Tatiana Hambro, Deputy Retail Editor at Vogue, selects her favourite restaurants on Regent Street. From London’s best coffee to the ultimate luxury dining experience, read on to find out her top picks.
The uncompromising series of 'No's' stipulated on the website (pets, dietary requirements, menu options...) belie an experience one would be lucky to find in Japan, let alone London. Premised on Sado, which relates to the ebb and flow of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, sushi master Mitsuhiro Araki delivers exceptional hospitality at his double Michelin-starred New Burlington Street restaurant. With only 9 seats and two sittings per evening, each strictly two and a half hours long, this lesson in meticulous timing, precision and taste elevates eating into artistry. Like most good things in small packages, it comes at a hefty price tag.
When I'm need of a caffeine fix, there are two things I consider of paramount importance. 1. Timing. Is it close? Is there a queue? If so, is it moving quickly? and 2. Dairy-free milk. If so, what kind? You see, soy simply won't cut it with me... In short, if it's not almond milk and it doesn't arrive quickly, I'm not drinking it. Which is why I love Workshop Coffee. My usual order of 'almond milk cappuccino, extra dry and really, really hot’ causes most baristas to roll their eyes in despair. At Workshop Coffee, it is met with a game smile. Perhaps they like the challenge of creating froth from a milk that foams up about as well as organic, sulfate free shampoo. But the vibe remains no-nonsense. There are plenty of delicious cakes and sandwiches, many of which contain gluten, so it’s not just a place for fussy millennials.
Shimmy your way down a little known side path leading to New Burlington Street, away from the throng of Regent Street, and you'll find yourself face to face with a large Italian restaurant named Frescobaldi. With its floor to ceiling windows and tiled frescos featuring colourful renaissance men, it is an elegant affair. It is family owned and run by the Frescobaldis who have been producing wine for centuries. The food is excellent, too. I always have the burrata, which bursts upon the slightest touch of a knife, and reminds me of a road trip I once took through Puglia. The thick, farmhouse-style painted crockery is charming. When the bill comes, they keep you sweet with a generous helping of treats in glass jars.
Not technically a restaurant, but since its opening in May this year, the Regent Street Cinema has become a top spot to enjoy a drink and a nibble. Truth be told, it was a re-opening: in 1896 the first screening of moving images took place in Britain on this site. The recent renovation of the birthplace of British cinema does not rely on red gilded curtains and grandiose designs to boast of its heritage. Instead, chic moss green velvet chairs and original art-deco features gently allude to the impressive history.
The eponymous Thomas's Cafe (after founder Thomas Burberry) opened inside the Burberry London flagship last June, and offered up the quintessential English tea. Now, the brand that brought us the trench coat, reclaimed its infamous check, and successfully defined British 'cool' in the process, has turned its attentions to breakfast. From 7am during weekdays (and a little later on weekends), this sublime space serves locally sourced, classic English, and ever-so-slightly-nostalgic dishes such as eggs and soldiers, buttered crumpets and bacon baps. But those with a sweet tooth need not wander far: fresh fruit, crunchy granola and honeycomb pancakes are sure to leave you satisfied.