Michelin quality restaurants generally come with an equally starry pricetag, putting them strictly in the special occasion box. But from time to time, we spot a deal that means it’s thrillingly possible to satiate champagne tastes with a lemonade budget. Here’s our pick of the not-to-be-missed offers, meaning you can enjoy an award winning lunch for a relative pittance.
Galvin at Windows
The views alone at this high rise Park Lane restaurant are enough to make any Londoner’s pulse quicken, but add in Michelin-starred food like Tart Fine Provençale, Mothais sur feuille and San Marzano tomato, plus the dulcet tones of Maitre’D Fred Sirieix (Channel 4’s First Dates), and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The standard set lunch is a pretty good deal alone, but book through Travelzoo and thirty English pounds buys you a starter, main and pudding from the daily changing Menu du Jour, and a cocktail. We’ll have a Matcha G&T, please.
Smart Fitzrovia eatery Picture has just opened a Marylebone branch that promises to live up to the modern European excellence seen at its forbearer. With head chefs Alan Christie and Colin Kelly hailing from Michelin starred Arbutus (sadly now closed), their set lunch menu is a steal for three or four courses of artistic seasonal delights.
Think ravioli of caramelised onion, peas, broad beans and lettuce or hake brandade, smoked haddock, hispi cabbage and red onion – menu changes daily.
Picture Marylebone, 19 New Cavendish Street, W1G 9TZ. Deal: three courses for £22 / Four courses for £25 at Picture Marylebone
Southern Italian restaurant L’Anima on the edge of Shoreditch and the City is renowned for its upmarket pasta, seafood and authentically sourced ingredients from Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia.
With mains firmly in the upper twenties all the way up to £36.50 for the excellent sounding marinated black cod in prosecco and paprika served with palourde clams, normally a lunchtime seat here would be well out of our price zone. Luckily OpenTable have bagged a bargainous two courses for £35 (or three for £40) when you book through them and pre-order.
It doesn’t get much glitzier than The Ritz, so for a real showstopper lunch you could do worse than treat yourself and a – special – friend to three courses at this Piccadilly old-timer courtesy of Lastminute.com. Executive chef John Williams MBE cooks up palace-style favourites like Norfolk Black Leg Chicken with pumpkin, salsify and jus gras; hen’s egg with mushrooms, wild herbs and pecorino, and banana soufflé with rum ice cream all served in the most opulent surroundings in W1.
Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill
London’s most shouty celebrity chef does a spectacular line in sushi, sashimi, nigiri and other raw Japanese goodies at his chain of three Maze Grills. You’d be a fool not to follow these up with some of the native and rare breed steaks he’s come to be known for too.
Sip on champagne then end your meal with a sharing dessert like monkey bread with pecans and vanilla ice cream, smug in the knowledge you’ve paid a fraction of the price of your fellow diners.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most lauded chefs, and his restaurant at the impossibly glamorous Dorchester Hotel is exactly what you would expect it to be: classy, elegant and the perfect scene for such refined, classic French cooking.
Three courses of such exceptional food would normally be upwards of £90, but if you book the special Lunch Hour menu you can enjoy watercress veloute with frog’s legs, roasted quail with pine nuts and olives and some delicious Vacherin (to name just some of the menu) along with a choice of wines for two thirds of the price.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA. Deal: Three courses and two glasses of wine for £60
French-born chef Claude Bosi is renowned for his impeccable fine Parisian style food married with cutting edge, contemporary techniques, flavours and ingredients — a combination which is clearly evident at two Michelin starred Hibiscus in Mayfair.
You may have seen his experimental, pared back stylings on BBC’s Masterchef where the finalists are often put through their paces. Head over to OpenTable who are offering an incredible three courses from a set menu, followed by coffee for the frankly unbelievable price of £35.
Soft launches are an ideal way to sample some gastronomic treats that would normally be way over budget, but they are often hard to track down. Thank us later, because we’ve heard on the grapevine that Ormer Mayfair will be offering half price food for lunch from 23 August up to its official opening date of 20 September, allowing you to tuck in to Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin’s dishes celebrating British heritage at rock bottom prices.
Try scallops from the Channel Islands or sweet Jersey lobster ravioli in a crab and lemongrass bisque paired with English sparkling wines, but book soon – the evening slots have already all gone.
Fera at Claridge’s
Simon Rogan is one of the country’s most celebrated chefs, and his dining room at Claridge’s is consistently booked up despite the sky high prices (a roasted and raw scallop with cucumber, buckwheat and truffle starter for £21, anyone?).
However, OpenTable is currently hosting a deal for three snacks (usually £10), three imaginative and no doubt beautiful courses and even throwing in a perfectly chilled glass of champagne for the actually accessible price of £45. Not bad.
Fera at Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HR. Deal: Three snacks, three courses and champagne for £41