Tucked away in the heart of Liberty is a haven of quirky culinary Britishness. There is a sophisticated-yet-youthful vibe at Café Liberty, where tea and delicious cakes are served on mismatched Burleigh china. The convivial spirit is further encouraged by chef Ivan Gonzalez Blasco’s tapas-style themed sharing boards such as the Cheeseivore and the Fishivore. The café is in every Londoner’s black book for its brunches and afternoon tea, yet everything is so relaxed, there are no reservations.
Open: Mon-Sat 10.00-20.00; Sun 12.00-18.00
Café Liberty, Liberty, Regent Street, London W1B 5AH, +44 (0)20 7734 1234
Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor
For a meal with a view, the Fifth Floor Café and Terrace is ideal. Its Knightsbridge location and its fresh, seasonal food – hip blogger Disneyrollergirl adores the chips – have made it a favourite of locals and ladies who lunch. The Fifth Floor opens earlier and closes later than most in-store restaurants, making it a perfect spot for breakfast meetings, late-night drinks and everything in between.
Open: Mon-Sat 08.00-23.00; Sun 11.00-18.00
Fifth Floor Café & Terrace, Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ, +44 (0)20 7823 1839
Ladurée at Harrods
The rich upholstered chairs, dark wooden tables and continental atmosphere of Ladurée’s salon at Harrods transport you to another time and place. The menu features brasserie classics, truffle omelettes and Scottish salmon with pistachio crème. Of course, no visit here would be complete without a selection of Ladurée macaroons, which are displayed in rainbow glory along the white marble shop counter. If you are visiting in the summer, ask to dine on the outdoor terrace.
Open: Mon-Sat 09.00-21.00; Sun 11.30-18.30
Ladurée at Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL, +44 (0)20 3155 0111
Hix at Selfridges
Mark Hix, one of Britain’s top chefs, is in charge at the Hix Restaurant, Champagne & Caviar Bar overlooking Selfridges Accessories Hall. Here you will dine surrounded by the neon artwork of Tracey Emin and the giant cutlery wall-art of Michael Craig-Martin. It is superb for people-watching while sipping Champagne made by small, independent producers and nibbling on sustainably produced Mottra caviar or Hix’s own-recipe smoked salmon – an ideal way to fortify yourself for all-day shopping.
Open: Mon-Fri 11.00-21.00; Sat 09.30-21.00; Sun 11.30-18.00
Hix Restaurant, Champagne & Caviar Bar, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB, +44 (0)20 7499 5400
Fortnum & Mason
The Kinks singer Ray Davies considers tea at Fortnum & Mason one of his biggest extravagances – we say it’s well worth it. The Fountain Restaurant has the elegant charm you would expect of a restaurant housed in one of the Queen’s favourite stores. Traditional fare such as kippers, smoked haddock kedgeree and Wiltshire lamb make for a very British dining experience. Finish your meal with one of Fortnum’s single estate or classic blend teas, preferred by rock’n’roll and blue-blooded royalty alike.
Mon-Fri 07.00-21.00; Sat 08.00-21.00; Sun 08.00-18.00
The Fountain Restaurant, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER, +44 (0)845 602 5694