Foodies' favourites: Britain's top chefs and restaurateurs reveal where they dine out

We asked a selection to reveal their favourite eateries, from local gems to high-end hang-outs

Saturday 13 November 2010 01:00

Russell Norman, owner, Polpetto


This restaurant in south-east London serves Turkish food with authentic flavours and is probably cheaper than buying the ingredients and cooking yourself. Try the amazing pide.

163 Bromley Road, London SE6 (020-8697 4545)

Jade Garden

I was taken to Jade Garden recently and love it. There are ridiculously complicated rules for minimum ordering at certain times, but the dim sum is as good as anywhere I know.

15 Wardour Street, London W1 (020-7437 5065)


Deep in zone 2, this is a family-run Japanese restaurant of surprising quality. Saba and chu toro are the stand-out sashimi. Not cheap, though.

33B Walm Lane, London NW2 (020-8459 2971)


I would eat here every day if I could. Exceptionally springy udon noodles, wonderful broths and daily specials. No reservations – expect to queue.

49 Frith Street, London W1 (020-7434 4463)


In another life I lived in Sunderland and loved going to this time machine of a restaurant where very little has changed since the Fifties. Proper school-dinners-style food, served by friendly female staff in lace pinnies.

30 Bridge Street, Sunderland (0191 567 3004)

Russell Norman worked at Caprice Holdings before opening Polpo in 2009 and Polpetto in August this year. Polpetto, Upstairs at the French House, 49 Dean Street, London W1 (020-7734 1969)

Giorgio Locatelli, owner and head chef, Locanda Locatelli


One of my favourite local restaurants is Market. My daughter has allergies and they can always feed us. They also do a great steak and chips.

43 Parkway, London NW1 (020-7267 9700)

Ranoush Juice

When me and the boys from the restaurant are working late, we’ll go to this great late-night restaurant and have chicken shawarmas. We also like nearby Beirut Express.

43 Edgware Road, London W2 (020-7723 5929)

St John Bar & Restaurant

I always eat here with my wife – it’s special because it’s where we ate when we got married. The best dish: roast bone marrow with parsley salad.

26 St John Street, London EC1 (020-7251 0848)


The other place I take my wife – especially if she’s giving me a hard time! – is Scott’s in Mayfair. I love the fact that it serves fantastic and straightforward fish dishes and has the sort of service you don’t often get in London. A favourite pudding of mine is popcorn ice-cream with chocolate sauce.

20 Mount Street, London W1 (020-7495 7309)


Another of my favourites is Nobu, which is always good. The head chef there is Mark Edwards, who cooks delicious dishes such as scallops tiradito, which I love.

19 Old Park Lane, London W1 (020-7447 4747)

Giorgio Locatelli won a Michelin star for Locanda Locatelli - 8 Seymour Street, London W1 (020-7935 9088)

Paul Kitching, owner and head chef, 21212


This restaurant is the best in London and chef Claude Bosi is so good, you hate him! One absolute dream of a dish that I’ve had there was polenta with Parmesan, topped with ludicrous amounts of fresh, shaved white truffle.

29 Maddox Street, London W1 (020-7629 2999)

Cafe 21

The food here is wonderful, comforting bistro/brasserie food, and the clean, sharp cooking is down to a good Geordie friend of mine, Terry Laybourne. Try the amazing hot cheese and spinach soufflé.

1 Trinity Gardens, Broad Chare, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (0191 2220755)

Betty’s Tea Rooms

Ah, Betty’s… This cross between a traditional tea room and a Swiss café serves amazing egg-mayo sandwiches, Swiss alpine macaroni, nice “Fat Rascals” and the perfect vanilla slice.

1 Parliament Street, Harrogate, N Yorkshire (01423 814070) and branches – see


This place is nutty, but the food is great. There are lots of comforting classics on the menu, such as haggis and mince and tatties.

64 Albion Street, Glasgow (0141 552 6813)

Burger King

Oh come on, on a split-shift from my restaurant, BK is the most exciting thing for me. Say what you want, but I love the whole “burger thing”, especially BK’s Double Whopper Deluxe. There, now I’ve said it – kill me.

