For date night, a mate-date or just for the Gram (no one's judging here)
London is forever churning out new restaurants - to the point that it would take two lifetimes to get through them all. With only one lifetime to work with (and one expanding waistline), we got in touch with DesignMyNight for the prettiest of the lot. From the candy coloured booths at Sketch to the twinkling alfresco area at The Bloomsbury Club Bar, consider it your new prerogative to get through all these Insta-worthy spots.
Sketch will sweep you off your feet and steal your heart the minute you walk through the door. It’s home to no less than five restaurants and bars, but the Gallery is the most impressive by far; the walls are clustered with tongue-in-cheek cartoon illustrations and there are dozens of candy coloured booths to sink into. Offering everything from afternoon tea to brunch, this place should be number one on your restaurant hit list.
Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings is every Instagram lover’s dream. Not only do they have a relaxed cafe area, a bar perfect for perching at (with a cocktail in hand), a secret party den and a beautiful garden-themed restaurant, but also a greenhouse that you can actually dine in. It’s furnished with cute flower-printed arm chairs and all corners of the intimate space are dripping with hanging foliage and potted plants.
The Bloomsbury Club Bar? Gosh, where to start. This hidden central London gem is characterised by grand mahogany beams, velvet-wrapped chairs and killer cocktails - and that’s just the inside. They also happen to have the one of the prettiest alfresco areas in the city with cosy corners, candlelit tables and green foliage that’s lit up by hundreds of fairy lights. Clear some GB on that phone of yours, you’ll rack up a whole album of pics in no time.
No. 197 Chiswick Fire Station is like something plucked from the pages of a glossy high street magazine. It has sky-high ceilings, plush velvet armchairs, mini marble tables and giant overgrown cacti. They have a hidden terrace outback too, with exposed brickwork and cosy seating perfect for brunch in the sun. Whether it’s for a quick cup of coffee at breakfast or a romantic meal come nightfall, it’s sure to reel in those Insta likes.
Dalloway Terrace is a little oasis of calm tucked away from London’s busy streets, and it can be found a couple of minutes stroll from Tottenham Court Road Station. If you hadn’t already clocked, this postcard-pretty spot takes inspiration from Virginia Woolf’s eponymous character, Mrs Dalloway. Brought to life with twinkling fairy lights, blossoming white flowers and glowing lanterns, set a date in your diary and book a table to dine on their dainty afternoon tea or generous sharing plates.
If you ask us, The Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone has one of the best hotel bars in the business. Seymour’s Parlour is teaming with vintage oddities, eccentric furnishings and is the perfect place to escape reality for a couple of hours. Snuggle up with one of their sharing boards beside the fire, or plonk yourself in one of their comfy armchairs for Aunt Wilhelmina’s Afternoon Tea; whatever you choose to chomp, you can count on great things at this quirky drinking den.
If you want a taste of that VIP lifestyle, you need to grab your purse and scoot to the skies to Searcys at the Gherkin. Perched 180m above London’s bustling streets, you can snap away at unobstructed views of the city’s sweeping skyline. When you think you’ve got enough pics, clamber down with one of their hand-crafted cocktails and make your way to the restaurant for breathtaking views of the capital’s most iconic landmarks while you dine.
Long Bar at Sanderson isn’t called Long Bar for any old reason, you know. It’s 80m in length and it’s decorated with a mini forest of foliage, with a string of striking, stylish chairs to settle into. They have a selection of big bites and small plates to choose from, and the signature cocktails alone are guaranteed to keep you here for hours on end. Before you leave, make sure to take a gander in their Courtyard Garden. It has a stunning water feature and swinging wicker chairs.
Perched at the very top of the Walkie Talkie, Sky Garden boasts London’s highest roof gardens, and it’s one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city. Gawp at London’s iconic buildings as you make your way around their three floor stage filled with shrubbery and plants, before you finish your experience with an exceptional meal at their 37th floor restaurant: Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill. Sorry (ish) for the pun, but this one is a cut above the rest.
For more info on the best restaurants in London, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.