Scott’s, W1

Sunflowers have arrived at Mayfair seafood institution Scott’s this autumn
Sunflowers have arrived at Mayfair seafood institution Scott’s this autumn © Ben Carpenter

This autumn, the Mount Street seafood institution beloved by the fashion cognoscenti will be taken over by a van Gogh-inspired sunflower installation, designed by “event imagineer” Tony Marklew. In addition to sampling the usual à la carte offerings like scallops douzed in yuzu kosho butter and lobster thermidor, guests will be able to feast on sunflower-themed delights such as The Sunflower Palette – a limited-edition dessert of petits fours artfully arranged around passionfruit parfait and decadent chocolate mousse, and a sunflower-inspired gin cocktail, until the end of September. scotts-restaurant.com


Ave Mario, WC2

The menu is as OTT as the decor at Ave Mario in Covent Garden
The menu is as OTT as the decor at Ave Mario in Covent Garden © Jérôme Galland

A riot of colour and kitsch patterns, the third London outpost from Parisian restaurant group Big Mamma opened this summer to much fanfare and is a mecca for maximalists and Gucci aficionados with its black-and-white striped walls, plush red banquettes and religious iconography. The menu is equally OTT – serving decadent plates such as caviar-sprinkled pizza with crème fraiche, giant ravioli carbonara and a 60cm tower of stracciatella ice cream cake. bigmammagroup.com


Sessions Arts Club, EC1

Sessions Arts Club will combine seasonal cooking with events and exhibitions
Sessions Arts Club will combine seasonal cooking with events and exhibitions

St John co-founder Jon Spiteri, architect Russell Potter and artist Jonny Gent have teamed up to launch Sessions Arts Club – a stunning new restaurant, wine bar and gallery space in Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell. Housed on the top floor of the 18th-century Grade II listed former courthouse, the bright and airy dining room is set amid grand arched windows, sage green walls and crumbling pink plaster, lending an air of faded glamour. With ex-Polpetto chef Florence Knight at the helm, the kitchen serves up seasonally led plates such as grilled friggitelli with sea salt, sea bream, fig leaf and sorrel, lamb sweetbreads with lettuce and lovage, and ricotta and cherry tart, while a rotation of weekly events and exhibitions will bring together luminaries from the worlds of art, fashion, music, wellness and theatre. sessionsartsclub.com


Rita’s Soho, W1

A “confluence of culinary cultures”: Rita’s Soho
A “confluence of culinary cultures”: Rita’s Soho

After nine years of pop-ups and residencies, Missy Flynn and Gabriel Pryce have finally found a permanent home in Soho for their much-loved modern American dining concept. It’s inspired by the confluence of culinary cultures in the US, with a particular focus on Mexico and Italy. While they await a full restaurant launch in a few weeks, guests can enjoy sharing plates, such as toasted corn and cheddar beignets, jalapeño popper gildas and a Cubano sandwich on pillowy soft turmeric bread out on their covered terrace. Much of the produce is supplied by local growers such as Max Onslow of Bateman Road in Chingford, who will be collaborating with Flynn and Pryce to grow speciality ingredients for the restaurant such as cucamelon and tomatillos. ritasdining.com


Folie, W1

Folie hopes to draw a well-heeled crowd to Golden Square with opulent interiors and Mediterranean cuisine
Folie hopes to draw a well-heeled crowd to Golden Square with opulent interiors and Mediterranean cuisine © Yann Deret

With its opulent interiors designed by Paris-based Studio KO to evoke the glamour of the French Riviera in the 1960s and 1970s (think midnight-blue plush velvet chairs, gold frosted lamps and art deco-inspired geometric terrazzo flooring), Folie draws a suitably well-heeled crowd to Golden Square. The menu, led by executive head chef Christophe Marleix, takes inspiration from the Mediterranean coast with dishes such as grilled octopus, truffle croque-monsieur and rum baba with raspberry and vanilla Chantilly. folie.london


34 Mayfair, W1

Star-studded 34 Mayfair is bringing a dose of Palm Springs to the capital this month
Star-studded 34 Mayfair is bringing a dose of Palm Springs to the capital this month