118 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland (0131 557 4575) and throughout the UK

Paul Kitching’s 21212 received a Michelin Star earlier this year. 21212, 3 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh (0845 222 1212)

Michel Roux, owner and head chef, Le Gavroche

The Regency Café

Probably the best old-style café in London – serving the perfect mug of tea, real brewed coffee, a good bacon sarnie, with a choice of breads and service with a smile.

17-19 Regency Street, London SW1 (020-7821 6596)

The Three Fishes

This pub in Lancashire serves perfectly cooked, comforting pies and hotpots in very comfortable surroundings. Nigel Haworth’s magic touch and passion for local produce is a real pleasure.

Mitton Road, Lancashire (01254 826888)

C&R Café Restaurant

The portions at this Malaysian restaurant are always generous and the flavours are authentic – a winning combination, in my opinion. As the place is always packed, I’m sure that the other customers agree, too.

4 Rupert Court, London W1 (020-7434 1128)


This is a local favourite of mine and serves delicious sushi and authentic Japanese dishes, but not at the Mayfair prices that we so often associate with good Japanese food.

5-7 Voltaire Road, London SW4 (020-7978 1610)


Run by Adam Byatt, the more than capable chef-patron. Trinity serves great food at good prices. My wife often goes there for a lunch with the girls.

4 The Polygon, London SW4 (020-7622-1199)

In 1967, Roux opened Le Gavroche, the first UK restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars. 43 Upper Brook Street, London W1 (020-7408 0881)

Jason Atherton, owner, Pollen Street Social

The Fat Delicatessen

This is my favourite place in south-west London’s Balham, where I live. It’s a deli-bistro selling a great mix of Spanish and Italian food. The fresh pasta is amazing, and they also sell the best sausage sandwich in town.

7 Chestnut Grove, London SW1 (020-8675 6174)


I love everything about Spanish food and Barrafina specialises in what I consider to be the most authentic tapas you will find in London. My tip: try the tomato bread – it’s better than you’ll find in Spain!

54 Frith Street, London W1 (020-7813 8016)


This is a great, family-run Italian restaurant with a fantastic little bar which attracts the local footballers. My favourite dish is the wild boar orecchiette.

537-541 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield (0114 268 6166)

The Gunby Inn

I was brought up in Skegness and this traditional pub specialises in fantastic home cooking – the mixed grill, in particular, is delicious. It shines out like a beacon in the barren wasteland that is the restaurant scene in Skegness.

Gunby Corner, Spilsby, Lincolnshire (01754 890 070)


My wife, Irha, is from the Philippines and we love eating at this long-standing Filipino restaurant in Fitzrovia. Try the Lechon Kawali – braised baby pig deep-fried in palm oil.

4 Charlotte Street, London W1 (020-7580 6551)

Jason Atherton was executive chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze before leaving earlier this year. He will open his new restaurant, Pollen Street Social, in Mayfair in January; 8-13 Pollen Street, London W1

Anna Hansen, owner and head chef, The Modern Pantry

Gourmet San

I think this place serves the best no-frills Szechuan meal in London – especially the amazing “tofu century egg and spring onion salad”.

261 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 (020-7729 8388)

Santa Maria

Try the calzone with Neapolitan salami and ricotta at this restaurant with the atmosphere of a real Neapolitan pizzeria. Pasquale, the owner, is super-charming.

15 St Mary’s Road, London W5 (020-8579 1462)

Viet Garden

This favourite local of mine serves Pork Kho – deliciously unctuous slow-cooked pork, with salted duck egg and pickled vegetables. The prices are good; the food is authentic.

207 Liverpool Road, London N1 (020-7700 6040)


I love this relatively recent addition in Exmouth Market – it sells a selection of awesome coffee and there’s also a delicious, constantly changing selection of tapas-style dishes. The service is spot-on, the interior is gorgeous – really cosy and welcoming. What more could you want?

11-13 Exmouth Market, London EC1 (020-7833 8115)

The Wheatsheaf

My favourite dishes at this inn include amazing terrines and warm ginger pudding. You can’t beat the menu for locally-sourced, sustainable produce.

1 Stretton Road, Greetham, Rutland (01572 812 325)

Anna Hansen previously worked at The Providores. She opened The Modern Pantry in 2008; 47-48 St John’s Square, London EC1 (020-7553 9210)

Atul Kochhar, owner and chef-patron, Benares, Vatika, Ananda, Colony and Azura

Saravana Bhavan

I am a sucker for south-Indian cuisine and this unpretentious place is the location for our family eating-out pilgrimage at least once a month. The dosa (Indian rice pancakes) are my favourite.

