Close encounters: London’s best chef’s tables

Close encounters: London’s best chef’s tables

Secure front-row seats for the capital’s finest culinary theatre with lifestyle concierge

There are few foodie experiences that beat dining among the heat, smells and energy of London’s best kitchens. We go behind the scenes at nine of our current members’ favourites.

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AulisAulis at Fera

Claridge’s, 49 Brook Street, Mayfair

Hidden at the back of Simon Rogan’s kitchen in Claridge’s, this is one of the most fascinating foodie experiences in London at the moment. It’s totally immersive, as the chefs explain how every aspect of each dish is created in front of you. There are techniques that are hard for non-chefs to fathom and you’ll watch in awe as they meticulously create beautifully presented and – most importantly – very tasty dishes. These may be new recipes vying for a slot on Fera’s main menu, but everything feels totally rounded and worthy of wider exposure.

Marcus chef's tableMarcus

The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Belgravia

When Marcus Wareing’s two-Michelin-starred flagship re-emerged in ultra-sleek fashion in 2014, the elevated chef’s table was – and still is – its crowning jewel; positioned in between the kitchen and dining room every seat offers prime views of the pass and the kitchen beyond. For his VIP guests, head chef Mark Froydenlund prepares a Modern European menu of five courses for lunch or eight courses for dinner, with optional (but highly recommended) wine pairings by sommelier Michael Deschamps.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal chef's tableDinner by Heston Blumenthal

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge

You might expect puffs of smoke and bangs and pops to emanate from one of Heston’s kitchens, but things are remarkably calm and ordered in this two-Michelin-starred kitchen. This isn’t to say it is lacking culinary magic – anything but; the menu will baffle you with its incredible level of technique and attention to detail. In between bouts of meticulous cooking, the chefs will deliver courses to the table and explain the origins of dishes like the 14th-century frumenty – grilled octopus in smoked sea broth – and the 17th-century powdered duck breast.

City Social chef's tableCity Social

25 Old Broad Street, the City

The display of Michelin-starred cooking competes with prime views of the capital at Jason Atherton’s chef’s table on the 24th floor of Tower 42. Luckily, diners are well positioned to see both simultaneously – that’s until beautiful plates of food land on the table and take your attention away from the chefs and the skyline. The menu keeps things local with seasonal British produce but the cuisine is inspired by every corner of the globe – there are fine homemade pastas, delicate plates of tataki and mildly curried side dishes.

Corrigan's Mayfair The Kitchen LibraryCorrigan’s Mayfair

22 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair

Sit back at Richard Corrigan’s chef’s table and you’ll have a view of kitchen goings-on from the cosy Kitchen Library. The brigade of cooks may move too fast for you to garner tips on turning out generous portions of British cuisine, but it certainly makes for exciting viewing from the comfortable rounded banquette. The menu is shaped by the season and focuses on the best British produce available at the time – coming into spring and summer, expect lots of excellent lamb, spring greens and fresh river fish.

Social Eating House chef's tableSocial Eating House

58 Poland Street, Soho

In the basement space of Jason Atherton’s third London outpost, up to eight diners can perch at the wraparound counter and peer into the Michelin-starred kitchen as chefs prepare a nine-course Modern European tasting menu. So you can get a feel for the entire Russell Sage-designed venue, the experience starts with champagne and canapés in the speakeasy-style upstairs bar which stands firm as one of our favourite drinking spots in the capital right now.

Pétrus Kitchen TablePétrus

1 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge

The main dining room abides by all the rules of classic fine dining – there are crisp white tablecloths, a hushed atmosphere and smart, attentive staff – and it’s a fail-safe option for impressing clients or special occasions. However, things take a more laid-back approach at the chef’s table which overlooks the pass. Here, guests are entertained by the hard-working chefs as they create and serve an incredible 10-course menu with champagne and canapés to begin. It’s hard to pinpoint exact dishes to expect but rest assured it’ll be seasonal, French and thoroughly deserving of the Michelin star. Also pictured top

Mews of Mayfair chef's tableMews of Mayfair

10 Lancashire Court, Mayfair

Hidden in a historic courtyard in central Mayfair, this four-floor venue has six different spaces that encompass every type of dining experience. There’s a buzzing pizzeria and a classic French brasserie, but our members’ favourite remains the private chef’s dining room which offers a glimpse of the chefs hard at work behind a large window. Seating up to 28 guests in a range of table layouts, we can book this for private celebrations and office get-togethers, and there are two set menus to choose from.

Maze Grill Mayfair Butcher's BlockMaze Grill

10-13 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair

The Kitchen Table at Gordon Ramsay’s French-Asian restaurant seats six and is the most interactive on our list, with diners encouraged to get involved with everything form cocktail mixing to dressing desserts – when we visited we were piping meringues and blowtorching crème brûlée. There’s also the Butcher’s Block – a table that seats 15 people and, as the name suggests, focuses on all things carnivorous. There are three dining experiences to choose from, including a Jack Daniels Butchery and Barrels meal, an epic six-course barbecue menu with lashings of whiskey-marinated meats. Contact us for details and bookings.

Last updated on 9 March 2017

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