HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >


Best Posh & Trendy -London

Will be going to London for the first time in July for four days. Will be staying at St. Martins Lane. We are looking for contemporary, hip restaurants with good decor and ambiance AND excellent food to match. Am considering the following:
1. The Square
2. L' Anima
3. Maze
4. Hakkasan
Could you please comment on these four and recommend any other? Thanks for your help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The square is quite formal and the opposite of trendy.

    hakkasan and maze aren't bad calls. I like pied a terre a lot.

    1. I've been to Terroirs twice now and the food is good, classic French fare, and the wine really good. I would say it is very trendy with the wine set, but it is smart, not posh, if you know what I mean. You'll need to make a reservation, and it is a good place for a lighter dinner or lunch.

      6 Replies
      1. re: nanette

        worth clarifying:

        terroirs is a wine bar, not a restaurant. a very authentic french wine bar specialising in natural wines. it does simple food, produce based in small sharing/tapas type portions.

        it wouldn't be a destination meal as per the above, but it would be fun place if that's your thing.

        1. re: batfink23

          Good clarification, thought I had made that myself by saying light dinner or lunch. Though they claim to be a wine bar and restaurant, and Jancis seemed to think it was as well.

          I agree it isn't (yet) destination dining, but it is certainly one of the rather posh/smart and very trendy spots at the moment. On any given afternoon or evening, the vinerrati is out in force. It also got 9.5/10 from the Guardian quite recently and a lot of other very good press, so not a place to look down your nose at or to simply be described as "fun".

          1. re: nanette

            look they barely have a kitchen, they haven't been able to install proper extraction so they are very limited in what they can prepare. which is why the food is often very, very simple preparations. charcuterie, cheese, salads, & plainly served produce (anchovy, asparagus etc) it will never be destination dining, its not what they want, they're not equipped (or able), and the business model requires high table turnover.

            as a member of the so-called vinerrati, who will now declare an interest and relationship with one of the owners of terroirs, I am not underselling or turning my nose up in calling it fun. that's all it is. it's a wine bar. and a good one.

            1. re: batfink23

              Well then perhas you should remind them that they are a wine bar and suggest they amend their website that bills them as a "wine bar and restaurant". Or have you ignored the quail, duck, and steak on the menu?

              The original poster asked for comments on above 4 or any other places with a contemporary and hip atmosphere, and I suggest another spot for a light dinner or lunch, with very good wine. I never meant to imply that it was destination dining like the 4 mentioned, merely another place to consider that meets the criterion of "posh and trendy".

              1. re: nanette

                So would Terroirs be appropriate for a pre-theatre bite? I'm looking for a place to eat a moderate meal to tie us over through a 7:30pm Lion King show at the Lyceum Theatre, and Terroirs is not only close to the theatre but also open throughout the day so we can pop in as early as 5:30pm and just sample a bunch of dishes before heading to the show. Would a party of 6-8 need to make reservations for a 5:30pm dinner on a Thurs night?

                1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                  Yes, highly suitable, I would reserve as it is very popular. The food is good, lots of small plates, but the star is the wine list.

      2. I'm a big fan of Maze. It's certainly contemporary, has good decor and the food is wonderful. I've recently eaten at some very good spots in NYC and Phila. and only one meal back in the States could compare to the interesting grazing at Maze. Make sure you book way ahead for this one.

        1. I haven't been to the other three but I really like L'Anima. It's most definitely got ambience and the food's amazing.

          1. Hakkasan and Maze are good choices - as another poster said, Square is pretty formal. Maybe try Sketch instead - very trendy and great food to match.

            1. Noting that you are looking for posh and trendy I think it is hard to go past Hakkasan - it is just a very cool place. Close to where you are staying I would also recommend bocca di lupo (book now very popular), barrafina and in Knightsbridge Zuma is a Japanese place that is also posh and very much a hip sort of place to be seen.


              1. Goodman & Gaucho Manchester are excellent London restaurants. They have food with contemporary taste & style, which is worth experiencing. You can book your table online on opentable.com & browse more favorite London restaurants inside at http://www.opentable.com/start.aspx?m...

                1 Reply
                1. re: zachary76

                  'Gaucho Manchester ...excellent London restaurants' - is this a typo? Do you mean the Gaucho Grills - in London? There are much better places to enjoy steak in London (for example Hawksmoor). And Goodman is a Russian restaurant chain - while their steaks aren't bad, they are a lot more expensive than other much better places.
                  Is this a thinly veiled attempt to drive people to your website...?!

                2. I have only been to The Square (3x) and l'Anima of those four.
                  The Square is very good, but more sophisticated than cool. l'Anima was very enjoyable and, from what I have read, only seems to have gotten better since my visit (ages ago) when they first opened.
                  Maze is popular, but Hakkasan is probably trendier.
                  Nobu is 'cool', but I was not impressed by the food, except the signature black cod.
                  Umu is another posh & trendy place, but froom my visit (circa) two years ago, I am unable to recall a single dish...


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: food.snob

                    How abour Sake no Hana?

                    I would also look at the Mint Leaf in Haymarket.

                  2. Also Buddha Bar has a different atmosphere, very dark and exotic. Scotts is an amazing James Bond like fish restaurant. Cecconis is lovely in summer, on Burlington Gardens. Obviously Gordon Ramsey at Royal Hospital road is right up there but think its a 3 month waiting list for a table. If you are real foodies and want to go further afield, the Fat Duck quite often has corporate cancellations at the weekend. Hope you have a wonderful time on your trip :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: evilbendyone

                      I undestood that the food at Buddha Bar was inedible? The OP wanted excellent food>

                    2. the square is michelin star top quality food, but a gastronomic experience not trendy
                      the ledbury, owned by the same people will be a food experience, i think brett graham the chef there is making some of the most creative food anywhere right now.
                      i agree with hakasan (trendy) so is yuautcha, wollseley (sp?) wild honey, arbutus, scotts and cipriani
                      another new trendy place in soho with good food is bocca di lupa-great italian food, busy place
                      as for goodmans and guacho grill- if you are coming from the states i dont really see the point in going to a steak place in the UK , the meat is corn fed in USA and much tastier. if you do feel you have to go to steak in london go to hawksmoor- in a trendy part of town-shoredithch- high quality steaks and great cocktails

                      1 Reply