403 Alexandra Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex (020-8869 9966)


This is a lovely, small, family-run Malaysian restaurant near Paddington. I love the bold flavours of spices and the cooking is really home-style. Try the Ayam Mesal Mara – a deliciously spicy chicken curry with tomatoes.

41 Craven Road, London W2 (020-7723 6955)

Restaurant Sat Bains

I have always loved the food here. It’s inspiring, seasonal and sometimes pleasantly shocking. Everything on the menu is brilliant.

Lenton Lane, Nottingham (0115 9866 566)

Busaba Eathai

I always choose the Pad Thai noodles at this fabulous restaurant. I love its authentic flavours and casual ambience, which evoke memories of Thailand’s bustling street-food scene.

106-110 Wardour Street, London W1 (020-7255 8686)


The quirky décor in this Bombay-style eatery really takes me down memory lane. It reminds me of a Parsi café in Bombay and I really rate the Indian tea.

12 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2 (020-7420 9320)

Atul Kochhar left Mayfair’s Tamarind restaurant in 2002, to start Benares, which earnt him a Michelin star. Benares Restaurant and Bar, 12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1 (020-7629 8886)

Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, owner and head chef, British Larder

The Fish and Chip Shop

The consistently long queues are the best indication that the fish is super-fresh! I collect my cod and chips with extra malt vinegar and lots of salt and walk to the seafront.

226 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk (01728 454 685)

The Ledbury

Chef Brett Graham is a genius – his food is inspirational and innovative. A favourite dish is squid risotto with cauliflower shavings, cauliflower foam, sherry reduction and roasted pine nuts.

127 Ledbury Road, London W11 (020-7792 9090)

Restaurant Sat Bains

Sat’s cooking never disappoints and his kitchen is a dream machine. Each of his dishes is small but packed with amazing flavours. I love the dessert called Sweet Curry – it showcases his humour.

Lenton Lane, Nottingham (0115 986 6566)

The Pipe and Glass Inn

This place feels like home – the welcome is warm and the food is brilliantly cooked. My favourite dish is seared steak and fried-onion sandwich.

8 West End, South Dalton, Beverley, North Humberside (08721 077 077)

Morston Hall

Galton Blackiston is a truly talented chef – and his menu features his own foraged wild mushrooms as well as teal from the local marches. A particular favourite is Norfolk ceps with slow-cooked egg yolk, parsley purée, cep foam and home-cured bacon.

Morston, Holt, Norfolk (01263 741 041)

Read Madalene Bonvini-Hamel’s blog at British Larder, Orford Road, Bromeswell, Suffolk (01394 460 310)

Hywel Jones, executive chef, Lucknam Park

The Fig Tree

This is our favourite restaurant for a family lunch. Great sea views, good location, relaxed and friendly service run by Mike Caplan-Hill, whose aim is to deliver simply cooked, fresh seasonal food at good prices.

The Esplanade, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales (02920 702 512)

The Hardwick

This restaurant is now established as one of Wales’s best, thanks to mega-talented chef-proprietor Stephen Terry. Outstanding food and service.

Old Raglan Road, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire (01873 854 220)

The Shed

A husband and wife team run this harbour-side restaurant in the pretty fishing village of Porthgain. The menu changes daily and specialises in their own locally-caught fish and shellfish. An absolute must when visiting west Wales.

Porthgain, Pembrokeshire (01348 831 518)

The Glasshouse

A favourite of ours when we lived in London. Fantastic produce that’s expertly prepared makes this an extremely popular neighbourhood restaurant.

14 Station Parade, London TW9 (020-8490 6777)

The Bistro

Chef-proprietor Peter Vaughan is an authority on the food scene of Wiltshire and this shines through on the menu at this buzzy little restaurant. Make sure you try the delicious homemade chorizo created by Portuguese chef, Miguel.

7 Little Brittox, Devizes, Wiltshire (01380 859 986)

Hywel Jones is head chef at The Park restaurant, Lucknam Park Hotel, Chippenham, Wiltshire (01225 742777)

Raymond Blanc, chef-patron, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Bistrot Bruno Loubet

Bruno and I go back a long way. His cooking is inspired by his native south-west of France. I love his new place at the Zetter where the food is traditional French with an inventive twist.

