Diggory Lifestyle Management - Restaurants for Business 2011

Which is London's best restaurant?

It's getting more and more difficult to say, because the old rules - which boiled down to French is best - seem ever more inappropriate today. But let's stick with the traditional 'haute cuisine' definition. If you want the whole high-falutin' Gallic dining experience, the top all-rounder - no question is Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley. In a rather more traditional style, London's original post-war grand restaurant, Le Gavroche, still has a lot going for it.

Following hard on their heals are a duo of restaurants from the same stable which have maintained very high quality for a good number of years and are still improving: The Square and The Ledbury. For something more adventurous, plan a rip to the East End, to the newly opened Viajante.

Other staples of quality dining include; Pied a Terre, Atelier de Robuchon, Launceston Place and The River Cafe.

Peter Harden

As for holding business meetings, the following establishments are recognised as the finest restaurants in which to conduct your business. NB: With the exception of ‘set meals,’ the price shown for each restaurant is the cost for one (1) person of an average three-course dinner with half a bottle of house wine and coffee, any cover charge, service and VAT. Lunch is often cheaper.

The Wolseley

160 Piccadilly, W1 0117 499 6996 £54.00

"A Buzzing hub of London life"; Corbin & King's "electric" grand cafe, by the Ritz, suits most occasions, not least a "peerless breakfast", "impressing client" or "discreet celeb-spotting" (all three at once); the "steadfast" food is rather beside the point.  Midnight. Sun 11pm

The Don

20 St Swithins Lane, EC4 0207 626 2606 £47.00

"The best business restaurant in the City" - combining an "airy and civilised" upstairs, with an informal and "atmospheric" cellar - is quietly tucked-away near Bank; the cooking is "good verging on very good", backed up by a "crackling" wine list and "slick" service. 10pm closed Sat & Sun; no trainers.

BLEEDING HEART

Bleeding Heart Yd, Greville Street, EC1 0117 242 8238 £49.00

"Hidden-away down a cobbled alley", near Holborn, this "historic" warren - comprising a tavern, bistro and restaurant - remains one of the best-liked places in town; with its "traditional Gallic" approach, its "very intimate" nooks and its "epic" wine list, it manages to "cover all the bases, from business to romance". 10pm closed Sat & Sun.

Coq dArgent

1 Poultry, EC2 0207 395 5000 £58.00

With its "fantastic" terraces and roof gardens, this "unique" 6th-floor D&D-group operation in the City is never going to be a budget destination, but improved food and service have made it better value of late; though it's mainly a business venue, of course, it can be "surprisingly busy" at weekends too. 9.45pm; closed Sat lunch and Sun dinner.

The Ivy

1-5 West Street, WC2 0207 836 4751 £60.00

 "Not in the league it once was" - this famous Theatrelander offers "comfort" fare that can sometimes smack of the "conveyor belt" nowadays; if you can get a table, you're still "pretty much guaranteed to see a celeb", though, and "service - under maitre d' Ferrnando Peire - is undoubtedly "brilliant". 11.30pm; booking max 6.

The Square

6-10 Bruton Street, W1 0207 495 7100 £96.00

Philip Howard's "consistently superb" cuisine and an utterly "fabulous" wine list have long put this "understated and confident" Mayfair dining room in London's first rank; the "polished" service has somtimes contributed to a rather "serious" ambience, but there are signs of late that it has 'lightend-up'. 10.00pm; Sat 10.30pm; closed Sat lunch and Sun lunch; booking: max 8; set weekday lunch £79.00 (FP).

L'Anima

1 Snowden Street, EC2 0207 422 7000 £57.00

Francesco Mazzei's "exceptional" cooking has helped make this Italian yearling "a breath of fresh air in the City"; with its "sophisticated" and "airy" decor, and its "exemplary" service, it continues to prove itself as "on of the best new openings of the last few years". 11pm; closed sat L & Sun.

Scotts

20 Mount Street, W1 0207 495 7309 £68.00

The "great aura" of this "happening" Mayfair magnet for the "A-list" is in part due to the "super-glamorous", style of its "classic" and "elegant" interior; it's a real "all-rounder", though, also offering "exemplary" fish and seafood dishes, and "very polished" service. 10.30pm, Sun 10pm; booking: max 6.

Galvin Bistrot de Luxe

66 Baker Street, W1 0207 935 4007 £45.00

"It would do Paris proud!", the Galvin brothers' "smart" and "very professional" Marylebone bistro has achieved an astonishing following, and "never disappoints" with its "perfect" bourgeois cuisine; "superb" wines too, many 'en carafe'. 10.30pm, Sun 9.30pm; set dinner £29 (FP).

 

Galvin La Chapelle

35 Spital Sq, E1 0207 299 0400 £62.00

"A breathtaking beautiful interior" - a chapel-like former school hall, in Spitalfields - helps make the Galvin brothers' acclaimed newcomer "a superb addition" to the City; the "poshed-up bistro food" rather plays second fiddle, but it is still very "competent"; (the "casual" Cafe a Vin next door is cheaper - formula price £47.00 but "crowded" and "less pretty". Mon - Fri 10.00pm, Sat & Sun 10.30pm.

I need help with...