Get a Taste of London
To compile a list of the best restaurants in the central and chic London neighbourhood of Marylebone is to come up with a list of at least some of the best places to eat in all of the UK, if not the whole of Europe. Anyone familiar with this part of town knows that such a list that is in any way succinct will inevitably omit some deliciously noteworthy places. But here's an attempt to list a few Marylebone gems nonetheless with an emphasis placed on quality, service and Marylebone's overall variety of fantastic dining options.
108 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QE
Particularly impressive upscale eatery featuring exemplary service and massive portion sizes. Consider if you will menu highlights such as braised Cornish lamb shank with pearl barley, root vegetables and rosemary sauce – exquisite!
118 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QF
Proper Italian food and possibly the best pasta you'll have in London at this comfortable yet upscale restaurant on quaint Marylebone Lane.
The Mandeville Hotel, 8-14 Mandeville Place, W1U 2B
Located within the gorgeous Mandeville Hotel, the food here is as lovely as the setting. Cornish crab, chilli and lime with Sussex Champagne jelly? Yes please! Panfried Scottish scallops with artichoke puree and almond butter? Wow. Service is knowledgeable and friendly, the chef is inspired and the wine list rocks.
Providores and Tapa Room
109 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RX
Casual contemporary dining downstairs and formal service and setting upstairs, the Providores and Tapas Room are home to innovative fusion food, Britain's largest range of New Zealand premium wines and right on menus a la chef Peter Gordon.
Relais de Venise
120 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2PA
A Paris-born tradition now in the heart of London, Relais de Venise offers an especially short bistro menu of a simple salad (lettuce, walnuts and potent mustard vinaigrette), steak-frites with a butter-based secret recipe sauce of herbs, spices and condiments along with a few particularly moreish desserts (save room for the profiteroles!). Here in London, the Marylebone and city locations of Relais serve Donald Russell steaks from Aberdeenshire beef (supplier to HM The Queen) for their entrecote steak. An order of salad and main course of steak-frites is priced at £21 (roughly $30) per person and yields a more than ample amount of food. Vegetarians are welcome, and as a substitute for the steak a selection of cheeses is offered and a dessert is included for the same price of £21. Service is perfunctory and fast.
19 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH
Offering the “the very best in British natural ingredients all cooked with skill and imagination and served with warmth and style,” Roganic is a pared down but pleasant setting for enjoying a bit of Northern comfort with haute cuisine style via regularly changing three, six and ten course tasting menus that provide a mandatory meal for anyone keen to taste a shining example of just how wonderful British cuisine can be.
18 Thayer Street, W1U 3JY
It’s a long way from Central London to Central Asia, but the culinary traverse to the heart of the Silk Road is easy and delicious when you visit Samarqand. A heartily savoury menu, a refined and comfortable interior and quite possibly some of the the most earnest table service you'll ever receive – along with an amazingly tempting variety of vodkas – make Uzbek-owned Samarqand a winner of a choice if you're looking for an excellent night out that's equal parts exotic and accommodating to even the most finicky of tastes.
34 Portman Street, W1H 7BY
Celebrated modern European restaurant with Icelandic head chef Agnar Sverrisson calling all the delectable shots with a balanced menu of classic combos alongside more daring and intriguing dishes. A top foodie destination for 2012!
15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG
Trishna is the London branch of a beloved Mumbai dining institution, world renowned for its seafood. This elegant Marylebone restaurant wows its customers with “spanking fresh Indian coastal food” served with fab wines in a lovely setting. When you go strongly consider the roasted aubergine, the Dorset crab and the tandoori bream.
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Photo: Chris Osburn