London’s most prosperous neighbourhoods, Kensington and Chelsea, are home to some of the capital’s most impressive restaurants. Amid the area’s white stucco townhouses and high-end boutiques, you will find reels of silky pappardelle, espresso crème brûlée and no shortage of Michelin stars.
But make no mistake; this is a postcode for deep pockets. To ensure you are not left disappointed, follow our consummate guide to dining out in Kensington and Chelsea, from glamorous trattorias and fine dining establishments to beautifully decorated West London institutions.
The Big Mamma group’s fourth outpost in London and their most luxurious opening to date, Jacuzzi is reflective of its Kensington postcode, both with its bountiful interiors and its indulgent menu filled with only the very best Italian prodotti. From land to sea, the menu features a range of elegant dishes inspired by traditional recipes of various Italian regions. Highlights include Saltimbocca alla Romana, tender English rosé veal with fior di latte mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and sage; Lobster Risotto ai Frutti di Mare with a rich cuttlefish ragu, filled with Cornish lobster and Pizza al Caviale topped with Transmontanus black caviar. To accompany the food, the wine list is an ode to Italian bubbles: the only deserving pairing for big flavours like caviar, bottarga, truffle and oysters.
Spanning three floors, Jacuzzi has been designed to be a pleasure palace filled with endless Italian artefacts to explore. Designed by Big Mamma’s in-house team, Studio Kiki, the restaurant aims to replicate a renaissance Venetian villa, featuring lemon pots to Murano glass. For warm, sunny nights, enjoy a delectable meal on the Sicilian mezzanine floor, where the roof retracts to spotlight the terrazza.
94 Kensington High Street, W8 4SJ. Visit bigmammagroup.com
Located just off the King’s Road in Chelsea, Stanley’s is inspired by a quintessential English country garden. The restaurant and courtyard, which is covered and heated all year round, feature marble tables, rattan chairs and plenty of stunning greenery that makes it feel like spring, whatever the weather.
The menu here focuses on the finest seasonal produce, showcasing the best of British suppliers and ingredients in a relaxed contemporary style. Expect west country lamb with asparagus and grape must sauce, south coast skate wing in chorizo butter and monk’s beard and, for those with a sweet tooth, poached Yorkshire rhubarb with whipped custard and meringue.
151 Sydney Street, SW3 5UE. Visit stanleyschelsea.co.uk
The Cadogan Arms
Having spent over two centuries catering to the local community, this beloved King’s Road institution reopened in the summer of 2021 following extensive renovations. Helmed by executive chef Alex Harper (previously of The Ledbury and Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons) and culinary director James Knappett (chef patron of Kitchen Table), the focus at The Cadogan Arms is on provenance, seasonality and traceability. Expect classic pub grub, bar snacks and traditional British fare, including piling portions of roast dinners come Sunday afternoon, alongside a curated selection of wines, classic cocktails and 12 draught beers.
298 King's Road, SW3 5UG. Visit thecadoganarms.london.
The Five Fields
Tucked away just behind the King’s Road, Michelin-starred The Five Fields is an intimate space, specialising in seasonal modern British fare, with much of the restaurant’s produce sourced directly from its own Sussex-based kitchen garden. Headed up by chef patron Taylor Bonnyman, since opening in 2013, this elegant yet inviting venue has amassed a loyal following within the local community thanks to its intricately presented culinary creations and daily changing tasting menus.
8-9 Blacklands Terrace, SW3 2SP. Visit fivefieldsrestaurant.com.
The Chelsea Pig
The Chelsea Pig reopened at the end of 2021 following a facelift by designer Timothy Oulton, whose flagship boutique sits on the nearby King’s Road. This ‘posh pub’ reflects Oulton’s signature blend of theatre and formality with a gothic edge — think deep-tufted leather, thick velvet drapes, moody tones and brass accents. Look out for Derek the Diver, a life-sized deep-sea diver in a metal suit, presented in its own aquarium.
Upstairs is the Trophy Room, so-called due to the vintage cups, shields and medals that adorn the walls. Here, you can enjoy longhorn beef tartare, braised venison pie or the signature Hen of the Woods mushrooms with polenta and herb dumplings, celeriac and mushroom ketchup.
35 Old Church Street, SW3 5BS. Visit thechelseapig.co.uk.
This Art Deco behemoth is housed within one of London’s most recognisable and impressive buildings - the former headquarters of British Michelin. Terrence Conran relaunched the space in 1987 as a restaurant and oyster bar, next door to his flagship shop. Today, you can still eat oysters in the courtyard cafe at Bibendum, while upstairs is the star of the show: Claude Bosi's celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant, which focuses on boldly flavoured French fare. The historic roly-poly Michelin Man is omnipresent — in the butter dish, on the salt and pepper pots and positioned in the building's soaring stained glass windows.
Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD. Visit claudebosi.com.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
The first West London outpost of the beloved bistro and celebrity hotspot, The Ivy Chelsea Garden opened on the King’s Road in 2015 to much excitement. The Ivy Collection has since gone on to open 16 restaurants in the city — including a number under its Ivy Asia, Ivy Cafe and Ivy Brasserie brands — but when it comes to laid-back yet sophisticated all-day dining in a stylish setting, this Art Deco destination takes the cake.
