Elegant, Exclusive, Luxurious and Expensive: Lunch in Knightsbridge

Eating in department stores is convenient when one is busy shopping, and Knightsbridge is no exception with both Harrods and Harvey Nichols offering high end eating establishments within their shopping offering, and this is not your average shop canteen, but super refined tastes, flavours and ingredients. At Harvey Nichols Fifth floor most of it is organic to boot, a simple, well execute menu. If it's Arabic flavours you are looking for then try Mamounia which spans Morocco to the Middle East serving up Lebanese Mezze and Moroccan Tagines. If it's superstar chefs you are after, there are plenty to choose from in this part of town, but two who stand out are Marcus Waering at the Berkeley and Heston Blumental, the magician of molecular cuisine at the Mandarin Oriental. 

Nobu combines star chef status with Japanese with a twist food, and again, it might now be an internationally renowned concern, but for a reason, the tastes, presentation and flavours on offer here are a once in a lifetime experience, that is, unless you actually live in Knightsbridge. This area in London boasts some of the priciest real estate in the world.  One Hyde Park development sold its most expensive property off plan for an estimated 100 million pounds to a Qatari prince, another one is said to have been sold for a similar figure to an Afghani prince. Knightsbridge has long had an association with the rest of the world and its rich cultural mix is reflected in its restaurants.



As with everything else in London, you can find cheaper versions of the same just across the border, from Knightsbridge Al Sultan fulfills that requirement and is tasty too.Featuring dishes such as baked ground meat with crushed wheat, stuffed with minced meat, pine nuts and onions, seabass in a spicy sauce, and maloukhia with rice and chicken, this eatery has garnered quite a loyal following. Shoppers in particular laud Al Sultan for both its strategic position between Park Lane and Bond Street and its healthy fare and friendly service. The restaurant's subtle decor ensures that the focus is on the food, and you'll want to save room for dessert, because the Lebanese coffee and homemade pastries are not to be missed. TUBE: Green Park

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Al Sultan offers you a tasty elegant option which won't break the bank, important in Knightsbridge.

Emma's expert tip: As with everything else in London, you can find cheaper versions of the same just across the border, Al Sultan fulfills that requirement and is tasty too.

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Quilon is not strictly speaking in Knightsbridge, it is nearer St James' Park tube station, but it is just across the border from Knightsbridge and since it has a Michelin star combined with South Indian cuisine, it was worth including. When your appetite calls for something exotic, this upscale eatery with a Michelin star is more than equal to the task. Specializing in South India's tropical fare, Quilon sports a bright, cheerful decor highlighted by lush greenery, soft lighting, and a light-stained wainscot. Discerning diners are tantalized by the fiery masala; seared seabass cooked in tomato with chopped button onions, lime juice and chilli; and guinea fowl stew with onion, green chilli and coconut milk. TUBE: St. James's Park

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Quilon mixes South Indian cuisine with a Michelin star, what could be tastier than that?

Emma's expert tip: Quilon is not strictly speaking in Knightsbridge but it is very Knightsbridge in its status, and has a Michelin star to boot.

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The conservatory-like dining room at the Lanesborough takes traditional British tea for a turn by providing international flair. The room is decked out in mint green and pink, and flowing water adds to the ambience. Tiny sandwiches, crumpets, and scones with all the fixings are served with your choice from nearly two dozen varieties of tea and a selection of delectable petit-fours. The Lanesborough was the first in England to have a tea sommelier. Afternoon tea from 35 pounds. Afternoon tea might not be quite a restaurant, but you can also eat at the Lanesborough which provides a sumptuous setting for some very fine dining from Heinz Beck. TUBE: Hyde Park Corner

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Apsleys at the Lanesborough serves up afternoon tea and fine dining from Heinz Beck.

Emma's expert tip: Pop in for afternoon tea, have a spot of shopping down the road, and then book a table for cocktails and dinner to get the full experience.

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Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester has come highly recommended. The book "Foodie Top 100 Restaurants: Worldwide" sings the restaurant's praises very highly saying that the chef 's roast chicken has an "almost frothy texture" and a "fragant" truffle sauce. That, is what the book says elevates simple comfort food to "luxurious heights". The surroundings too are simply stunning, with a huge sparkling centrepiece which comes in the form of the "Table Lumiere" "a six person table shrouded by a ceiling-to-floor veil of 4500 shimmer fiber optics". But of course, it's not just about the stunning lights, cameras and action. Ducasse says he is all about the products, and without great ingredients, he writes, the chef would be nothing. With his international team to look after you, then you shouldn't be disappointed.

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Alain Ducasse has made one of the most highly recommended restaurants in the world list. Need we say more?

Emma's expert tip: Go here for a special occasion because it will definitely be expensive.

Read more about Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester →

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
Photo courtesy of Marcus Wareing

It's a lunchtime destination of the Knightsbridge power brokers at The Berkeley. Marcus Wareing cooks up for the top brass at his top London restaurant. Plush leather, dark wood and richly painted claret-coloured walls, matching wine-coloured leather chairs as well as old-fashioned trolleys offering cheese selections and mounds of truffles are all rather grand, as is the polished service. The food is worth taking your time over. Worthy of the two Michelin stars, upscale dishes include with buttered lobster with sea kale, to start followed by a light sea bream, watercress, leek and potato dish or pork belly, with Pease pudding, turnips and fennel for a heartier option.

