LDNGuide

10 London Restaurants For When You Want To Get *Cosy*

Candlelight, open fires, and deeply comforting food that will help you survive the winter.

Are you deeply miserable or are you just cold?

That’s the question we like to ask ourselves around this time of year, usually whilst developing hypothermia in a denim jacket that should have been retired around October. Yes, the weather may be terrible and you’re probably rocking the Vitamin D levels of a naked mole rat, but the good news is that these London restaurants are ready and waiting to help you get cosy. Think open fires, comforting food, and lovely quaint candlelight that will totally mask the fact that you’re wearing an Ikea blanket as a scarf. Here’s to making the most of the cold weather.


THE SPOTS

The walls of this old school British restaurant are covered in portraits of people who lived a long, long time ago in an era we like to think as BEB. That’s ‘Before Electric Blankets’. See, that oughta put your suffering in perspective. Outside of quaint old paintings and its long history of serving the people of London pie when they’re cold, Maggie Jones’ booths are perfect for bedding in for several hours with a bottle of red wine and plates of rich British classics. Don’t skip our reigning queen of cosy desserts, their signature crumble.


Any good psychiatrist will tell you that true intimacy is cuddling up to a dough ball. On a completely unrelated note, our therapists regularly tell us that we’re prone to misinterpreting key information. Anyway, this effortless Florence-inspired restaurant in Clerkenwell is all about minimum fuss and maximum satisfaction. Think old school red checked tablecloths, classic pastas done right, and glorious hunks of luciously sweet and bitter tiramisu. Sit back, relax, and get involved in their aptly-named ‘doughball cuddles’.


Candles are the key to surviving the winter blues. At least that’s what we like to tell ourselves whilst investing in our twelfth cinnamon spice candle of the season. You’ll find a whole lot of long candles merrily jammed into old wine bottles at this cool, cosy dim sum parlour in Clapton, and, just as importantly, great har gau, siu mai, and crispy won tons too. Be sure to order a round of the chocolate dumplings before you leave. Caramel sauce is critical for your energy levels to manage the freezing bus ride home, right?


Spending a winter’s night in a butchers sounds like the beginning of some terrible modern take on Sweeney Todd that ‘really highlights the bloody nature of capitalism’. No thank you. So when we say that Hill and Szrok is a butchers that should rank highly on your list of go-to warm and comforting spots, please rest assured that we aren’t casually luring you to your death. It really is lovely. Come night it gets transformed into a charming neighbourhood steak place with quality British ingredients and plenty of French wine. Plus, it’s nice to be able to add ‘drank great orange wine in a butchers’ to the list of things you accomplished this winter.


In our opinion, any restaurant that encourages you to order two bread baskets instead of one has a deep understanding of how to make the most of the bleak London winters. Sinuhe is exactly that kind of restaurant and everything from their mixed grill meats for two to the big Persian stews have the power to stop your incessant ‘do I have Seasonal Affective Disorder’ googling habits. A round of the aubergine dips won’t hurt either.


When you’re averaging six hours of daylight per week, it’s nice to feel fancy. We’re pretty sure that’s how the English aristocracy was invented. Probably. Maybe. Definitely not. But the fact remains that The Cadogan Arms is a show-stopping pub on the King’s Road that will keep you toasty and give you an excellent excuse to crack out your nicest knitwear. On the menu, you’ll find satisfying tarted up pub classics like hand-raised pork pies, slabs of steak with clotted cream mash, and a delightful sticky toffee pudding. Just be sure to request a table by the fire when you make your booking.


If our petty little dreams came true then The Drunken Butler in Clerkenwell would start a Cold Londoner Relocation Programme so that we could spend the entirety of the winter living in this homely and perfectly artsy restaurant. Come evening, this dimly-lit sanctuary of mismatched chairs with jazz on the speakers is the perfect place for a winter date night or for pretending you live here with your favourite friends. Food-wise you can expect a brilliant, creative mix of French and Persian food from their chef, owner, and table-maker extraordinaire Yuma. There isn’t a menu as such, but trust us, you’re in safe hands with Yuma and if you really want to up the cosy levels, head here for the Persian feast on Sundays.


Raclette is popular on ski slopes. Ski slopes are pretty much always cold places. Do you see where we’re going with this? Make like a rich person whose daddy just happens to have a lodge in Aspen and hit the hot cheese. Hit the hot cheese hard. La Ferme in Clerkenwell is a cute little French restaurant in Clerkenwell that just so happens to serve an all you can eat raclette for £29 per person. All of the wooden banquette seating and kitsch countryside knick-knacks will really help feed into your alpine fantasy too.


Nothing, absolutely nothing, is cosier than an open fire. This is the exact thought we have every single time we make the great decision to go to Smokehouse on a chilly evening and feel like we’ve escaped to one of the home counties, complete with roaring fires and a blackboard listing the best cuts of meat. It’s also worth knowing that they do some great vegetarian options and happen to do one of the best roast dinners in London.


Yada’s covers many of our cold weather survival words: stew, shawarma, bread, homely, BYOB. A Kurdish neighbourhood restaurant in Peckham, they even have something called ‘falafel beauty’ on the menu, which is very in keeping with our self-care aspirations for the coming months. For peak cosiness, request a table near the open-kitchen and spend some quality time with the platters that feature deeply life-affirming things like pomegranate and walnut stew, soft lamb, stuffed vegetables, and pistachio hummus. The best part is that this place is really affordable and we all know that’s handy when your heating bill is haunting you.


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