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15 outstanding London restaurants for special occasions

A photo of Red logo
by Shekha Vyas
Updated 21 November 2023

Long praised for the must-visit museums and can’t-miss theatre that make it an international cultural centre, London is also rich in restaurants of all sorts, including spots to celebrate special occasions.

A chic sushi place in Kensington was made for wooing a special someone. For raucous reunions, there’s a crowd-friendly American grill in Covent Garden. In Westminster, a swanky Indian spot is a no-brainer for milestone birthdays and anniversaries.

London’s most outstanding restaurants for celebrating are highly sought-after destinations—so book your table at one of these 15 places now.

A photo of CORE by Clare Smyth restaurant
4.9
4.9 (3246)
£41 and over
British
Notting Hill
About the restaurant
With three MICHELIN stars, it’s no surprise that Core offers a truly special occasion-worthy experience. The cosy and colourful dining room is an ideal place to tuck into chef Clare Smyth’s tasting menu spotlighting British bounty. Consider the Core Seasons lineup, which features roast cod and Morecambe Bay prawns or wagyu beef served with Porthilly oysters. For an especially unforgettable feast, gather ten of your nearest and dearest and book the chef’s table. Here, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the kitchen crew as they prepare your celebratory meal.
Top review
ACChi
Dined 2 days ago
Amazing staff, beautiful courses, and got to meet Clare at the end! Memorable dining experience!
A photo of Brasserie Zedel restaurant
4.4
4.4 (3454)
£25 and under
French
Piccadilly
About the restaurant
The Art Deco interiors at this Piccadilly gem raise the bar on any occasion. Hidden under [ZL Cafe](https://www.brasseriezedel.com/zedel-cafe/), the elegant Parisian brasserie exudes 1930s opulence with pink marble columns and a dramatic gold ceiling. Kick off your special night with starters such as rabbit rillettes and escargot from a menu of French classics, conceived by chef Charles Hilton. For mains, try the moules marinières (mussels in white wine) and fries or the artichoke heart ragout and couscous. Toast with cocktails including the Hemingway daiquiri (rum, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur) or a glass, carafe, or bottle from an impressive French wine list. A house band provides the jazzy soundtrack for your extraordinary night.
Top review
ClareF
Dined on 11 Apr 2024
It’s a French restaurant serving delicious French food
A photo of Maxwell's restaurant
4.5
4.5 (5250)
£25 and under
American
Covent Garden
About the restaurant
This laidback all-American grill is a special occasion stalwart, especially when it comes to hosting large groups. Maxwell’s has served its signature burgers, fajitas, and wings to families, theatre-goers, and sports fans since 1972. Tried-and-tested favourites include the Cheesebomb Burger, a beef patty sandwiched between crispy bacon, cheese, and a brioche bun, accompanied by a jug of hot melted cheddar. Wash down your decadent meal with a famous Freakshake which comes in playful versions such as rice crispy cake and Oreo cookie.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Fantastic in all areas, food, staff and ambience. They surprised my daughter with a little cake and candle at the end of our visit for her 10th birthday, she was soo o welled as it was unexpected. We will be back.
A photo of Otto's Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (866)
£26 to £40
French
Bloomsbury
About the restaurant
It’s easy to see why Londoners flock to this French favourite for all sorts of celebrations. They’re partly here for tableside theatre from an attention-grabbing duck press that makes Otto’s iconic canard à la presse possible. The hefty contraption extracts juices from the bird which is served three ways: liver atop morels and sweetbreads, slivers of duck breast in that infamous pressed sauce with pommes soufflées, and confit duck leg with foie gras and black truffle (due to avian flu, pigeon à la presse is on offer instead). Other examples of Gallic gastronomy can be found on the a la carte menu, such as lobster soufflé with Oscietra caviar and lobster bisque. The extensive wine list is also worth a punt, boasting a long list of continental hard-hitters.
Top review
Sebastianvip
Dined 3 days ago
Simply superb. Food is outstanding, service is quick, attentive and super friendly. Always a great meal.
A photo of Rossella restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1214)
£25 and under
Italian
Kentish Town
About the restaurant
