Dining at a restaurant is starting to become a distant memory now we're all living in lockdown Britain, but it's fun to jot down a must-visit list for when the pandemic is over and venues reopen. Ever dined in a restaurant frequented by royals? Then you might want to start post-lockdown because the regal set has a few favourite London haunts which look top-notch. From Prince William enjoying a pint at The Prince Albert in Battersea to watch the football, to the Middleton ladies' favourite lunch spot, here's a whistle-stop tour of London's restaurants with royal approval...
Hollywood Arms, Chelsea
Spotted: The Duchess of Cambridge
Kate reportedly joined her fellow school mums for a meet and greet at the Chelsea pub, shortly after Princess Charlotte started at Thomas's school in Battersea. The Hollywood Arms, which was once frequented by Prince Harry, serves lazy weekend brunches and Sunday roasts (when open). It even has its own gin and cocktail lounge, the Boulevard Bar (pictured) which can be used for private hire.
Spotted: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
It's well known that anyone who's anyone gets a table at Chiltern Firehouse. Owned by André Balazs, who's also behind LA's Chateau Marmont Hotel and The Standard hotel chain, its modern European menu focuses heavily on seasonality. A former fire station, the venue has hosted the likes of Brooklyn Beckham, Bradley Cooper, Cara Delevingne and it's where Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank celebrated their engagement in 2018.
Restaurant Story, Bermondsey
Spotted: Princess Beatrice
Prince Andrew's eldest daughter was one step ahead of the game when she ate here in 2013, because just five months later it was awarded a Michelin star. The restaurant, built on the site of a former toilet block on trendy Bermondsey's Tooley Street is understated but stylish with floor-to-ceiling windows and an open kitchen.
The food is imaginative and experimental and aims to tell the chef-owner Tom Sellers' life story through the dishes. One of the creative signature dishes, Bread and Dripping, always gets diners talking. An edible beef dripping candle is lit at the table and served with bread to mop up the melted 'wax'. The 'three bears porridge' dessert is a charming, innovative trio of bowls of hot oats – one too sweet, one too salty and one just right. An impressive wine list and stellar service complete the special fine dining experience.
Spotted: The Queen
After Quaglino's hosted the Queen following her coronation in 1952 it instantly became a hit. Having undergone several facelifts since then, it has remained on top of its game and is still one of the most popular London restaurants among the rich and famous.
Spotted: The Duchess of Cambridge and Pippa Middleton
A hit with all of the Middletons, the Duchess of Cambridge has been snapped at Bluebird Chelsea on several occasions. She's previously even been seen dining outside with her mother, Carole, and sister, Pippa. The menu consists of classic dishes like steak, burgers and fish and chips.
Bumpkin – South Kensington, Westfield
Spotted: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge treated 27 members of their staff to a Christmas lunch at Bumpkin in 2012. The party, which included their press team, private secretaries and members of the Household Cavalry, dined from the festive set menu in a private dining room.
Spotted: The Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess of Sussex was spotted dining at Italian restaurant Chucs in January 2019 with Deputy Communications Secretary Christian Jones. There are four locations throughout London, but Meghan dined at the Notting Hill restaurant where the menu includes dishes such as pasta and risotto, pizzas and antipasti.
The Princess of Wales, Primrose Hill
Spotted: Pippa Middleton
Pippa is usually seen out and about in south-west London - not far from where her sister Kate lives in Kensington Palace — however. it's easy to see why she ventured north of the river to The Princess in Primrose Hill. A host of famous faces including Harry Styles and Nick Grimshaw call this plush area of townhome and have been spotted enjoying drinks here on a summer's evening. The recently-refurbished pub retains its cosy feel despite there being three different bar areas.
Spotted: The Queen
As one of London's most iconic restaurants, it doesn't come as a huge surprise that it's had the royal family seal of approval. The Queen sat down at the Covent Garden branch in 2017 while attending a friend's birthday. The restaurant was, of course, shut to the public so there were no reports about what she ordered but the most famous dish on the menu is Shepherd's Pie.