London Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Travel Guide
Restaurateur Gordon Ramsay is one of London’s most honored chefs. (Photo: Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images )
Chef Gordon Ramsay’s empire has had one success after another with a dozen restaurants in London alone. Ramsay was noticed as head chef at Aubergine off the King’s Road in Chelsea, acquiring two Michelin stars by 1997. The first restaurant bearing the Gordon Ramsay name opened nearby in 1998 along the River Thames in Chelsea at the site of a local favorite, formerly La Tante Claire, where Ramsey had worked previously. By 2001, he was making history on the culinary map as the first Scottish chef to win three Michelin stars, and five years later, he was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II. A dozen openings, including the Savoy Hotel, and some closings, notably Claridge’s in June 2013, have been the story of the TV cooking celebrity’s stamp on London.
Stars in the Royal Borough
The Gordon Ramsay group’s flagship restaurant is in the heart of fashionable Chelsea in the Royal Borough, where the average price of a home tops $3 million and Harrod’s is the neighborhood food market. Of Michelin’s four current three-starred restaurants in the United Kingdom, two are in London, and one is Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Chef Patron Clare Smyth MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), a star chef in her own right, heads up a kitchen team of 15 men at 68-69 Royal Hospital Road. Serving contemporary French cuisine, the 45-seat space was redesigned in 2013, and typically a reservation needs to be made about three months in advance.
Where More Stars Are
Four additional London restaurants within the Gordon Ramsay Group hold one-star Michelin ratings. The Savoy Grill is a venerable dining spot that has attracted celebrities since 1889. Tables overlook the River Thames in this restaurant inside one of the city’s most famous hotels in the heart of the theater district. Gordon Ramsay is the brand behind the restaurant, which was re-launched in 2010 after a three-year renovation. At Petrus on Belgravia’s posh Kinnerton Street in Knightsbridge, modern French is named after Ramsey’s favorite French wine, which is available beginning at thousands, not hundreds, of dollars per bottle. Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant and Maze Grill, which face the American Embassy in Mayfair’s fancy Grosvenor Square, are also starred. Both bill themselves as casual and are inside the London Marriott. One features modern French with Asian influences, and the other is a steakhouse grill.
Some Spots South of the River
Union Street Cafe opened in September 2013 south of the River Thames near Waterloo Station, not far from Tate Modern and Borough Market. Rumors buzzed that Ramsay pal David Beckham was to be co-investor in the cool urban warehouse space that served up Italian Mediterranean dishes and jazz on Thursday nights. More than 10,000 pre-opening reservations were taken, according to company news releases. However, according to media reports, the friendship stuck but the partnership did not. The restaurant critic reviews were mixed. The Narrow, a gastropub that opened in 2006, carries an appropriate name for its location on a skinny street over a canal bridge at Limehouse Basin between Wapping and the Docklands. The Narrow is handy for Canary Wharf skyscraper folks who work and play at all hours in this part of town and has a terrace for the occasional bright and sunny days in London.
Bringing It On in Battersea