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London: culinary cosmopolitanism

London needs no introduction as a hub for cosmopolitanism, and its food culture remains true to that form. This article looks at a number of the capital's excellent dining options to tickle your tastebuds with.

For a sense of London's distinctive, eclectic dining scene we might begin with the old markets by the Thames. At Borough and at Billingsgate, London has received traders of produce from around the world; if distribution habits have changed, the spirit of receptivity hasn't. The cultural and culinary diversity in this vivacious capital city plays testament to this old and ongoing co-relation between food and free trade.

From down-to-earth pie and mash to five-star haute cuisine, in London you're never going to be without some excellent dining options. Some of the country's finest venues call the capital their home, and of course quality British cuisine is top of the menu.

Benares

An eclectic mix of international cuisines are strewn throughout the streets of London, with Indian-influenced culinary delights of the highest standard found across the city, from Brick Lane to Mayfair, with Benares Restaurant a prime example.

The Michelin-Starred Benares Restaurant is one of the top restaurants in the UK, with menus that are based on the highest-quality produce and seasonal ingredients from all over India, enhanced with a contemporary style. Renowned for its subtle spices and authentic flavours, the food here - all of which is Halal - is faithful to its origins but presented in a style in keeping with the deeply seductive surroundings, marrying tradition with daring modernity. Proprietor Atul Kochhar is considered one of London's top celebrity chefs, well respected for his masterful use of spicing when creating some of the finest modern British dishes with an innovative Indian twist.

Bonds Restaurant & Bar

Found amidst London's most iconic landmarks including the Bank of England, the Gherkin, the Shard, St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge, Bonds Restaurant & Bar provides a fresh approach to modern European cuisine. A long time favourite with locals, the superb cuisine attracts well-heeled, City types and enthusiastic foodies.

Magnificent columns punctuate the space between the restaurant and bar while floors of American walnut and oak fixtures create a lasting impression. A unique backdrop for a breakfast, lunch, romantic dinner or celebration, Bonds Restaurant & Bar certainly celebrates all things British.

The Chancery

From traditional options to the more contemporary, London showcases it all especially where European dishes are concerned, and the award-wining Chancery Restaurant is no exception. A bijou EC4 dining spot that attracts a chic City-centric crowd, The Chancery occupies a small corner site on Cursitor Street that has won rave reviews for its innovative menus, not to mention two AA Rosettes.

The restaurant has three dining rooms, two on the ground floor and a smaller more intimate dining room on the lower ground floor suitable for all parties. Zak Jones, Stephanie Rundle and their team lead the front of house while Head Chef Alice Churchill oversees a creative kitchen and a seasonal menu which will impress the most discerning gourmands.

Whether you're grabbing a curry on Brick Lane, trying out an old Venetian recipe in Soho, or a Lebanese five-spice lamb in Piccadilly, when dining out in London you're certainly in for a real culinary treat.

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