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Cosy restaurants in London to try out this winter

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 20/12/2018 Ailis Brennan

Winter is well and truly upon us, and all we want to do is make like Nat King Cole and roast our chestnuts on an open fire.

After spending a day battling the elements, there’s nothing quite like tucking into tasty grub in the snuggest of surroundings.

From candlelit fine dining to fireside boltholes, these are the restaurants in London that will warm your cockles right up.

If you're more in the mood for a proper pub atmosphere, check out our guide to cosy pubs with open fires in London.

Maggie Jones

a room filled with furniture and vase on a table: image © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited image

This Kensington refuge has the royal seal of approval – it was renamed after the pseudonym Princess Margaret used when booking there. The menu is chock full of comfort food (Sunday roasts are the star turn here), walls are piled high with eclectic trinkets and ceilings come covered with baskets of dried flowers. At Maggie Jones you’ll find a candlelit bastion of rural homely comforts – and you needn’t leave Zone 1.

6 Old Court Place, W8 4PL,

Harry’s Bar, James Street

a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: (John Carey) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited (John Carey)

Cosiness doesn’t have to come at the expense of chic. The latest London incarnation of Harry’s Bar – inspired by the famed Venice cocktail spot of the same name – mixes Fellini-worthy glamour with an atmosphere as snug as one of Nonna’s hugs. Bouncy leather banquettes are decked with plentiful plush cushions and are surrounded by bevelled mirrors and wood panelling, with many a nook and cranny to hide away with your pasta.

30 -34 James Street, W1U 1ER,

Casita Andina

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When the name of a restaurant means “little house” you know you’re going to feel right at home. Casita Andina, a restaurant from Martin Morales of Ceviche fame, is modelled on the picanterias of Peru: restaurants that are set up in the front rooms of Andean women, or “andinas”. Inside you’ll find beautiful Peruvian woven fabrics strewn left, right and centre, and above the bar are the words “Aquí se cocina con cariño” – here, we cook with love.

31 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7LP,

The Shed

a group of people preparing food in a kitchen: image © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited image

The Shed is just that – a literal shed tacked onto a building in Notting Hill which houses an unexpectedly cosy restaurant. Inside there are no broken lawnmowers, but rather pleasantly creaky floorboards, mismatched chairs, the odd bit of corrugated iron and a happily homely atmosphere. The food is keeps in with the Good Life aesthetic: the menu celebrates the meat, veg and herbs that are grown at the owners’ West Sussex farm.

122 Palace Gardens Terrace, W8 4RT,

Little Social

a room with a couch and a table: image © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited image

“I wanted Little Social to have that way about it, being perfectly tucked away on our little street in Mayfair, as if it had been there for years,” says Jason Atherton of this pleasingly diminutive, warmly lit offshoot from Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social. A table here is almost always tucked inside a leather-lined booth, flanked by Parisian posters and awaiting one of Jason Atherton’s takes on soul-easing French classic dish.

5 Pollen Street, W1S 1NE,

Berber & Q

a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant: image © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited image

If you can’t stand the cold, get in the kitchen. Alternatively, pull up a seat next to the open kitchen at Berber & Q’s Haggerston restaurant, where the chefs are busy barbecuing and smoking the goods over a flaming charcoal grill. The whole restaurant is housed in the snug surroundings of a converted railway arch, around which the sounds of shawarma-sizzling clatter pleasantly. Cuddle up with cushions on the banquettes, and let an intriguing Middle Eastern wine list beguile you to stay for just one more.

338 Acton Mews, E8 4EA,

Kitty Fisher’s

a room that has a clock on a table: image © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited image

Kitty Fisher’s has quite the reputation for filling its books with famous faces – quite possibly because when they arrive, they simply don’t leave. The restaurant may have been as cool as they come when it opened in 2014, but inside is warm and endlessly inviting. Get a candlelit table downstairs in the basement for optimum hideaway atmosphere, and dine on dish after dish from that famous smokey wood grill.

10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, W1J 7QF,


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