Rossella, a cosy, family-run Italian spot in Kentish Town, was made for marking intimate occasions. This slice of southern Italy is steered by Luca Meola who turns out a menu inspired by summers in Naples and his father’s love of cooking. Toast each other over festive but homey dishes such as Neapolitan beef and pork meatballs in a flavoursome tomato sauce and tagliatelle laced with sautéed aubergine, courgettes, and red onion, topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella.
Top review
Eleanor
Dined on 8 Apr 2024
Lovely service and delicious food. They went above and beyond to make a birthday celebration wonderful. Would 100% recommend this restaurant for anyone who wants to eat fantastic food in a lovely atmospheric place.
A photo of The Cinnamon Club restaurant
4.6
4.6 (7037)
£41 and over
Indian
St. James's
About the restaurant
This renowned restaurant has led the charge in Indian fine dining since opening its doors in 2001. A stately dining room, decked with leather-bound books and blue banquettes, adds a dash of grandeur to any birthday or anniversary. Splash out on modern Indian dishes including chargrilled Obsiblue king prawns in an Alleppey-style curry sauce and Hyderabadi black-spiced lamb escalope from the tasting menu. Or share the Cinnamon Club 20th anniversary special: Old Delhi-style butter chicken, pilau rice, black lentils, garlic naan, and fenugreek butter. Saturdays are extra fun with a jazz brunch, featuring a three-course menu alongside a soundtrack of smooth beats.
Top review
Bellavip
Dined 3 days ago
Excellent value for money on the lunch menu. First time I tried the set menu and was very impressed with the quality of the food. Service is always outstanding.
A photo of Brawn restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1624)
£26 to £40
European
Bethnal Green
About the restaurant
With its contemporary and stylish interiors, Mediterranean restaurant Brawn is well-suited for special dates. The sleek space in a converted warehouse is all about lingering over shared plates. Dishes showcase seasonal produce and are heavy on pork and game. The menu changes constantly, but you might start with parmesan fritters and Nocellara olives before moving on to the pork, pistachio, and liver terrine. If you’ve brought heftier appetites, there are larger dishes such as spaghetti with squid ragu. Stretch out a celebratory evening with a sweet treat such as citrus granita with whipped cream. Brawn also boasts an impressive list of natural and organic wines, influenced by founder and head chef Ed Wilson’s experience at the now-shuttered wine bar, Terroirs.
Top review
Annie
Dined on 13 Dec 2023
Fantastic evening, food was delicious service was excellent, would highly recommend.
A photo of Fatt Pundit restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1057)
£25 and under
Chinese
Soho
About the restaurant
Fatt Pundit is the spot for an all-out group celebration thanks to inventive small plates and one especially Instagram-worthy dessert. The Indian Chinese restaurant has an energetic vibe enhanced by street signs and murals. Start the party with a fruit cooler cocktail served in versions including a guava sour and Alphonso mango with Szechuan syrup. The drinks are inspired by vendors in India who serve fresh fruit sprinkled with a variety of spices and salts. Tear into shareable dishes such as Tibetan momos, chilli paneer lettuce cups, and sticky sesame vegetables. Cap off your group feast with a sizzling brownie served with vanilla and chocolate honeycomb ice cream.
Top review
LisaS
Dined on 10 Apr 2024
Fabulous service, great food. Unusual twist on a theme. Great for vegetarians
A photo of Bistro Union restaurant
4.7
4.7 (933)
£26 to £40
British
Clapham
About the restaurant
This date-worthy Clapham restaurant (the sibling venue to MICHELIN-starred [Trinity](https://www.opentable.com/trinity-london?utm_source=blog_restaurant_specific_pages&utm_medium=Feature&utm_campaign=london-special-occasions)) showcases a modern British and French menu under the helm of head chef Adam Byatt. The retro-themed dining room adds a playfulness to the serious flavours of the daily menu. Dishes including Comté gougeres, roast chicken à la suprême, and cured meats provide the right kind of fuel for a sophisticated and standout celebration.
Top review
PeterPvip
Dined on 10 Apr 2024
Great spot for lunch. Very good food and wine list. We were looked after very well. Not the first time I have been there and certainly not the last,
A photo of Savoy Grill – Gordon Ramsay restaurant
4.6
4.6 (7515)
£41 and over
British
Covent Garden
About the restaurant
