The Mr. & Mrs. Smith-Approved Restaurant Guide To London

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This article was published for Forbes.com

When looking to travel, there’s no name trusted more than Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The website has established itself as the ultimate travelers guidebook, curating the most unique and luxurious hotels around the world. From a lakeside treehouse in Sri Lanka to a palace in Morocco’s red deserts, Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s reviews are as detailed as they get, analyzing the design, food, neighborhood, and even the soundtrack played throughout a hotel. Co-founders and real-life Mr. & Mrs. Smith, James and Tamara Lohan founded the company in 2002 after taking a trip that fell short of their expectations. Since then, the Lohans have grown the business to a global empire with over a million users. They represent thousands of hotels, host their own award series, and have won the Best Travel Website in Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards twice. When they’re not traveling the world, they’re home in London, the city they met in during their 20’s. True to their nomadic style, the couple live in a 100ft Dutch barge in Chiswick along the River Thames, conveniently located close to Heathrow Airport on the chance they need to jet to their latest discovery. We asked the travel gurus for their Smith-approved restaurant guide to London, complete with bites equally as exotic as their travels. Summer plans, anyone?

 

Gymkhana

Mayfair

“Our favorite Indian restaurant in London, and very worthy of its Michelin star (though there’s no pretense to it, at all). Get there early and try one of their classic Indian punches at the bar before you eat.”

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Maltby Street Market

Bermondsey

“A short walk from the more famous Borough Market, but with fewer crowds – at Maltby Street you can pick an amazing starter, main course and pudding if you’re feeling greedy and then walk it off with a wander around the Lassco Reclamation Yard (and bring something home that you didn’t know you had to have).”

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African Volcano, Maltby Street Market

 

Luiz Hara: The Chef At Home

“Pop-up dining just keeps growing in London and Luiz’s private dining events at his home are some of its most sought-after. He and his partner are the ultimate hosts and his food dances spectacularly between Japanese and South American. Ask to sit up on a bar stool at the chef’s table – you’ll love it.”

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Balsamic-glaze Yorkshire beef cheek, carrot purée, salt-baked shallots, salsa verde and Gratin Blu cheese, London Foodie Supper Club

 

Pedler

Peckham

“Peckham in South London is the city’s current hotspot and it’s worth making the journey just to eat here. A vibrant neighborhood restaurant with an ever-changing menu of seasonal small plates, genuinely friendly service and a really interesting list of independent wines and champagnes.”

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The Colony Grill

Mayfair

“Dine on old-school favorites cooked to perfection at this modern American brasserie in one of our favorite hotels, the Beaumont: the brainchild of London’s best restaurateurs Jeremy King and Chris Corbin.”

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Bananas Foster, The Colony

 

Ceviche

Soho

“An ever-buzzy Peruvian restaurant that always delivers great food well worth washing down with a few too many Pisco Sours. Book in advance, mind, or you won’t get in.”

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Rock oyster with amarillo chill granite and coriander oil, Ceviche

 

Chiltern Firehouse

Marylebone

“It’s been London’s A-list hangout for a while now, and you can see why. We’ve always had a great meal courtesy of the gifted Nuno Mendes – it’s perfect for people-watching, too.”

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Tredwells

Covent Garden

“The brand-new restaurant from Master Chef Marcus Wareing is helping to inject a dose of cool into Covent Garden’s touristy trail. The food is fantastic, as you’d expect, but it’s in more relaxed modern brasserie surrounds than his last ventures – perfect for lunch or dinner.”

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Duck with tamarind and cashew, Tredwells