Splendid Spaces to Dine in Style
“The food is the only thing that matters” restaurant goers often carelessly say – but even for foodies it is not always true. Sometimes we want a restaurant to impress, to reassure or simply to lift the soul. Restaurant London has some splendid dining rooms, among them:
The Berners Street Tavern is a joke name for a converted ballroom from the Gilded Age, today a bustling bar and restaurant beneath a high moulded plaster ceiling with 180 paintings looking down on diners from the soaring walls.
Spring occupies a fine set of rooms in Somerset House with views over Waterloo Bridge from the high ceilinged main dining room, a room whose decoration manages to be both elegant and funky.
Sketch, The Library is set in a grand square high-ceilinged ballroom of the late Georgian era in a house that served as Dior’s London home when that fashion house was in the meridian of its fame. The luxurious furnishings, the imposing space and the remarkable food make this the favourite restaurant of more than one of my foodie friends.
Bibendum is Terence Conran ‘s design masterpiece – the great square room’s enormous windows display images in stained glass from the early decades of motoring as depicted in contemporary Michelin Guides – captivating as the setting sun streams shafts of colour through the space.
The Wolseley in Piccadilly converted a fine art deco showroom into a swish restaurant imbued with modish elegance.
The Louis XVI Room at the Ritz is a grand high-ceilinged oval dining room fit for Louis XVI’s great grandfather himself.
Gavin La Chappel is a converted church, a gothic temple to the pleasures of the table.
The Gilbert Scott occupies a soaring curved space in St Pancras Station.