Fare here is seasonal, comprising everything from modern British cuisine to Italian flavours and café-style classics, including truffle wild mushrooms, duck liver parfait and the classic Ivy shepherd’s pie. And while the art-stuffed interior is certainly a sight to behold, you can’t beat the surprisingly spacious garden and flourishing orangery for sipping on bubbles as you while away the day with your nearest and dearest.
195-197 King's Rd, SW3 5EQ. Visit theivychelseagarden.com.
This Chelsea stalwart is named after its first proprietor: a gregarious casting agent who opened the restaurant during the Sixties as a hub for aristocrats and socialites. Today, it is owned by prolific restaurateur Richard Caring and remains a delightful hangout for well-heeled locals and the occasional celebrity. Glamorous Martin Brudnizki-designed interiors draw on sybaritic lunches in the Mediterranean, with rattan-backed chairs, vintage Murano glass chandeliers, caramel tones and a glossy marble-topped bar.
Against a backdrop of lemon trees, exposed brick, and antique mirrors, enjoy an upmarket menu of Italian deliciousness: buttery, truffle-topped tagliatelle, silky beef carpaccio and gnocchi with rabbit ragu for two. On balmy days, the roof retracts to create a serene al fresco dining space, while the front of the restaurant spills onto the street. You may be in Chelsea, but you’ll feel like you’re within cork-popping distance of the Amalfi Coast.
112 Draycott Avenue, SW3 3AE. Visit daphnes-restaurant.co.uk.
No. Fifty Cheyne
No. Fifty Cheyne is owned by Sally Greene, founding director of the Old Vic and proprietor of Ronnie Scott’s. As one might expect, this smart establishment has a delightfully louche air, especially at weekends, when crisp Sunday roasts with all the trimmings are flamed to perfection on the copper grill. Chandelier-lit interiors resemble an opulent English country home, with striped linen upholstery, parquet wood flooring, comfy leather banquettes and glorious views of the river. A staunch favourite with the Chelsea set, look out for the restaurant’s much-photographed floral façade, which changes with the seasons.
50 Cheyne Walk, SW3 5LR. Visit fiftycheyne.com.
Elystan Street is helmed by revered British chef Phil Howard, in collaboration with restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas. Considered one of London's very best modern Michelin-starred restaurants, it eschews white tablecloth grandeur in favour of concrete tabletops and staff in denim aprons. Dine out on double-baked soufflés made with cave-aged cheddar, grilled wild Cornish sea bass, and a roulade of octopus with blood orange and devilishly good Fondant of Islands bitter chocolate with hazelnut ice cream, all served in a large and light-filled, contemporary dining room. Oenophiles will be impressed by the lengthy and thoughtfully curated wine list, which balances some of the world's most prestigious winemakers with more niche suppliers, as well as a good number of accessible crowd-pleasers.
43 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT. Visit elystanstreet.com.
The Drawing Room at The Kensington
One of the most homely and beautiful hotels in West London, The Kensington's Drawing Room bar and restaurant balances comfort and glamour, with velvet seating, statement chandeliers and a year-round glimmering fire. A delightful lunch menu of locally-sourced British fare includes Chapel & Swan Suffolk smoked salmon with Oscietra caviar, grilled whole Dover sole and chargrilled sirloin ciabatta with caramelised onions, rocket and stilton, finished with classic vanilla crème brûlée and shortbread.
There is also a picturesque afternoon tea that presents London’s most iconic landmarks in diminutive form, alongside dainty savoury dishes. During the warmer months, the restaurant opens onto the street with an elegant, heated terrace perfectly positioned for people-watching.
109-113 Queen's Gate, SW7 5LP. Visit doylecollection.com.
Another success story from chef Phil Howard and restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas, this neighbourhood favourite near High Street Kensington is possibly London's most reasonably priced Michelin-starred restaurant, with a set menu priced at £39.50 for three courses. Head chef Mark Kempson, who has run the kitchen since it opened in 2009, cooks British dishes with an elegant French twist, served in a smart and homely setting.
11-13 Abingdon Road, W8 6AH. Visit kitchenw8.com.
Lady Carole Bamford’s organic food and lifestyle brand, Daylesford, has several outposts across West London but its Brompton Cross location has the edge. Begin your day with fresh farm eggs on chunky sourdough bread, before sampling wood-fired pizzas, loaded burgers and seasonal salads at lunch, served with botanical cocktails and sparkling wine. Fresh, organic ingredients are grown on the Daylesford farm in the Cotswolds for a thoughtful farm-to-fork model. Stock up on farm fare in the onsite shop, which also displays an enticing array of cakes, juices and takeaway meals.
76-82 Sloane Avenue, Brompton Road, SW3 3DZ. Visit daylesford.com.
No guide to Kensington and Chelsea would be complete without a mention of Bluebird. This capacious King's Road institution is peak Chelsea, courting a glammed-up, young crowd. Enjoy coffee and casual bites at the ground floor Bluebird Café, linger over drinks on the outdoor terrace or head upstairs for a more formal affair of steak tartare, tandoori monkfish masala and truffle and burrata ravioli, as well as a popular weekend brunch.
350 King's Road, SW3 5UU. Visit bluebird-restaurant.co.uk.