London's Most Beautiful Restaurants

London's Most Beautiful Restaurants
Image by Norma, Fitzrovia.

Our pick of some of London's loveliest dining rooms.

Things change fast in a time of coronavirus — check the restaurant's websites and social media for the most up to date opening plans.

Norma, Fitzrovia

A Fitzrovia townhouse that's had a very literal glow-up, Ben Tish's latest restaurant is a golden-lit, burnished-metal dream of a date night. Moorish tiling, velvet booths and curved archways — along with some amazing aubergine-tomato-citrus-salted cheese smells curling through the air — make this place maybe the nearest thing you can get in a London winter to a Sicilian summer evening. Read our review here.  

Norma, Fitzrovia

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Hanar, Peckham

Hanar, Peckham. Image by Lydia Manch.

Hidden down an alley, behind a fruit stall, Hanar sits half underneath a railway arch, half spilling out in a corrugated metal and scaffolding kind-of-terrace structure into the car park. Graffiti from the car park bleeds through the clouded-plastic windows in a dreamy, colourful haze. The inside's warm, cushioned, and candlelit. It's also BYO, spectacularly good at kibbeh and shawarma, and everything smells of za'atar. Just as perfect for romantic liaisons, side by side in a warmly lit alcove, as it is for big group dinners.

Hanar, Peckham

Cafe Van Gogh, Oval

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There's a lot to love about this south London not-for-profit. Not least the remit, which has them channeling all their revenue back into community projects. Likewise the food, with hearty, soul-warming all-vegan cooking at ridiculously low prices. Like, comedy double-take low for this food. But on top of that, it's a beauty — walls scattered with chaotically hung Van Gogh prints, and a Starry Nights-inspired ceiling mural arching above your seats.

Cafe Van Gogh, Oval

Stork, Mayfair

Stork, Mayfair. Image by Lydia Manch.

Gleaming dark wooden panelling, warm, sculptural lighting, and texturally-luxe materials everywhere — aesthetics are front and centre at Stork, with the Pan-African menu echoed by the art collection curated by BetterShared, currently bringing together artworks from West and South Africa and the African diaspora. In other hands that could be solemnly high-concept, but Stork's one of those places where you want to stroke every piece of furniture, own every piece of lighting, and settle into the booths for hours at a time — with food just as comforting-but-decadent as the decor.

Stork, Mayfair

Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia

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Cosiest way to start the week 🔥 #circolove

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Like its sister restaurants from Big Mamma Group — Gloria in Shoreditch and Ave Mario in Covent Garden — Circolo Popolare's bringing a lot of Seventies hyper-maximalism to Fitzrovia. Crammed with fairy lights and trailing plants, Raffaella Carrà on the playlist and flaming cocktails at the bar, this is a rowdy house party of a restaurant that sounds like Too Much, but for a chaotic good time is just about perfect. Bellissimo.

Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia

Brasserie Zédel, Piccadilly

Image by Lydia Manch.

Hard to beat Zédel for relaxed lavishness. The huge dining room's a grand brasserie beauty — all high ceilings, gilded marble columns, and towering mirrors, with live (loud) jazz most evenings. Feels a bit rowdy despite the distancing measures, intimate despite the rowdiness, and utterly escapist despite being in the middle of zone 1.

There's a surprisingly beautifully-priced menu of French classics to go with the beautiful art deco interior — a prix fixe menu with two (great) courses for £11, and carafes of equally great house wine at reasonable prices.

Brasserie Zédel, Piccadilly

Crocker's Folly, St John's Wood

It's alright, this gastropub. You know, if you're into that whole spectacularly ornate, Grade II listed building thing? If you're into somewhere the chandelier light bounces off the high windows and gilded mirrors, and turns to a dull glow on the dark wood of the walls and the heavy leather furnishings, you could do worse than this pocket of splendour, a few streets away from Lord's cricket ground.

Crocker's Folly, St John's Wood

Campania, Columbia Road

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Relatively hard to find, even harder to leave after — this small Italian restaurant is less about grandeur, and more about osteria-in-a-small-Italian-seaside-town, slightly ramshackle loveliness. Down a narrow Bethnal Green side street, spilling out onto the pavement it's beautiful inside and out in an unassuming, faded wood, bare bulbs and candlelit glow sort of way.

Campania, Columbia Road  

Sessions Art Club, Farringdon

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With immaculate timing, SAC opened in the second half of 2021 and slid straight onto the wishlist of everybody craving some big, brazenly grandiose escapism post-lockdown. Taking over the judges's dining room of the Old Sessions House courthouse — a late 18th century, grade II listed building — the bar-restaurant-performance venue comes with huge, art deco windows, flickering candlelight, tumbling greenery and roughed-up walls, and feels like a newly-reclaimed space: alluringly, decadently clandestine rather than oppressively regal.

Sessions Art Club, Farringdon

Victory Mansion, Dalston

Image by Victory Mansion, Stoke Newington.

Victory Mansion's good-looking like your cool friend's living room's good-looking — just about within reach, if you started being good at collecting interesting objets d'art and scraps of palm-fronded wallpaper. Or started investing in art deco lacquer and dark wood and dark green leather furnishings. You'd also have to get great at making dystopian-themed cocktails and good bar snacks. So much easier to just accept you're not going to do any of that, and start going to Victory Mansion instead.

Victory Mansion, Dalston

Last Updated 01 February 2022