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Normally, you’ll jump on and search for the best restaurants in London, top restaurants in London, unusual restaurants in London, famous restaurants in London, or even, if you’re not overly optimistic, good restaurants in London. You might be trying to book a table for an anniversary, a family lunch, a birthday celebration, a romantic liaison, a Sunday roast, some dim sum, afternoon tea, brunch, or because you want an amazing view of London. Really, what you only need search for are the nice restaurants of London; the kind of venue that has a certain quality that allows you to forget about London’s hectic life for a brief moment and just be.
City of London / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
This classic Italian trattoria restaurant in the midst of the City's mayhem, equidistance between Bank station and St Paul's Cathedral, has the beamed ceilings, the tiled floors, the Ferrari-fanatic artworks on the walls, and a pleasantly robust Italian wine list by the glass. What sets it apart from all others nearby, as one of the nicest restaurants in the City of London, is the cosy, hidden courtyard for alfresco dining during summer and spring. Listen out for the sound of bells from neighbouring St Mary-le-Bow church and claim yourself as a proper Cockney.
Petersham Nurseries Teahouse
Richmond & Kew / Restaurant / Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
This former Michelin Star restaurant (Skye Gyngell has now left) is a gorgeous, old greenhouse filled with rescued furniture, calming plant life, and bare earth floors. Take a stroll through the plant nursery beforehand to really start to appreciate this oasis of tranquility; escape London, albeit briefly. Then settle in for sandwiches, antipasti, quiches and salads, beneath the glass roof, admiring the romantic vibe. Stop by the shop as you leave and pick up some unusual trinkets to take home. This restaurant also serves afternoon tea and is dog-friendly; how splendidly nice!
The English Grill
Victoria / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: British
Everybody loves something nice and The English Grill within the Rubens at the Palace is most certainly that and more. If you love the finer things in life, then The English Grill is the perfect option. Tailcoat waiters, polished silverware and an opulent dining room provide the backdrop for a divine menu of Josper grilled meat and fish dishes as well as perfect pies and divine roasts. Discover one of the nicest restaurants in the Buckingham Palace and Victoria area. We guarantee you'll be coming back for more some day soon.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Chelsea / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
The grand terrace and orangery of this west London restaurant, sibling to the original Ivy in Covent Garden, covers everything from breakfast to brunch and lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Although there are candlelit tables inside amongst the beautifully ornate and colourful furniture, sit outside and dine alfresco, if weather permits; embrace the romance of the occasion! Order a delightful glass of Ruinart Rosé Champagne then get a feed in before a spot of shopping on the Kings Road, some high culture at the Saatchi Gallery, or a stroll through London's oldest botanic gardens, the Chelsea Physic Garden. How very nice!
London Shell Co.
Paddington / Restaurant / Cuisine: Seafood
There aren't many things to do in London that are more lovely as pottering about on the river; or the canal. Combine your love of open water with your love of seafood and unusual wine and you have one of the nicest and most romantic restaurant experiences in London, manned by some of the nicest people too. The brother and sister owners, and their crew, take you on a tour from Paddington to Camden, picking out niche and small batch wines to pair with the small but exquisitely created plates (the menu changes every day). Push the boat out, make friends with your fellow diners on board.
Paddington / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
It's such as nice restaurant, from the moment you walk in to this hidden gem French restaurant near Hyde Park, that you feel like you're at home. The almost overly warm welcome, the cosy wood panel walls, the fancy menu, the white tablecloths, the ooze of exclusivity, it all combines to provide a truly romantic occasion. When booking, ask for the corner seat by the window so you can survey the room along with your salmon and crab timbale, and lamb shank in red wine sauce. And if you want real fireworks, book the special Chef's Table in the kitchen!
Shoreditch / Bar / Restaurant /
Sardine is tucked behind a thundering main road between Islington and Shoreditch, but it's the kind of place that glows enticingly from a dark street, drawing you in to eat plates of unpretentious French food and imbibe wine from little, thick walled tumblers. Meals are messy and comforting, drawing on all the regions of France and beyond so that you can enjoy dishes such as comte toasties or grilled peaches with cream and lavender. Friendly, warm and generous, Sardine always feels like being at the world's best dinner party with an amazing cook and the nicest guests. It's also connected to a small art gallery, for some post-lunch culture. Nice!
The Churchill Arms
Kensington / Bar / Cuisine: Thai
Follow the fragrant scent of flowers up to The Churchill Arms' facade, which is entirely covered in floral installations. Enjoy a pint or two at the bar, crammed with all kinds of odd Churchill art and memorabilia, before making your way to the restaurant. The Churchill Arms' dining room is a sort of conservatory, with plants and lanterns hanging from the ceiling: beautiful and cosy. Tuck into Thai comfort food to experience a truly eclectic (and nice) night out in London.
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Restaurant / Cuisine: Asian
Bone Daddies in Bermondsey has everything you need for a genuinely nice night out. Don't be put off by the fact that it's in a business estate. Japanese décor, helpful staff and the authentic menu will pull you in. On a cold night, warm yourself up with the signature pork tonkotsu ramen. A beautifully full bowl of creamy broth, firm noodles and perfectly boiled egg. On Friday nights, you can try some special one-off dishes. One of the nicest things about Bone Daddies is the laid back vibe. It'll have you spending hours here without you even noticing.
The Lido Cafe
Brixton / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Situated in leafy Brockwell park in the same lovely art deco building as the Lido swiming pool, this cosy venue treads cafrefully the line between café and restaurant. The small menu covers all key brunch bases, along with simple but tasty lunch options. Cocktails in the evening are also delightful. If you?re feeling organised and brave enough, plan a dip in the lido before, then warm up with coffee and a slice of cake. If you're disorganised and a wuss, just enjoy a slow Sunday on the poolside terrace. But yes, this is London, so yes, you should book ahead if you want a table for brunch.
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