St John’s Square, 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1 (020-7324 4455)

28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen

This is a new, exciting wine bar with a large selection of wines by the glass, combined with simple, well-cooked French brasserie-style cuisine.

140 Fetter Lane, London EC4 (020-7242 8877)


I have always been intrigued with South-East Asian cooking and I’m fascinated with how Zuma has created a new take on a traditional Japanese style of dining.

5 Raphael Street, London SW7 (020-7584 1010)

The Fishes

There is nothing better than the Fishes for a long, lazy Sunday lunch. I love sitting outside in the summer with a simple fish dish, a glass of wine and my fiancée, Natalia.

North Hinksey Village, Oxford (01865 249 796)

The Sir Charles Napier

The Sir Charles Napier is a restaurant with a charm that is difficult to describe. It’s a romantic place to take a loved one – one favourite dish is their summer truffle risotto.

Sprigg’s Alley, Chinnor, Oxon (01494 483 011)

Raymond Blanc is the owner and chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Church Road, Great Milton, Oxford (01844 278 881)

Stevie Parle, head chef, The Dock Kitchen


I love this Persian Restaurant near our houseboat. We always go for the mezze to share and don’t have main courses.

217 King Street, London W6 (020-8563 7007)

Violet Cakes

A lovely spot for a delicious savoury tart and a piece of cake. Run by my friend and excellent baker Claire ‘Cakes’ Ptak. They have occasional secret supper clubs which are great, too.

47 Wilton Way, London E8 (020-7275 8360)

Railroad Café

A lovely café/restaurant, with a brilliant little menu (lots of dishes nicked from me – it’s run by my sister). They often have gigs in the basement at night.

120-122 Morning Lane, London E9

The Moroccan stall outside Café Oporto on the Golborne Road

This little stall makes delicious soups, sardine sandwiches and sometimes tagines. Only open during the day and not there on a Thursday.

Golborne Road, London W10

No 2 Pound Street

A great little wine bar with a St John feel. Delicious small plates of food.

Wendover, Buckinghamshire (01296 585 022)

Stevie Parle has worked in The River Café, Moro and Petersham Nurseries, as well as The Spotted Pig in New York and Salt in Tokyo. Teamed with his River Café co-chef, Joseph Trivelli, Stevie created The Moveable Kitchen, once- or twice-monthly secret supper parties that move about London, and in 2009 they opened The Dock Kitchen, Portobello Docks, 344/342 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 (020-8962 1610)

Dermot O’Leary, co-owner, Fishy Fishy

The Crown

This fantastic pub is right opposite The Angel, which also serves fantastic food. I visit both often with my mum and dad. The Crown specialises in great local ingredients, produce and beers.

Park Street, Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk (01206 262001)


This pizza restaurant is only open for lunch and people queue for miles outside to get a table. They won’t serve you if you’re on your phone, which I love, and the Italian meatball pizza is incredible – straight from the oven.

26 Noel Street, London W1 (020-7439 4096)

Tubby Isaacs

Tubby Isaacs is open every single day except for Jewish holidays and Christmas Day. The seafood is great and the restaurant is very British. If you want to re-acquaint yourself with half a pint of cockles, it’s the place to go.

Petticoat Lane Market, London E1

Andrew Edmunds

I used to go here all the time and I miss it. There’s no sign over the door, but they own the antique store next door which you can’t miss. It’s a simple, delicious, French affair – great food and wine. I like the duck.

46 Lexington Street, London W1 (020-7437 5708)

The Golden Galleon

The Fish and Chip Shop on the High Street in Aldeburgh cooks to order, has great fresh fish brought up to the shop by the local fishermen – straight out of the sea – and is cited as among the best fish and chips shops in the UK.

137 High Street, Aldeburgh (01728 454685)

An avid fisherman himself, O’Leary is committed to improving the state of the fishing industry and thus opened Fishy Fishy in 2009, serving beer-battered sustainable fish and chips. Fishy Fishy, 36 East Street, Brighton (01273 723750)

Nuno Mendes, creator and head chef, Viajante


Traditional Malaysian Nyonya cuisine which I frequently visit for owner Mary’s delicious dim sum and Penang-style Char Kway Teow dishes. The transparent prawn rolls are a highlight.

