Good food does more than just fill your belly; it nourishes the soul. But when you’re someone who’s been out and about and seen it all, you’ll probably need something a little more than just great food to pique your appetite, right? That’s why we curated this list of the best immersive experiences in London.
But what qualifies as an immersive dining experience, you might ask? Well, an immersive dining experience is one that quite simply engages all your senses. Thus while great food is obviously a prerequisite, it must offer a lot more, such as a great ambience, cultural experience, an engaging soundscape, live performances, art, narratives. In short, anything that makes even the sybarite in you sit up and take notice.
1. Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill, The Savoy
Timings: Monday to Saturday 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Location: The Savoy
Price: Three course meal starting at £50 per person
Before we talk about the great seafood and immersive dining at Kaspar’s there’s a story about how the place got its name that you must hear.
Back in the roaring twenties, the sculptor Basil Ionides was commissioned by the director of the Savoy to create a life-sized sculpture of a black cat that would be seated in any private dining room that had only 13 guests. This was because the director considered 13 an unlucky number, and black cats are thought to bring good luck. The Savoy’s restaurant soon became the favourite haunt of Winston Churchill and Lord Birkenhead who used it for private meetings. Everytime the number of members dining at the restaurant equaled 13, Savoy's black cat sculpture was brought out, seated at the table, and had a napkin tied around its neck, as if it were dining, just like the other distinguished guests.
Guess what the black cat was called? Yes, you guessed it right. Kaspar.
The Savoy has been called London’s most famous hotel, and rightly so. In its over 125-year old history, it has regularly played host to guests as distinguished as His Highness King Edward VII, Winston Churchill, H.G. Wells, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, to name just a few. And the Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill was where everyone had their best meals. Of course, it wasn’t called that back in the day. For most of its history, it was simply called the Savoy Restaurant, or the River Restaurant, because of the excellent views it offered of the Thames.
The Savoy Restaurant will always be known in culinary history as the birthplace of several signature dishes such as the Melba Toast,, Peche Melba, and bombe nero, all invented by the celebrity French chef Auguste Escoffier who was the man in charge of the Savoy's kitchen when it first opened.
It was only in 2013 that the Savoy Restaurant was refurbished in art deco style and renamed the Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill that served oysters, smoked, and cured fish to die for. That the sea food at Kaspar’s is the best in London is not up for debate. But what makes Kaspar’s truly stand out as an immersive dining experience is its association with art and culture, along with some of the best views of the Thames in London. Monet used to be an artist-in-residence here, and Frank Sinatra used to regale guests on the piano.
It’s a legacy that continues to this day. Come to Kasper’s to enjoy some of the best art and music in the capital, afternoon tea, and a delicious four course meal. And of course, if you’re lucky, you might get to say hello to Kaspar the cat.
The Belmond Cadogan hotel will perhaps be best known in history as being the place Oscar Wilde was arrested from in 1895. Wilde was living in a pied a terre at the Cadogan at the time. Besides Wilde, the Belmond Cadogan was also the home of Lillie Langtry, mistress of King Edward VII, and one of the most talented actors of her age. In fact, it is from Lillie Langtry that the LaLee restaurant gets its name, and who it acknowledges as one of its “most legendary past residents.”
With so much history and such distinguished patrons behind it, it is little wonder that the LaLee offers a dining experience unlike any other. Its unique menu changes daily and explores the different ways food can be prepared, served and eaten. The venue has a completely open kitchen where you can watch your meal being prepared from start to finish.
The menu includes modern British dishes, like seared scallops and roast pork belly with black pudding polenta, as well as more traditional options such as steamed lobster and braised beef cheeks. The most popular item on the menu, however, remains the good old Caesar Salad, which the LaLee is known to do a very good job of.
The dining room itself is one of the most beautiful in London with its stunning glass dome, marble floors and elegant chandeliers, making you feel like you’re dining inside a crystal ball. The opulence is to be expected, given that the Cadogan Hotel is part of the Cadogan Estate that includes Chelsea and the fashionable Sloane Street, and is still owned by the Cadogan Family, who have held it since the time of the Second Baron of Cadogan in 1717. This is a part of London replete with artistic history. Jane Austen stayed at Sloane Street while she wrote Pride and Prejudice, as did the Rolling Stones.
