Heading to London for a little culture over Christmas? We’ve picked our favourite restaurants near the big attractions.

Emilia’s Crafted Pasta

After a regal outing to the Tower of London, wonder down to St Katharine Docks for a bowl of fresh, handmade pasta and waterside views. Replicating the authentic taste of rural Italy, the food is made from scratch every day, with twists on classics and a specials board to tempt you from your comfort zone. The open kitchen allows you to wallow in all the pasta-making action before tucking in with glee.

Launceston Place

Just a short stroll from the Natural History and Science museums and a favourite of Princess Diana’s, Launceston Place offers fine dining at its swankiest. With several menus to mull over, you can sample the modern culinary delights over a reasonably priced set lunch or push the boat out and indulge in a 9-course tasting menu.

Rochelle Canteen at the ICA

Museum cafes are usually places to avoid but The Institute of Contemporary Arts has enticed top chefs Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson to open a restaurant where bright, British flavours are king. With a daily changing modern menu, Rochelle Canteen is conveniently located at the heart of the ICA whenever hunger strikes.

Villa Mamas

Another favourite in Kensington’s museum district, this offshoot of a famous Bahrain restaurant offers home cooking, Middle Eastern-style. Inspired by the childhood memories and flavours of chef-restaurateur Roaya Saleh, it’s the perfect feast after an exhibition at the V&A, we reckon.

Florentine restaurant

Just around the corner from the Imperial War Museum, make time for a visit to Florentine restaurant for trendy yet relaxed all-day dining. Signature dishes include wood-fired flatbreads with a choice of tempting toppings, and an almighty 2kg Herculean Truffle Burger. Share between 4 people, but be sure to pre-order!

Boulevard Brasserie

No need to travel far from the London Transport Museum for a touch of Parisian chic in the heart of Covent Garden. Pop in for an irresistibly cheesy Croque Monsieur or opt à la carte for an array of sophisticated French classics, from Moules Frites to Coq au Vin. With traditional Parisian interiors to match, this brasserie is the perfect pit stop to escape the hustle and bustle of the West End.

Opso

Tear yourself away from the glitz and glamour of Madame Tussauds for a laid-back lunch of Greek tapas in this sleek, modern restaurant. Delve into dips, pitta and meze or go for a larger main course if plate-hopping isn’t your thing. Alternatively, start the day A-list style with a blowout brunch.

Dalloway Terrace

A fitting choice after a visit to the British Museum, this quintessentially English restaurant is tucked down a side street in Bloomsbury and named after Virginia Woolf’s character Mrs Dalloway. Ideal for a tranquil lunch or dinner retreat, the elegantly presented food blends well with its pretty surroundings. Plus, where else can you enjoy a fully heated secret garden in winter?

Caravan Bankside

With a diverse ‘well-travelled’ menu to suit all tastes and appetites, this converted metal box factory retains some of its industrial past in a minimalist restaurant space. A stone’s throw from Tate Modern, Caravan has you covered from morning til night with interesting flavour combinations and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

Tandoor Chop House

Spice up lunch after a stroll around The National Gallery with a tandoor thali of Indian delights. North Indian cuisine meets classic British chop house for comfort food fusion in this buzzy yet intimate restaurant. If you happen to be visiting on a Sunday, its mighty thali is an irresistible sharing feast.

Ask for Janice

Close to the Museum of London and opposite Smithfield Market, this quirky restaurant has an industrial feel with contemporary artwork and bare light bulbs aplenty. The food is fresh and seasonal, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and even professionally foraged greens. The inventive menu means you’ll be spoilt for choice come breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

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Abigail Spooner