High end dining in London has been going on for centuries and is no way a new phenomenon. The very rich have been prepared to pay the highest prices for the best produce for many years. The only thing that seems to have changed is that many of the top chefs now hold celebrity status. It has only been since the early 1990s that these chefs have started to appear regularly on television screens. In the UK Marco Pierre White had become the youngest chef to gain 3 star Michelin status, but he was as well known for his outrageous antics as he was for his wonderful cooking skills.
In America at the same time Wolfgang Puck made a massive impression when he moved his very successful restaurant from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. At the same time the Food Network Channel was launched and today it averages a million viewers a day. The quality of the restaurant food is easily measured as one can check how many Michelin stars it has been awarded. In London there are 55 restaurants with 1 Michelin star, 9 restaurants with 2 Michelin stars and only 2 with 3 Michelin stars. The list is updated annually and many restaurants have been known to lose their stars.
Marcus used to be known as Marcus Wareing at the Berkley and the Michelin rated 2-star restaurant is set in beautifully refurbished surroundings. If the amazing menu is not enough, diners are given the opportunity to have private dining with the chef’s table and the salon for a more secluded experience. The menu gives diners a wide choice with veal, lamb and duck all being on the menu followed by mouth- watering deserts such as cake and ice cream marmalade toast.
Helene Darroze at the Connaught
The most attractive feature of this Mayfair restaurant are the wine pairings that go with the menu. It is of cause not cheap but the quality of the dining has earned it a Michelin 2 star rating. Darroze uses her French culinary craft to good effect and in 2015 she was named as the Veuve Clicqout World’s Best Female Chef.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
The 3 Michelin stars awarded to Ramsay proves that this Chelsea based restaurant is an example of fine dining at its very best. He opened the restaurant in 1998 and it gained its 3rd Michelin star in 2001. The menu includes roast pigeon and suckling pig, and it is run by chef patron Clare Smyth MBE, the only female in the UK to hold this title.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
This restaurant housed within the magnificent Dorchester Hotel has held 3 Michelin stars since 2010. It was described in the Michelin guide as sourcing the best British and French produce to create striking refined modern dishes. Ducasse actually has 3 restaurants with 3 stars, and he uses all of his knowledge to produce menus that include Dorset crab, Scottish langoustine and British veal. If one compares the top restaurants the cost of their set menus come out roughly the same at around 90 pounds. What really puts the price up is the wine list and the cost of experiencing private dining. Fine dining plays a major part of in the makeup of dining in London. However, it is just one of many parts that have important roles in making the experience of eating in London quite unique.