One of London’s most fabulous and famous restaurants has hosted epic evenings for Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, and the late Queen Elizabeth II. It’s existed in the iconic Savoy Hotel for more than a century—and is now part of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s empire. The prestigious dining room offers a chance to celebrate in style. A menu focusing on British dishes with a French accent spotlights the talents of executive head chef Michael Turner and his brigade. Feast on succulent beef Wellington, duck à l’orange, and lobster thermidor with fries in a stunning space decked with crystal chandeliers and velvet seats. Elevate the experience by reserving the chef’s table where an eight-course menu includes drama from the live kitchen.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
A fantastic family dinner celebrating my husband’s 60th birthday. Everything was perfect!!
A photo of Side Hustle at The NoMad restaurant
4.8
4.8 (320)
£26 to £40
Mexican
Covent Garden
About the restaurant
This lively Mexico-inspired spot is in a former police station, but you’d never know its sombre past life thanks to its jewel-toned glow-up, complete with leather booths and a marble-topped bar. The vibes here are unabashedly festive, fueled by eye-catching agave-forward cocktails (conceived by bar director Liana Oster) and shareable dips. Bring a group to do justice to larger plates such as the ribeye with Padrón peppers or order the number of tacos—fillings include wild mushrooms, Baja-style prawns, or pork carnitas—your crew requires.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Lively athmosphere and good service. Very conveniently located in front of the Royal Opera House
A photo of Sachi Restaurant at Pantechnicon restaurant
4.5
4.5 (128)
£41 and over
Japanese
Belgravia
About the restaurant
With its ambient lighting and intimate seats, Sachi at Pantechnicon is the ideal place to woo someone special. Snag a seat at the sushi counter to watch fresh seafood prepared before your eyes. Steelhead trout with hazelnut miso and beef short rib with black garlic and fermented mushrooms are just two examples of the chefs’ renowned Japanese techniques. If you’re stumped by the drinks menu, a sake sommelier can help you navigate.
Top review
SuzieoMvip
Dined on 26 Jan 2024
Divine! Can’t wait for the restaurant to reopen after the refurbishment.
A photo of Harwood Arms restaurant
4.8
4.8 (3444)
£41 and over
Gastro Pub
Fulham
About the restaurant
London’s only MICHELIN-starred gastropub is overseen by Australian-born Brett Graham (chef and owner of the two MICHELIN-starred [Ledbury](https://www.opentable.com/the-ledbury?utm_source=blog_restaurant_specific_pages&utm_medium=Feature&utm_campaign=london-special-occasions)) and head chef Jake Leach. The ever-changing menu at this date-night gem focuses on game, showcasing British meats such as Berkshire fallow deer and wild venison. Enjoy them accompanied with seasonal veggies from the pub’s roof garden while taking in the rustic decor. Harwood Arms is a wildly popular restaurant in Chelsea so be sure to make a reservation for your special day.
Top review
Murri
Dined on 12 Apr 2024
Very friendly staff. Flexibel in ordering from the menu. No upselling. Amazing food. Highly recommend.
A photo of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych restaurant
4.4
4.4 (1113)
£41 and over
Afternoon Tea
Aldwych
About the restaurant
This Theatreland hotel sprinkles magic on any milestone moment by channelling a Roald Dahl classic. On its Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea menu, choose from photogenic savouries such as the salmon and dill quiche and beetroot macaron. Expect sugary treats including sweet scones, “snozzberry” jam, and a box stacked with crafted cakes, candies, mallows, and creams. To wash it all down, there’s chocolate or lemon sherbet tea, fizzy lifting Champagne, and whimsical water-pistol cocktails. With a dedicated children’s menu serving cakes, hot chocolates, and mocktails, One Aldwych is just the ticket for revellers of all ages.
Top review
Nicky73
Dined on 12 Apr 2024
Wonderful afternoon tea atmosphere service and food amazing
A photo of The Seafood Bar restaurant
4.5
4.5 (151)
£26 to £40
Seafood
Soho
About the restaurant
The Seafood Bar is the only international outpost from the De Visscher family, Dutch fishmongers turned restaurateurs. A reservation at this Georgian townhouse ups the ante on any festive occasion with unique perks: discuss the day’s catch with the chefs at the downstairs seafood counter before enjoying it in the upstairs dining room. Come for award-winning fare such as Nordic Blu salmon, regularly touted as the world’s best and most sustainable, or a fillet of sole sizzled on the huge plancha grill. If it’s an especially noteworthy night, splurge for the pièce de résistance: a colossal seafood platter piled high with clams, oysters, and crevettes.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on 12 Apr 2024
Best fish & chips in London, the place is spacious and bright. Definitely recommend
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