Tucked behind Grosvenor Square, the star-studded fish and grill restaurant has served everyone from Kate Moss to Pharrell Williams. This month, the celebrity haunt is bringing a dose of sunny Palm Springs to Mayfair, complete with palm trees, pink flamingos and candy-striped pink and white awnings. Guests can enjoy a limited-edition menu of salmon poke bowl, Korean BBQ chicken with kimchi slaw and a passionfruit parfait with alphonso mango and black sesame – all rounded off with the Malfy Gin Rosa cocktails. 34-restaurant.co.uk


Louie, WC2

“Sprawled across a five-storey townhouse”: the glitzy new Louie in Covent Garden
“Sprawled across a five-storey townhouse”: the glitzy new Louie in Covent Garden

Launched last year by Chiltern Firehouse’s Guillaume Glipa and the restaurant group Paris Society, Louie – named in a nod to both King Louis XIV and Louis Armstrong – is a glitzy new fusion restaurant in Covent Garden. Sprawled across a five-storey townhouse, the restaurant harks back to the glamour and hedonism of Paris and New Orleans in the Jazz Age, with a huge seafood counter, fringed lampshades and a vintage jukebox. The kitchen, headed by Mississippi-born chef Slade Rushing, serves Franco-Creole fare such as oyster po’ boy eclairs, Creole-spiced lamb chops with thyme-infused black-eyed peas and praline bread pudding. louie-london.com


Maison François, SW1

Maison François pays homage to grand French brasseries with its art deco-inspired interior and classic food
Maison François pays homage to grand French brasseries with its art deco-inspired interior and classic food

Paying homage to the grand brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace, Maison François is a chic all-day eatery near Piccadilly Circus, with elegant art deco-inspired décor and tables separated by latticed glass and wood panels. The menu offers brasserie classics such as céleri rémoulade, oeuf en gelée and jambon noir de Bigorre, but the real showstopper is the multi-drawered pudding trolley trundling between the tables, laden with such delights as praline Paris-Brests, macarons, madeleines, canelés and more. maisonfrancois.london


Café Cecilia, E8

Max Rocha in his kitchen in London for How To Spend It
Max Rocha in his kitchen in London for How To Spend It © Andrew Nuding
“Simple and unfussy dishes” at Café Cecilia in Hackney
“Simple and unfussy dishes” at Café Cecilia in Hackney © Jacob Lillis

From Dublin-born chef Max Rocha – whose resumé includes top culinary destinations such as the River Café and Skye Gyngell’s Spring, comes Café Cecilia, a recently opened canalside brunch spot in Hackney. Rocha enlisted his father, the fashion designer John Rocha, to consult on the minimalist interiors, while his sister, fashion designer Simone Rocha, designed the staff’s aprons, making it a stylish family affair. The menu, which includes simple and unfussy dishes such as Guinness bread, boiled eggs and coolea for breakfast and slow-cooked rabbit ragù with tagliatelle for lunch, is inspired by dishes their mother, Odette, made for them when they were growing up in Dublin. cafececilia.com


Joe Allen, WC2

Joe Allen is set to reopen officially this month with a revamped menu
Joe Allen is set to reopen officially this month with a revamped menu © Charlie McKay

Dubbed the “West End’s Canteen”, Joe Allen has been drawing in a glittering crowd since it first opened in 1977, playing host to the great and the good of the theatrical world. After a long 18-month closure, the hallowed restaurant is reopening its doors with a “preview” menu this Thursday and officially reopening on 15 October. Heading up the revamped menu of American brasserie classics is ex-Ivy chef Gary Lee, who will serve favourites such as the full rack of oak-smoked baby back ribs with raw slaw alongside new dishes like crispy duck with watermelon, cress and cashews and Pumpkin Pie Brûlée, while lighter fare such as steak tartare toasts and potato cigars with truffled blue cheese will be available from the newly designed bar, which draws inspiration from the drinking dens of downtown Manhattan. joeallen.co.uk

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