three great places - Mayfair
Written by Craig Butcher
New York and Paris admit it: London has the most vibrant dining scene on the planet right now. This cosmopolitan capital wows with world-class dining experiences, whatever your expectations.
Galvin at Windows
Perched atop a 28-storey hotel on Park Lane, overlooking the greenery of Hyde Park, take in the panoramic views of London’s skyline. Or peer into the Queen’s back garden where she may be walking the corgis the restaurant is bang opposite the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
Tables are tiered so (almost) everyone gets a great view, and everyone gets the same outstanding French-leaning modern European cuisine from head chef Andre Garrett.
Expect a well-considered variety of seasonally changing set menus catering for most wallets, well-priced wines by the glass, and a multitude of well-sourced British regional ingredients giving a flavour of the rest of the UK.
Food at this Michelin-starred restaurant is more than a match for the incredible views, and the impeccable service from maître d’ Fred Siriex and co. is legendary.
Burger & Lobster
It is possible to eat well and affordably in the upmarket Mayfair district. Within handy distance of Piccadilly and Regent Street, this former pub is now a lively and accessible tale of two halves.
Offering just burgers, lobster, and lobster rolls – all at surprisingly affordable prices, the menu is easily navigated no matter how bad your jet lag. At two ends of the dining scale, like London itself, the refined lobster jostles for attention alongside the honest-to-goodness burger. Both are equally worthy of your time.
There’s a small but well-crafted supporting cast in the cocktail list, ample side dishes, and a lively, convivial atmosphere that has locals coming back for more.
This – the original – has spawned three more crustacean-loving sister restaurants elsewhere in London. Note there is a no-reservations policy.
English Tea Room at Browns Hotel
Celebrating its 175th anniversary, this refined yet modern hotel – just off the twin shopping districts of New Bond Street and Savile Row – is famously host to one of the best afternoon teas anywhere in England. This in a country that takes its tea extremely seriously indeed.
The ambience is luxurious but relaxed, the wood-panelled décor classically elegant but modern and contemporary. Also home to the HIX Mayfair restaurant and the superb Donovan Bar, you could easily spend noon until night here.
But with 17 teas on offer from a tea sommelier, a choice of classic afternoon tea or their healthy ‘tea-tox’, all replenished at your whim, why would you go anywhere else?
Bookings are highly recommended for one of three set afternoon tea sessions, each around 90 minutes.
Galvin at windows
Burger & Lobster
English Tea rooms at Browns Hotel