London, UK – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
London’s most expensive hotel, The Bulgari, opened to wide acclaim in May and with a top suite setting you back $18,441 a night, the restaurant had a lot to live up to. It doesn’t disappoint. The hotel’s location speaks for itself, tucked discreetly into the streets of Knightsbridge, just a pearl’s throw from Harrods, Hyde Park, and some of the world’s most valuable real estate. A vast polished steel staircase leads you down to Il Ristorante, where Head Chef Robbie Pepin serves exquisite Italian fare.
The well dressed clientele murmur in muted tones as attentive waiters circulate. With dark lacquered woods, grey velvet and brown leather, the interior takes a masculine approach to luxury, complemented by wall designs of vintage Bulgari jewelry, reflective features and glittering lights.
The contemporary Italian menu uses fresh seasonal ingredients to great effect, with Pepin drawing on his years with Alain Ducasse at La Trattoria in Monaco. Sitting on each table is a list of aperitivi with checkboxes, letting you mark the ones you want as soon as you take your seat. These delicious piccoli morsi (little bites) are perfect to nibble on while you peruse the main menu—don’t miss the aubergine caviar and the sea bass carpaccio.
Signature dishes include the insalata di gamberoni, made with the famous gamberoni rossi (red prawns) found off the coast of Mazara del Vallo in Sicily, and an artisanal pasta dish made with dried, roasted and marinated tomatoes from La Motticella, Puglia. You’ll also find dishes with a special Bulgari London flavor, such as Pepin’s take on the Milanaise double piccata, and a Baba soaked in lemon zest syrup, served with whipped vanilla cream and Amalfi coast limoncello.
The 80-seat dining room has a combination of banquettes, booths and freestanding seats, with plenty of space between to retain the refined, unhurried atmosphere. For a more intimate occasion, there are three private dining rooms available, catering for eight, ten and 12 guests, and the option to connect two rooms for groups of up to 18 people.
If you have time before you dine, the Bulgari Spa is one of the biggest in central London and among the most luxurious. Set over two entire floors below street level, the spa comprises a 25m swimming pool, vitality pool, thermal experiences with ice fountains and cooling showers, a relaxation room, 11 treatment rooms offering bespoke Bulgari treatments for the face and body, a fully equipped fitness center and a nail salon. With interiors crafted from green onyx, oak, Vicenza stone and Italian glass mosaics, the Bulgari Spa exudes the kind of style you’d expect from the legendary jeweler.
IL RISTORANTE AT THE BULGARI HOTEL
Phone: +44 (0)20 7151 1010
Address: Bulgari Hotel & Residences London, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW, UK
See more top London restaurants in the Elite Guide to London