ivy Chelsea Garden
The clue is in the name here. With its lush foliage surrounding the outdoor dining area, this is arguably one of the most beautiful restaurants in London; a match for the most stunning of country gardens.
197 King’s Road SW3 5EQ; 020 3301 0300; theivychelseagarden.com
3 Clarke’s, Kensington
Few chefs are as passionate and picky about the source of their ingredients than Sally Clarke. Her small W8 restaurant and shop transports its herbs and vegetables from organic suppliers in South East England.
124 Kensington Church Street W8 4BH; 020 7221 9225; sallyclarke.com
4 Bumpkin, Chelsea
Always a reliable spot for lunch, Bumpkin’s Chelsea outpost plates up hearty and upmarket British country meals that change with the seasons. Try the Dingley Dell pork belly slow roasted with Royal Gala apple.
119 Sydney Street SW3 6NR; 020 3730 9344; bumpkinuk.com
5 Tramshed, Shoreditch
Perhaps it doesn’t quite have the same view as his Dorset restaurant, but this Rivington Street favourite shows Mark Hix at his best. Chicken and steak, done very well indeed. Make sure you pop into the gallery too.
32 Rivington Street EC2A 3LX; 020 7749 0478; chickenandsteak.co.uk
6 Vintage Salt, Islington
Personally, fish and chips reminds us of the great old British seaside, but the fact Vintage Salt’s three London restaurants have a Cornish village look and feel to them means this gets our countryside in the city vote.
189 Upper Street N1 1RQ; 020 3227 0979; vintagesalt.co.uk
7 Daylesford, Westbourne Grove
This Notting Hill stalwart is about as close as you can get to a countryside restaurant without booking a ticket out of the city. Ingredients are delivered straight to the café from the Daylesford farm in Gloucestershire.
208-212 Westbourne Grove W11 2RH; daylesford.com
8 Urban Meadow, Bayswater
Doubling up as a restaurant/café, Urban Meadow’s focus is on fresh British ingredients, serving up tapas-style ‘grazing’ dishes. And the interior, designed almost like a botanical gardens, makes for a beautiful lunch spot.
150 Bayswater W2 4RT; 020 7792 7066; urbanmeadowcafe.com
9 Paradise by way of Kensal Green
With a love for all things fresh and green, Head Chef at Paradise Cat Ashton creates fabulous courses where vegetables have a big part to play. Don’t miss her special game season menus, hot right now.
19 Kilburn Lane W10 4AE; 020 8969 0098; theparadise.co.uk
10 Annie’s, Chiswick
There is much to recommend about Chiswick’s legendary restaurant. In addition to its crowd-pleasing dishes and hearty portions, the elegant interior resembles a chic country hotel with, antique-style mirrors and velvet curtains.
162 Thames Road, Chiswick W4 3QS; 020 8994 9080; anniesrestaurant.co.uk
11 The Harwood Arms, Fulham
London’s only Michelin-starred pub is also Fulham’s rural haven, which serves game and wild food. The airy interior is relaxed and inviting but the star of the show is undoubtedly the exceptional British produce.
Walham Grove, Fulham SW6 1QP; 020 7386 1847; harwoodarms.com
12 Fox and Grapes, Wimbledon
The Fox and Grapes is one of Wimbledon’s best gastropubs and its location on the Common has a wonderful rural feel, complete with oak-beamed ceilings and dog walkers.
9 Camp Road, Wimbledon Common SW19 4UN; 020 8619 1300; foxandgrapeswimbledon.co.uk
13 The Rookery, Clapham
With its bare brick walls, dark-wood furniture and cosy alcoves, The Rookery could easily be mistaken for a country pub on a cold winter’s day. The seasonal menu is excellent as is the quality selection of wine and ales.
69 Clapham Common South Side SW4 9DA 020 8673 9162; therookeryclapham.co.uk
14 Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
The verdant, rustic setting of Petersham’s Nurseries is soothing to the soul, even when it’s raining outside. You are surrounded by palm trees, ferns and flowers. The menu is pricey but the food is tasty.
Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; 020 8940 5230; petershamnurseries.com
15 The White Swan, Twickenham
The charming setting of this 17th-century Twickenham pub makes it an excellent Sunday lunch choice. During the winter months, it’s a picture of traditionality. Grab a seat by the log fire and soak up the convivial atmosphere.
Riverside, Twickenham TW1 3DN; 020 8744 2951; whiteswantwickenham.co.uk
16 Chapters, Blackheath & Chapter One, Locksbottom
Andy McLeish, Chef Patron of Chapters in Blackheath and Chapter One in Locksbottom, loves autumnal flavours. Andy is so passionate about food provenance that he’s also a keen hunter, often shooting, butchering and cooking up his own kills at Chapter One. The menu in Blackheath is a little less game-ho, but you’ll still find a good roasted haunch of venison.
43-45 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath Village SE3 OTJ; chaptersrestaurants.com
17 Hare & Billet, Blackheath
The Hare & Billet embraces fresh, seasonal, rustic-style British cuisine with lots of lovely country comforts like pies and slow cooking delights. Plus, with the heath right on the pub’s doorstep, you might as well be in the countryside.
1A Hare & Billet Road, Blackheath SE3 0QJ; 020 8852 2352; hareandbillet.com
18 Pedler, Peckham
A little bit of the countryside in Peckham? Why yes. Chef G is a slave to the seasons, whipping up a fantastic, creative menu from the best his suppliers have in that day. He’s a big lover of game, too, so you know where to head this autumn for venison and grouse.
58 Peckham Rye SE15 4JR; 020 3030 5015; pedlerpeckhamrye.com