102 Old Street, London EC1 (020-7490 0200)

Rochelle Canteen/ St John Bread & Wine

The projects which Fergus and Margot Henderson have helped to set up are fantastic! Rochelle Canteen, although a former bikeshed, offers such intimacy and the ever-changing menu offering weekday lunches is full of fresh produce and new ideas. I also like the relaxed nature of St John Bread & Wine near Spitalfields, too.

Rochelle Canteen, Arnold Circus, London E2 (020-7729 5677). St John Bread & Wine, 94-96 Commercial Street, London E1 (020-7251 0848)

Banh Mi

This stall on Broadway Market offers delicious French-Vietnamese baguettes. I usually order the “5 meat” where soft yet crusty bread encases homemade pork liver pâté, home-cured roast pork, homemade Vietnamese ham, finely threaded pork and honey-roasted chicken. Sounds intense but the delicate flavours really work well together and come with pickles and homemade hot sauce. Japanese cuisine is a big passion of mine and I take huge inspiration from their cooking techniques, which are certainly reflected in my menus at Viajante.

4-6 Theobalds Road, London WC1 (020-7831 4079)


You can always tell a good Japanese restaurant in London when it is full of Japanese – and Kikuchi always is. I like to sit at the counter while the chefs prepare the sashimi (which I always order). Specials change daily and are often written up in incorrect English, which only adds to the authenticity.

14 Hanway Street, London W1 (020-7637 7720)


The tortillas here are the best in town – I usually order the prawn and piquillo pepper one. They use the best ingredients they can find, making the food simple yet delicious.

54 Frith Street, London W1 (020-7813 8016)

The Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes formerly ran an underground private members’ supper club from his house in east London. This year he opened Viajante, which serves a menu inspired by Mendes’ native cuisine and his travels through Spain, Asia and Scandinavia. Viajante, Patriot Square, London E2 (020-7871 0461)

Emily Watkins, chef, The Kingham Plough

Restaurant 5

This tiny Michelin-starred restaurant is a very unique place run by the husband-and-wife team Kate and Marcus Ashenford. It serves the most delicious food – I particularly love the freshly baked bread.

5 North Street, Winchcombe, Cheltenham (01242 604 566)

The Coach and Horses

The reason I love this place is because the service is friendly and the fires are welcoming; it’s the perfect place to unwind. In fact, we took all our staff there recently for our annual get-together and it was a great success.

Ganborough, Gloucestershire (01451 830 208)

The Thai Shire

This is a delicious Thai run by an extremely friendly family. They are always willing to cook your favourite off-menu dish, too – my husband and I were longing to taste Moo Grob again; it’s a crispy pork belly dish and they made it even though it took them three days to prepare!

Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire (01608 645 888)

The Horse and Groom

The pub-food here is really good and always features their own home-grown herbs and veg and the best local produce.

Upper Oddington, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire (01451 830 584)

The Champignon Sauvage

For a real treat, visit this special restaurant run by David and Helen Matthias. It uses woodland and foraged ingredients to spectacular effect.

24-26 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (01242 254 365)

Emily Watkins was the former sous chef at Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire. She is now the chef-proprietor of The Kingham Plough, The Green, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire (01608 658 327)

Ed Wilson, chef and co-owner, Terroirs

Buen Ayre

This Argentine grill serves simple, delicious and very generous portions. It’s consistently good and always packed. I especially like their black pudding.

50 Broadway Market, London E8 (020-7275 9900)


This fish and chip shop served the fish and chips that I grew up on and I still think they’re the best – true northern fish (haddock, mind you) and chips!

123 Britannia Road, Morley, Leeds (0113 253 5376)

Gato Negro

The best tapas in a beautiful location. Owned and run by my first head chef, Simon Shaw, his passion and enthusiasm for the best and most authentic ingredients and cooking of Spain always delivers.

1 Oldham Road, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire (01422 823070)


This fantastic Indian restaurant always features in my top places to eat. Consistently excellent and consistently packed! Lamb chops and dry meat are my favourites.

