Discover the most exclusive eateries in the British capital.
Russian restaurateur, Leonid Shutov, was originally slated to create a lavish 250-seat restaurant, costing £15 million, called Biblioteka serving “English classics and Russian delicacies” 'with the "greatest wine list in London", in St James’s Street. However, plans fell through. Shutov has instead opened a sibling restaurant to his Soho establishment, in the City of London's Leadenhall Building. The urban-style restaurant (costing £25 million) takes over the entire third level and houses several lavish dining rooms and private rooms and fashioned after the ‘gondola of a zeppelin'. The kitchens are headed up by French Michelin starred chef Eric Chavot serving up a classic French country-style menu centred around seasonal meat, fish and vegetables dishes cooked over an open flame or smoked in-house but tweaked 'a la Chavot'.
Hide is a Michelin starred restaurant set over three floors, connected by an incredible carved wood spiral staircase - each with a discreet and dramatic identity - and taking inspiration from Green Park opposite. The capacious and ambitious Mayfair restaurant (the biggest opening of 2018) is backed by Yevgeny Chichvarkin and Tatiana Fokina of London’s best wine shop, Hedonism Wines and cost a rumoured £20 million to build. The ambition was to create ‘a restaurant like no other’ to be one of the best dining experiences in London, combining immaculately crafted dishes by Michelin star chef, Ollie Dabbous, a world class wine list (there's a 6,500-bin wine list) and a complimentary, magical interiors evoking a sense of wonder and discovery.
Beyond the red doors, in the heart of Mayfair, lies an opulent hideaway - opened by seasoned restauranteur Alan Yau. Originally destined for Ian Schrager's Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, the London location - drenched in opulence - offers a Chinese spirit in a dining room setting that is classic in design (harking back to mid-twentieth century Shanghai) with a 1940-50s fantasy speakeasy feel. Yau is famous for creating spectacular destinations such as Hakkasan and Duck & Rice, but this Mayfair venture outshines even these, being rumoured to cost in the ballpark of £20 million. Nestled on Berkeley Street only a stone‘s throw away from Sexy Fish - is the ideal place for big-money special-occasion dining complete with a Chinese menu designed around separate western-style courses.
The hotspot pairs contemporary cuisine with cutting-edge art. Designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and decorated with expensive art by Damien Hirst, Frank Gehry and Michael Roberts, the look and feel is mid-century glamour and opulent - and rumoured to have cost £15 million to produce. The décor is glamorous and in-your-face flamboyant - with floors of rare Esmeralda onyx marble from Iran, elaborate ceiling panels by Vanity Fair editor Michael Roberts and live coral reef tanks in the private dining area - actually the largest live coral reef tanks in the world. For the food, expect an Asian-inspired menu focused around fish and seafood.
Housed in an 18th-century townhouse (formerly the London atelier of Christian Dior) on Mayfair's Conduit Street, Sketch (which opened in 2003) is a London dining emporium and art space like no other, conceived by the restaurateur Mourad Mazouz. Made up of a number of uniquely decorated spaces with provocative interiors - the building houses two eclectic restaurants, two bars, an art gallery and a patisserie. Regarded as one of the world’s most-Instagrammed restaurants - it cost £12 million to renovate from an original budget of just £3m. The Pierre Gagnaire-headed restaurant has retained two Michelin stars since 2012 and has become one of the capital’s most recognisable dining destinations as Mourad commissions notable artists to redesign its interior every 18 months or so.