Have only a day to spare in the British capital? Although London has an overwhelmingly large list of great things to see and do, we at least got you covered in terms of top spots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as one of London’s hottest, newest ‘gourmet hotels’ to lay your head.
Enjoy a piece of Paris on your London visit in this new boutique hotel by The Experimental Group, the hip hospitality collective responsible for revered cocktail and dining hangouts in London, New York, Ibiza, and the French capital. Housed in a pair of adjoined Victorian townhouses just steps from the famous Covent Garden piazza, the French group’s first London hotel hosts 18 rooms oozing with mid-century chic style, with curvy brass lamps, velvet chairs, and Instagram-ready marble bathrooms that will delight any design buff. Mini-bars – stocked with a vast, impressive range of spirits and cocktail accompaniments like blanc et blancs champagne, craft lemonade, rare cognac, and even housemade cocktails – is telling of the Experimental brand’s devotion to world-class drinking.
This endlessly popular Indian cuisine chain – which was twice named as United Kingdom’s Best Place To Eat according to Yelp users – brings Bombay flair to Britain. The sumptuous-yet-cheap Covent Garden location is, admittedly, rammed during dinner time, so head to breakfast instead. That way, you won’t miss out on what is perhaps Dishoom’s finest creation: the Bacon Naan Roll. For £5.50, you’ll receive folded, perfectly-charred naan bread wrapped with streaky bacon, ingeniously dry-cured with rock salt and Demerara sugar. Pair the famous dish with a glass of comforting House Chai and you’ve completed a London dining rite of passage.
Like Dishoom, Duddell’s brings flavors of Asia to London, this time by way of a two-Michelin star restaurant from Hong Kong. The flagship opened their first overseas import in London in late 2017 and was an instant hit for upscale dim sum diners. The A-list dish here is the Peking Duck (served half or whole), with its crispy, perfectly-lacquered skin and tender meat cut tableside, and served with a host of gourmet condiments. There’s sweet irony in the fact that the Cantonese restaurant is housed in a former fifteenth century church; once you taste delectable dim sum treats like prawn and crispy beancurd cheung fun, scallop dumpling, fish and prawn dumpling, and truffle spring roll, you’ll be moved to lift your hands in devotion.
Take it back to the hotel for dinner in one of the Covent Garden neighborhood’s hottest restaurants, helmed by acclaimed British chef Ollie Dabbous (his eponymous London restaurant, now closed, received a Michelin star). The intimate and velvety ground floor dining area plays serves a seasonal menu with an occasional French touch. Depending on the month, one might try the likes of barbecued quail with fenugreek, freekeh, and toasted almonds; roast goose breast with salsify, miso, and birch sap; or salmon tartare with cucumber, kohlrabi and lovage. Whatever you do, stay for dessert and try the freshly baked madeleines with Chantilly cream (order 15 minutes in advance). The small basket of warm, fluffy, buttery sponge cakes is the most-favorited dish among many Henrietta guests, including myself, and your sweet tastebuds will forever thank you.
The meals and hotel that are the subject of this review were provided at no cost to the contributor.