83-89 Fieldgate Street, London, E1 (020-7247 9543)

The Meadow

This is a great restaurant in Sussex doing wonderful things with fantastic local produce. The food is always delicious, consistent and well executed and their farm shop sells great fruit and veg.

64 Western Road, Hove (01273 721182)

Ed Wilson, who has worked with both the Galvin brothers, is head chef and co-owner at Terroirs, which opened in 2008. He will be opening his new restaurant, Brawn, in late November on Columbia Road, London E2. Terroirs Wine Bar and Restaurant, 5 William IV Street, London WC2 (020-7036 0660)

Marcus Wareing, chef-patron, The Berkeley


The chef at Trinity is Adam Byatt, and he is fabulous. At the moment it is a local restaurant, but it’s destined to be much more. They do a pig trotter on toast with fried quail’s egg and crackling, which is delicious.

4 The Polygon, London SW4 (020-7622 1199)

Ken Lo’s Memories of China

It’s a Chinese restaurant, obviously, and Mr Butt, their head chef, has been there for 30-odd years. I’ve been going there for 19 years – ever since I first started working in London with Gordon Ramsay. I couldn’t choose a single dish; it’s all just great, good-quality Chinese cooking.

67 Ebury Street, London SW1 (020-7730 7734)

Bistrot Verite

This is a fabulous little bistro, in Southport – which is where I’m from – with classic French dishes chalked up on the blackboard, very rustic. It’s got a great chef, Marc Verite; I went to college with him but when I went to London he stayed in Southport. It’s just great, simple French food – lots of fabulous soups, garlic bread, and very good coq au vin.

7, Liverpool Rd, Southport 01704 564199


The location of this seafood restaurant is just perfect, the décor is elegant and plush, it’s always busy and there’s a good feel about the place. The turbot on the bone is particularly good, but they also do great oysters and side orders of vegetables – brilliant seafood, end of story.

20 Mount Street, London W1 (020 7495 7309)

The Warehouse

This is a lovely restaurant, another one from where I used to live. You can’t really classify the food; it’s just great cooking. They do a little bit of everything – you could have steak and chips, or some lovely scallops.

30 West Street, Southport (0871 426 4954)

Marcus Wareing was Gordon Ramsay’s sous chef at Aubergine, then ran the Grill Room at the Savoy before opening the two-Michelin-starred Petrus, which later became The Berkeley. Marcus is an ambassador for humanitarian charity Action Against Hunger. The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1 (020 7235 1200)

Marcus Verberne, executive chef, Brown’s Hotel

Rose and Crown

Owned by chef Edward Halls, who previously worked at Morston Hall and Petrus, this is the place to come for your Sunday lunch. They use 35-day-aged Dedham Vale beef which simply melts in the mouth, and at £15 with all the trimmings, is excellent value for money.

Nayland Road, Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex (01206 271 251)

Green Room

A regular haunt of ours. Fantastic fresh local fish and meat, and all British produce. Even the rapeseed oil is local. Great front-of-house staff and a good selection of wines, too.

50-51 North Hill, Colchester, Essex (01206 574 001)

The Swan

This is a beautiful 15th-century inn which is a fabulous location for afternoon tea or a glass of wine in the garden in the summer. The food in the restaurant is excellent – which is why I chose it as the location for my wedding reception.

High Street, Lavenham, Suffolk (01787 247 477)

The Company Shed

Take your own wine and bread, choose your oysters, seafood or catch of the day, and tuck in – this is simple food and simple dining at its best. I love eating like this, and overlooking the water, you couldn’t ask for a better location.

129 Coastal Road, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex (01206 382 700)

The Anchor

The Anchor is run by Mark and Sophie Dorber, who grow all their own vegetables and herbs on-site. Their home-smoked platter with a smoked beer from their great selection is particularly enjoyable.

Walberswick, Southwold, Suffolk (01502 722 112)

Marcus Verberne has worked alongside Mark Hix for the past eight years, previously at Le Caprice, J Sheekey and The Ivy, before joining Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel in February 2008. Brown’s Hotel, Albemarle Street, London W1 (020-7493 6020)

Michael Wignall, head chef, The Latymer

The Fat Duck

This restaurant has made dining more fun and enjoyable. I can’t wait to take my 12-year-old son. I particularly love the Lime Grove – nitro-poached green tea with lime mousse.

