Lunch at The Ritz, London

I have always lived in London but have never visited the Ritz. I am sure there are many Londoners like me, who have often walked past and thought about the hotel inside, but like so many other iconic British buildings, have never ventured in.

After a lavish lunch at the Ritz Restaurant with the hotel’s Chairman Andrew Love, I can truly recommend a visit inside this fabulously famous London establishment.

Ritz Restaurant

Stepping inside the Ritz lobby, the hotel was everything I expected it to be… beautifully ornate with staff smiling at every corner. We walked past the spectacular Palm Court where hundreds enjoy afternoon tea every day, to the immaculate dining room, pink and golden in all its splendour, with an amazing high ceiling and views overlooking Green Park.

We were seated in a lovely table with plenty of natural light streaming through the grand windows. I noticed every charming detail; the turquoise plates and pretty cord-bound menus.

Ritz Restaurant

Our meal began with miniature canapes and flutes of champagne. The mouthful of Coronation chicken encased in crispy pastry was a definite favourite with my table.

Artichoke Royal with winter vegetables and black walnut was a simply spectacular dish, almost too pretty to eat. The autumnal mousse had a silky smooth texture and was topped with micro herbs adding a touch of freshness to the dish. On the side, a leaf shaped crisp completed the dish.

Ritz Restaurant

For second course I adored the truffle angolotti dish; the rest of the table were presented with a beautiful plate of Brill fillet with shellfish, sea vegetables and champagne sauce. The pasta was perfectly made and complemented with a creamy parmesan sauce and shavings of black truffle.

Ritz Restaurant

The Beef Wellington arrived majestically on a trolley. Huge servings were carved for each of us, glistening medallions of the finest meat wrapped in pillowy pastry and served with celeriac mash and sauteed mushrooms. It felt very regal and wonderfully British to be eating Beef Wellington at the Ritz.

Ritz Restaurant

We celebrated the upcoming pancake day with the most stylish pancakes of them all… Crêpe Suzettes prepared in a tableside performance, flambé. A light but indulgent French dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Often the reputation of an iconic hotel can overshadow the restaurant in residence. The Ritz Restaurant is truly wonderful in its own right and I commend head chef John Williams for continuing to offer such sublime and creative food, that represents the very best of the UK’s culinary traditions.

More information and book a table at the Ritz Restaurant here.


The discovery of Sushi Shop has made me very happy, although slightly annoyed at myself that I’ve wasted so many years on mediocre rolls and nigiri from certain high street chains. I’m a great fan of sushi, but I’ve inevitably picked it up as a meal on the go, or a vaguely healthy snack, and so become used to slightly stodgy rice and an overpowering taste of soy.

Sushi shop

Which is why Sushi Shop is so exciting. Started in Paris in 1998 by two Frenchmen who had fallen in love with the Japanese delicacy, Sushi Shop stood alone in the French capital. It positioned itself as a casual sushi restaurant and delivery service, somewhere to enjoy innovative, well considered flavours which married French and Japanese cultures, without the high prices of the top end Japanese restaurants. And the chain’s offering remains the same today.

Sushi shop

Sushi Shop is now in 14 countries across Europe, but the tradition which started in the year the brand was founded, of inviting a notable chef to develop a sushi menu inspired by the chef’s own style, lives on. The latest to be invited to the celebrated list which features, among others, Thierry Marx and Joël Robuchon, is Kei Kobayashi, who was awarded his first Michelin star in 2012.

sushi shop

In a lovely piece of symmetry, Kobayashi is a Japanese chef who fell for French cuisine, and his menu, from which my favourites were a spicy Gyū Special Roll, Salmon Gravalax Roll and a Red Miso Cucumber Salad, is filled with the complexities found in French cooking, but balanced with the freshness which comes from the vegetables that Kobayashi loves to use. As Kobayashi himself explains,

“The challenge of reinterpreting sushi for a Japanese chef who works in the French tradition is both stimulating and a big risk, for me and for Sushi Shop. I had to detach myself from what I have always known in order to reinvent new recipes.”

Sushi Shop

I’m happy to say the risk has paid off. The prices might sit slightly higher than the aforementioned sushi chains that have become so familiar to London streets, but it’s a cost well worth paying. Sushi Shop offers a new kind of taste sensation, and makes high quality, freshly produced fusion cooking readily accessible – I recommend you try for yourself as soon as you can.

Sushi Shop has three outlets in London, in South Kensington, Marylebone and Notting Hill. Deliveries can also be ordered via the Sushi Shop App.

More information can be found online here.

Written by Lucy Freedman.

Peninsula Restaurant, The Intercontinental at The O2

Getting out of the tube station at North Greenwich I never could have imagined the fine dining eating experience which awaited us just minutes walk away. The  Intercontinental Hotel at The O2 is a convenient hotel for those watching a show or performing at the giant O2 arena. With such a range of concerts, gigs, exhibitions and sports matches it is different to offer food which would appeal and suit everyone. Those who wish to enjoy a special meal should head to the Peninsula Restaurant, which serves exemplary food and boasts panoramic views of the London skyline.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

The dining room is smart and sophisticated with plenty of natural light flooding in from the floor to ceiling windows. We demolished the wonderful freshly baked bread and chicken skin & tarragon butter almost instantly after the waiter placed it down on the table. There is nothing better than sitting down to eat in a great restaurant feeling very hungry.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

Head chef Tomas Lidakevicius (previously in Texture and Corrigan’s Mayfair) presents modern European recipes deftly infused with a hint of spices which is reflective of the active spice trade that passed through East London’s docks. Each dish was carefully assembled in beautifully unique bowls and plates. Seared scallop with Alsace bacon dashi, apple and sea greens was a light dish with big bold flavours. I loved my Potato and Dill Veloute, the kitchen managed to elevate simple basic ingredients with clever cooking techniques and the addition of truffle air and a rich cured egg yolk.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

Matching wines were brought to the table to try with each dish. The sommelier’s choices were exemplary, including a aromatic Pouilly Fume from the Loire Vallet and a irresistably refreshing glass of Chateau de Beaulieu, Coteaux de Provence rose, which had me dreaming of summer.

Main courses were slightly more substantial, but still went easy on the carbs to avoid unneccesary bloating. Slow cooked duck breast with spiced crumbs, swede pasta and savoy cabbage was a lovely seasonal dish… though I didn’t think the strange swede pasta added much in flavour or presentation to the dish. I had a regal fillet of beef with smoky black garlic, Jerusalem artichoke and tenderstem broccoli. The meat was cooked to perfection, though I thought the sauce was a little too thin.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

There was a range of intriguing sounding desserts on offer when we visited Peninsula. I urge you to try the Bread and butter pudding with white chocolate. This classic and comforting pudding is made with a twist, and is served with delicious stewed fruits and creamy custard. The Dark chocolate parfait was nice but unexceptional, a light cocoa flavoured mousse with citrus yoghurt, burnt clementine and douglas fir soil.

We admired the beautiful view over London as we finished our lunch with coffees and creative petit fours.

Peninsula Restaurant

If you ever find yourself in North Greenwich I highly recommend a meal at Peninsula, it is so much more than just a hotel restaurant.

More information and book a table here.