Price: Three course meal starting at £40 per person
Igloos in London? That’s the Coppa Club for you in three words. Except the igloos are made of glass, and offer spectacular views of London landmarks
Coppa Club has taken London by storm with its unique concept of an igloo restaurant. There were some seven Coppa Clubs spread across London, and going by their popularity, they don’t seem to be in a mood to stop coming up with more.
Coppa Club offers a completely immersive dining experience with its pop-up igloos. The restaurant has attracted a lot of attention since it opened in 2015, and it's easy to see why. There’s great food, great views, and a choice to find a seat in the house according to your mood. Whether you’re looking for a place to work from, a quiet seat to read a book in, or are out for a night of fun and drinks, the Coppa Club has you covered.
Delicious food and great views — if you're looking for one of the most unusual dining experiences in London, then Coppa Club is definitely worth checking out!
Price: Three course meal starting at £35 per person
Los Mochis takes its name from a coastal town on Mexico’s Pacific coast. And since the Pacific Ocean stretches from Mexico all the way to Japan, serial restaurateur MarkusThesleff got the wacky idea of marrying Mexican bonhomie with Japanese elegance to come up with a pan-Pacific restaurant. The result is Los Mochis.
From artisanal agaves to Sashimi, Los Mochis brings the best of Mexican-Japanese cuisine to Notting Hill. The menu is gluten, nut, and celery free, and uses minimal dairy. The decor is a feisty Mexican, with a touch Japanese zen. The colourful Mexican art on the exposed brick walls gives the place a raw energy, while the dim lighting and exquisite seating bestows upon it a sense of serenity.
The drinks menu boasts of some of the finest tequilas and mezcals in Europe. To spice things up, there are also some exotic drinks for the more adventurous, such as lychee martinis.
The restaurant also offers intimate one-hour masterclasses in mixing mezcals by a master mixologist. Patrons can opt for the masterclass with friends and family.
The Laundry is a quaint establishment housed in the historic Walton Lodge building that dates back to the 1880s. Built as a steam press laundry in the Edwardian era, the building continued to house a laundry for over 125 years, until throwing in the towel in 2014. This was when restaurateur and sommelier Melanie Brown had the idea of transforming the historic building into a casual diner. Having learned the trade under celebrity chefs Peter Gordon and Jamie Oliver, Melanie struck out on her own with the New Zealand cellar, a specialist winery showcasing the best wines from Kiwiland in London.
With such a stellar pedigree, little wonder then that The Laundry turns out to be one of the most immersive dining experiences in London. The menu is simple and inspired by Melanie’s upbringing in rustic New Zealand. Beef Tartare, triple cooked chips, chicken liver parfait, duck ham, and pickled shallots are just a few of the delicacies visitors can expect to feast on. Best downed with a glass of the silky smooth Langhe Nebbiolo.
The Laundry is an all day place, so you can drop by if you don’t feel like cooking breakfast, and you can stay as late as 11 to enjoy some of their finer cocktails. And if the weather permits, they have excellent alfresco dining spaces on their expansive rooftop for great candlelight dinners. All this makes The Laundry one of the most unique dining experiences in London.
Price: Three course meal starting at £70 per person
We know what you’re thinking. What’s with that name, right? Well, the most interesting places have the most interesting names, don’t they?
So, it is with Bob Bob Ricard.
The restaurant is the brainchild of the Muscovite restaurateur Leonid Shutov, and Richard Howarth. Richard gave Leonid the unsuspecting nickname Bob, and Leonid, perhaps out of vengeance, insisted on misspelling Richard. And since Bob put up two-thirds of the capital, the result was Bob Bob Ricard.
The name however, is more than just a fun backstory. It defines the restaurant’s fun personality and their irreverent approach to fine dining. Bob Bob Ricard serves mostly French and English cuisine, but with a fun, wacky twist to it that lands just right. They’re not a fusion restaurant, and they don’t do pan-Asia, pan-European, or pan-anything.
They do however love putting disparate, seemingly incongruous things together in a fun, cheeky way that ends up feeling just right. So, for instance, the decor combines an American diner’s casual chic with luxury elegance. And the menu features such odd combinations as Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, and Chicken and Champagne Pie. You know it shouldn’t make any sense, but it does, just like the name Bob Bob Ricard.