1 High Street, Bray (01628 580 333)

Pied à Terre

This restaurant has a wonderfully intimate atmosphere, with professional yet friendly staff, and a good wine list.Make sure you try the roasted grouse with turnips, Cévennes onions and pain d’epice.

34 Charlotte Street, London W1 (020-7636 1178)


This is fab and the only Kyoto restaurant in the UK – and you certainly pay a price for the privilege. I love the Kaiseki tasting menu.

14-16 Bruton Place, London W1 (020-7499 8881)

The Yorke Arms

The chef-proprietor Frances Atkins is the most fabulous host at this 18-century coaching house in a stunning location in the Nidderdale Valley. Their puddings are not to be missed!

Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, N Yorkshire (01423 755 243)

The Fleece Inn

I love the great wine list, the warm and friendly welcome and the passion about local produce that accompanies the cooking here. It also has a glorious log fire and I can take my dog there!

154 Main Street, Addingham, Ilkley, West Yorkshire (01943 830 491)

Michael Wignall worked at Broughton Park and L’Ortolan before winning his first Michelin star at Cliveden. He won another star for his cooking at The Latymer in 2009. The Latymer, Pennyhill Park,

Alexis Gauthier, owner, Gauthier Soho


I love the wooden carvings in this friendly Thai restaurant. The Pad Thai is one of the best you could find in London: the noodles are always tender, the egg just slightly cooked and the balance of nuts to lime perfect.

48 Dean Street, London W1 (020-7494 1638)

Au Lac

I’ve eaten at this amazing Vietnamese for 10 years – and it never disappoints. The prawns with ginger and basil are always beautifully cooked and their soups (especially the prawn-head one) are first class.

82 Highbury Park, London N5 (020-7704 9187)

Dragon Castle

This huge, bustling restaurant serves good-value, delicious dim sum – try the delicate tasting venison puffs and the must-have dessert of bean paste and black sesame seed pudding. It’s surprising – a hot black liquid of sesame hidden in a tender white bean paste.

114 Walworth Rd, London SE17 (020-7277 3388)

The Hambrough

Robert cooks fish like nobody else at this restaurant with amazing views over the sea. Turbot with morel and asparagus was ace when I last visited.

Hambrough Road, Ventnor, Isle of Wight (01983 856333)

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

The Mackerel tart with olive and Parmesan is probably the best dish currently served in London – and it’s a masterpiece that only someone like Joël Robuchon could create. The small hamburgers are also the best in town…

13-15 West Street, London WC2 (020-7010 8600)

Alexis Gauthier won a Michelin star for his cooking at London’s Roussillon. This year he started his own restaurant in the narrow Georgian townhouse which until last year held Richard Corrigan’s Lindsay House. Gauthier-Soho, 21 Romily Street, London W1 (020-7494 3111)

Bruno Loubet, chef, Bistro Bruno Loubet


A busy, informal restaurant near Charing Cross Road which serves wonderful, nostalgic, tapas-sized plates of fabulous charcuterie. I love the honesty of their cooking.

5 William IV Street, London WC1 (020-7036 0660)

Wallace & Co

Gregg Wallace’s restaurant in Putney is informal, simple and wholesome. If I have a day off at the weekend, I like to go for breakfast with the family – the “Rower’s Breakfast” is delicious.

146 Upper Richmond Road, London SW15 (020-8780 0052)


The owners have made it their mission to create fast-food that is fun, healthy and appetising and the variety and quality of the food is always impressive. I usually order the Moroccan meatballs and I love the cloudy apple and mint juice.

35 Great Marlborough Street, London W1 (020-7437 5280) and various branches

The Telegraph

I love this tucked away little pub in the heart of Putney Heath. The food is simple and, though it won’t win any awards, it’s well done – try the grazing board to start with, followed by the Asian duck salad.

Telegraph Road, London SW15 (020-8788 2011)

The Brown Dog

This tiny pub down a back street in Barnes is close to Richmond Park, and we like to visit it after a family walk with our three dogs. The pâté is good – something that’s hard to find in most London pubs.

28 Cross Street, London SW13 (020-8392 2200)

Bruno Loubet returned to London last year after spending eight years in Australia. The Michelin-starred chef currently runs Bistrot Bruno Loubert at The Zetter Hotel, 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1 (020-7324 4455)

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