For my first post in London (the city I call my home, I love it so much!) I decided to share restaurants where I’ve had amazing dates.
If you’re a lover of fish and other seafood like I am, you’ll appreciate Estiatorio Milos (St James’s). Two words; Greek and feast. It’s an exquisite spot that serves Greek cuisine, and the best part is that you get to choose which exact fish/seafood you’d like to be served. I love their semi-private mezzanine area, which overlooks the ground floor, and they all have private dining rooms! I can’t wait until to come back! I’d choose this pescatarian restaurant over Scott’s any time.
Now, the Mandarin Oriental in London has an extraordinary place in my heart. It’s just one of those places that have a magical feel to me, partially due to all the time I spent there and loved every second of it! Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (KNIGHTSBRIDGE) is equally special, serving exceptional British cuisine that has been re-interpreted by chef Blumenthal. I read his cookbook; the guy truly knows what he’s doing! Oh, did I mention the restaurant has 2 Michelin stars? I was fortunate to have spent my 22nd birthday at this restaurant (and hotel) with a gentleman that knows how to surprise you!
Another two Michelin-starred restaurants: Hélène Darroze at The Connaught (MAYFAIR)The reason why I love this restaurant is because the atmosphere is very relaxed. The food combinations are sometimes odd but always interesting, serving haute cuisine. Friends have mixed feelings about the two-star status; I suppose you’ll have to try it out yourself! I honestly have nothing bad to say; the entire experience consumed me.
It’s not easy to find great Russian/Eastern European food, but everything at MARI VANNA (KNIGHTSBRIDGE) is so damn tasty! This restaurant might not focus on doing something grand and different, but the experience I’ve had here is truly one of London's unique ones. For a brief moment, you are transported to a different world. You won’t be disappointed! Oчень хорошо!
I’ll be honest; it’s only recently I’ve started to learn more about Chinese cuisine. It’s a beast! So many different regions, so many different cuisines. You can sample some of those different cuisines at KAI (MAYFAIR). I didn’t even know it has a Michelin star (for 11 consecutive years?!), but there you go! I’d say this isn’t a restaurant where you go to eat traditional Chinese food but to discover a more… adventurous spin on it. Another restaurant worth a visit for a great experience!
I have to add, the decor might be ostentatious to some, but consider it part of the adventure!
BARS - rooftop bars & terraces
Man, I love me some rooftop bars. London is magical any time of the year for me, but there is something about having a crisp glass of (whatever you fancy) on a rooftop during a hot summer evening. Seeing all those light twinkles of the London skyline during a twilight hour is… magical!
The Mandrake Hotel (amazing hotel, more on it later on) doesn’t really have a rooftop bar, but they have a charming terrace bar worth mentioning. The lush greenery will make it easier for you to pretend you’re somewhere tropical during the summer while you’re actually just hanging out in Fitzrovia.
AQUA NUEVA (REGENT STREET) Has a really cool looking restaurant (never ate there, only drank, ha) but it’s a Spanish restaurant with a terrace bar. A place that looks like it’s dipped in gold and light, with dark table wood and leather booths, I would love to sample more than just their cocktails. I always see so many people on dates here; it seems to be a hot spot, eh?
Oh!!! 12th KNOT (SOUTH BANK) is worth a mention! I LOVE their terrace and table layout; there is a section with high bar stools where everyone sits facing the skyline (stunning), which not only is nice but also allows you to be in your own little world. It can get hectic at times, I mean… Who doesn’t love good service on a rooftop bar in London?? PS: their dress code is smart/casual - not that I’d EVER show up on a date in flips flops, but so that you know.
Any bar that has a view of the Gherkin is a top bar in my book! I don’t know what it is about the Gherkin, but I always get excited when I see it, haha. Iconic. JIN BO LAW (ALDGATE) entertaining bar that pays attention to details (for example, the tables aren’t SQUEEZED next to each other to ensure maximum guest capacity, rather, you can move around without worrying your ass might knock over your neighbors cocktail, lol. No? Only me?).
Last but not least, THE NEST ROOFTOP BAR (MARYLEBONE) has a 360° view of London, and I love the ‘let’s relax and hang out’ vibe the place carries. The Treehouse is actually a hotel, one that focuses on sustainability! It’s charming; I love to come here to drink… and to play.
When in Rome…
The Rosebery Lounge at the Mandarin is my all-time favorite… I often went when they were serving afternoon tea at the Loggia Lounge, and it is equally lovely! It’s such a relaxing experience—very nice staff, super friendly and accommodating.
Sketch** (MAYFAIR) is a classic, and I have yet to try every single room! What was so amazing to me, aside from the decor and the food, is how impeccable their service is! No one rushes, the staff is very competent; I only wished that it wasn’t such an Insta hot spot! But I do understand; it’s a unique venue.
You can feel it coming. The Mandarin Oriental (KNIGHTSBRIDGE) (London and Milan are my favorite locations for the Mandarin hotels) has to be on this list! You feel so welcomed and thoroughly spoiled. Harrods and Harvey Nichols are right across the street, convenient, ha! Honestly, it’s just such a top hotel in a top location. The Mandarin has a private check-in, which I’m sure many would appreciate.
As mentioned earlier, The Mandrake Hotel (FITZROVIA) not only has a lovely terrace bar, but it’s a lovely hotel all around. It’s such an interesting hotel; luxurious bedrooms, suites, and even a penthouse are only the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know what it is, but they have such a special vibe - off but in a positive way? I hope that made sense, hahaha.
A hotel I’m always excited to visit is THE TREEHOUSE HOTEL (MARYLEBONE); not only do all things sustainability catch my eye, but they do it so well! The staff is so cute; “leaf us your details” - I mean, 100/10 for dad jokes! Honestly, their rooms are perfect little playgrounds for an enticing stay… and that’s what these lists are all about. ;)
Another beautiful property in an amazing location is 11 CADOGAN GARDENS (CHELSEA). My stay at this hotel felt very easy; everything went so smoothly. The staff is very accommodating, nothing was too much to ask for, not too formal (I don’t know what it is, but the super formal staff is intimidating, haha). The hotel is situated on a tranquil street, which makes it feel like a hidden gem. You also have access to Cadogan Gardens; you have to ask for a key at the desk!
ICA - link
National Gallery - link
Royal Academy of Arts - link
Serpentine Gallery - link
Chisenhale Gallery - link
White Cube Bermondsey - link
Alison Jacques - link
Written by Ada