The best hotel restaurants make you feel as if you aren’t in a hotel


Some dining rooms in hotels can be magnificent. But at other places it’s very quickly time to check out

On 4 May, London’s Claridge’s hotel posted a picture of the main restaurant to their Instagram account, celebrating Star Wars Day. It featured some of their restaurant staff, who have been feeding NHS workers housed there during the current crisis, dressed as socially distanced stormtroopers, with a sign reading “May the force be with you.” It made me smile. Indeed, it struck me that, despite having eaten in that dining room many times throughout its various incarnations, this was the most fun I’d ever seen anyone having there.

Ah, the hotel restaurant: the hospitality business’s version of the casino slot machine. You never know whether it will deliver, but you keep pulling on the handle hopefully. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve eaten very good things in restaurants located within hotels. Earlier this year, I delivered one long wet-lipped eulogy for a dish served in that very Claridge’s space, which is currently Davies and Brook, from chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park in New York. He has brought with him his dry-aged duck breast with a sweet-sour, blood-enriched sauce. It was love at first lick.

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