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Marcus Wareing is another of the fine young stars in the British chef firmament, and perfectly Knightsbridge.

Renate's expert tip: Off to one side is the very chic Blue Bar painted in Wedgewood hues and a favourite haunt of Madonna.

Read more about Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley →


Nobu London was the first venture for the Japanese chef, Nobu Matsuhisa. This restaurant offers London's most extensive Japanese menu, although Latin and American influences are thrown in to create a truly original cuisine. Traditional favorites like sushi, sashimi and tempura are prepared with unique twists. Eel, for example, comes rolled in a pancake and served with lime, foie gras, and sweet potato noodles. Skewered tuna and tofu are topped with black bean sauce and "devil's tongue root paste." Robert De Niro is one of the owners, and you can expect something different in the cool, black, minimalist dining room. TUBE: Hyde Park Corner

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Nobu is the preserve of the rich and famous, but when in Knightsbridge... it would be good to dine here.

Emma's expert tip: Try out the "devil's tongue root paste" topping the skewered tuna and tofu.

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Mamounia is unabashed shiny black marble, gold drapes and luxurious table settings. It has set itself up as the most luxurious experience in London, and by Knightsbridge standards that's going some, but it pulls it off. The restaurant serves everything up with characteristic Arabic charm, be it classy cocktails, shisha or the middle eastern cuisine in which they specialise. With their rich lighting and vibrant fabrics, they want to make sure that you feel you are in the heart of Morocco, although they span the breadth of the area from Lebanese dishes, to tagines and Tunisian delicacies too. They even have a watermelon Shisha using the water from the melon to give it a fruity flavour. A huge charcoal grill sizzles up meat and seafood and all the usual mezze from this region are present and correct.

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Mamounia lounge promises to be the most luxurious experience in London, and by Knightsbridge standards that's is going some.

Emma's expert tip: Get ready for an experience of pure luxury and classy cocktails.

Read more about Mamounia Lounge Knightsbridge →

Dinner By Heston
Photo courtesy of Dinner By Heston

All hail Heston Blumenthal and his latest London venture Dinner by Heston at the terribly posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Chef Ashley Palmer Watts cooks up in the glass encased centerpiece kitchen to show off the roasting meat on a spit. Stunning dishes inspired by the world famous futuristic style of this gastronomic mastermind. "Context, history, nostalgia, emotion, memory and the interplay of sight, smell, sound and taste all play an important part in our appreciation and enjoyment of food", he says. Which is how he challenges our palette with unusual food combinations, like crab ice cream at The Fat Duck. Must trys here include the Meat Fruit, a perfect mandarin stuffed with an incredible chicken liver parfait and The Beef Royal (which has been cooked for 72 hours and has an anchovy and onion sauce on the side).

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Heston Blumenthal is one of the chefs of the moment, if you're eating in Knightsbridge, he won't disappoint.

Renate's expert tip: Pricey, but once-in-a-lifetime stuff.

Read more about Dinner By Heston →

Favored especially by fashion-conscious folks, this well-regarded department store is known for its propensity towards designer labels. Begun in 1813, the enterprise offers a wealth of men's and women's apparel, not to mention a strong home furnishings section and fantastic beauty department. Personal shopping services and a salon allow customers to be pampered even further, and a restaurant, cafe and bar on the top floor provide welcome respite in the midst of busy shopping sprees. The restaurant serves amazing food now, as it has all been recently revamped, and just outside is a food hall where you can pick up not only luxury food, but lovely kitchen ware to try and recreate the feel of the place at home too. TUBE: Knightsbridge

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor is a great place to eat organic tasty food from across Europe.

Emma's expert tip: Harvey Nichols featured heavily in the TV show "absolutely fabulous" and it really is a fabulous store. Again, Christmas is a great time to go, with lights, sparkle and gifts a plenty.

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London's world-famous department store, Harrods has been a city fixture since it opened in 1849. Impeccable service and a wonderful, diverse selection have earned the store a place in the hearts of Londoners. Although prices are somewhat steep, they're attached to quality merchandise, including apparel, toys, home furnishings and groceries. Plus, twice-yearly sales make things more accessible to budget-minded shoppers. Cultivating a bit of spectacle in Harrods are the Egyptian Room and a memorial to Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, owner Mohammed's son. It gets busy at Christmas but is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in London at that time of year, as it's Christmas tree and window displays are a delight. TUBE: Knightsbridge

Recommended for Knightsbridge's Best Lunch because: Harrods food hall is second to none, a great place to nibble and lunch.

Emma's expert tip: Harrods is London's most famous store, and not to be missed on any shopping itinerary, even if you just pop in and buy a jar of marmalade to take home.

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Meet Emma Wallis

London gives Emma a warm fuzzy feeling every time she gets back to her home city. As a writer and broadcaster she travels extensively round Europe and the world, but is always happy to return to...  More About Emma