The restaurant is famous in London for its champagne buttons on every table, and its American diner-style booths that combine privacy with elegance. The menu has a selection of caviars, oysters, and a lot of champagne in the main course. Try the chicken and champagne pie and the truffle and champagne pie if you don’t believe us. In fact, the restaurant prides itself on serving the most champagne in all of London.
If brunch isn't already one of your weekend priorities, what are you waiting for?
Picture this: Bottomless brunch and Italian food. Now, mix both together and you'll get the perfect indulgent experience of Crazy Bubbles at Crazy Pizza Marylebone.
The Crazy Bubbles concept is one to not be missed out. Expect impromptu performances, delicious and hearty Italian dishes all surrounded by a fun and pleasant atmosphere. Serving up a whole host of delicious pizzas, creamy burratas and flowing prosecco for three whole hours. Does it sound like a plan? A crazy Italian party in London, we're in!
Passion for business is what Paul Michaels, Chairman at Hexagon Classics, reflects in his sensational East Finchley Showroom. The establishment is lucky to own one of the largest collections of classic cars in the UK and Europe, focusing on the most valuable makes in the world. Pieces from the Ferrari Museum, racing D-type Jaguars, Formula 500 and many more treasures the automotive industry has to offer.
Combining the beauty of the collection with a Mediterranean inspired restaurant creates a winning product, and one that we were lucky enough to experience. Hexagon classics features a phenomenal restaurant with a kitchen run by Head Chef James Harrison. This cosy spot serves up a delicious combination of delights like fresh ceviche or indulging burrata as starters, followed by a great selection of salads, pizzas, meat, fish, veggie and vegan options. Our personal favourite was the monkfish, absolute heaven. If you find yourself wandering through North London, The Engine Rooms would be a unique restaurant worth checking out!
9. Moulin Rouge Immersive Experience as M Restaurants
Timings: Mon to Fri 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Sat 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Location: Zig Zag Building, 74 Victoria St, London
Price: Starting at £35 per person
M restaurants have launched several successful immersive experiences, and their Moulin Rouge experience was another great success. The Sybarite attended this bohemian evening, and we were pleasantly surprised. Our team was transported to Paris while we watched entertainers, performers and creatures of the night from the Montmartre Quarter rehearse their upcoming ”Spectacular Spectacular” show.
The evening was filled with the finest food and drink with a theatrical four course menu, live music and entertainment including singing and dancing. The wait staff as well as performers were attentive and immersive, and created an experience unlike any other. The four course menu was a delight, with free flowing Veuve Clicquot bubbles to compliment a caviar, king fish sashimi and steak menu.
Guests were encouraged to dress for the occasion in the expressive, outlandish style of the Moulin Rouge for an unforgettable evening. Keep your eyes peeled for the next in line for M Restaurants' immersive dinners, they are certainly memorable!
Counted among some of the best new London restaurants, NBHD occupies the perfect corner right in the heart of Ladbroke Rd. A cool vibes restaurant and a late cocktail bar that will become your must-go-to and favourite place to enjoy with friends and switch off after a busy day at work.
A casual and fun restaurant offering an enjoyable South American sharing style menu serving delicious tostadas, tacos, wings and even more delicious margaritas, daiquiris and our all time favourite, Aperol Spritz. Don't miss the Truffle and parmesan fries and the Esquites. Thank us later!
From elite 19th century clubs overlooking the Thames to abandoned laundry houses, London is constantly reinventing its fine and dine scene, while staying true to what it’s best known for — the finest food and drink in the world. There's obviously no formula for having a great, memorable meal, but we thought we'd provide some inspiration and share our opinion on where to go. From nice meals out with friends in igloos to romantic nights in with loved ones at Mexican-themed eateries, these restaurants should give you plenty of options. They certainly did us! If, on the other hand, you’re just in the mood for a light brunch, make sure to go through our list of the best places for the best New Year’s Day brunch in London. And if you're looking to luxuriate in a hot bath after a soul-nourishing meal at any of these restaurants, check out this AIRE ancient baths London review by the Sybarite to treat yourself to the luxury you deserve.
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