Aqua Shard, Southwark
Two courses for £24 or three for £28
A trip up London’s highest landmark doesn’t come cheap but this set menu at lunch time keeps the cost neatly under £30 with three or four options per course. And, of course, you get the added bonus of a spectacular aerial view over London. Not for diners who suffer from vertigo.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge
Three courses for £38
Blumenthal’s fame means Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge is often booked up for months in advance. While the choice is limited with only two options per course, there’s still some strange stuff on the menu to write home about such as “Ragoo of Pig’s Ear Chewitt” and purple kale.
Le Gavroche, Mayfair
Three courses for £54
Noted as one of London’s classiest establishments, Le Gavroche is fine French dining at its best. It’s run by Michel Roux Jr who offers a “Business Lunch” that’s real value for money. In addition to the three courses, you get half a bottle of wine, half a bottle of water, petit fours and coffee.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
Three courses for £55
Hidden away in the cavernous grandeur of The Dorchester Hotel, this three Michelin-starred eatery offers a wine-list to match its set lunch menu. The offering is diverse so diners can choose from frog’s legs to tortellini. The three courses are also accompanied by two glasses of red or white, coffee and water.
The Clove Club, Old Street
Three courses for £35
If you want to show your client you’re on top of it, make a reservation at The Clove Club which is one of the hottest tickets in London right now. Located just off the Silicon Roundabout, diners can add cheese for a £4 supplement, wine pairings for £20, coffee for £3, “rare” tea from £3, and a five course set menu on request before 1.30pm.
Two courses £20 or three for £25
This critically-acclaimed contemporary Indian restaurant is the toast of the town at the moment and you can get a slice of the action at lunch time – with wine – for no more than £32. It’s a great offering as well with lobster, guinea fowl, and Goan sea bream on the menu.
Helene Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair
Three courses for £32 or £42 with two glasses of wine
Another Michelin-starred deal in a five star restaurant, this French establishment is led by Helene Darroze, who – legend has it – inspired the character of Collette in Disney’s animated cooking caper Ratatouille. There’s plenty of seafood on the menu and a selection of seasonal cheeses for £15 extra.
Two courses for £19.50 or three courses for £24.50
Unusually, this deal is available seven days a week and as a post-theatre offer. Hix is set in the centre of media and advertising central so it’s very popular with that crowd at lunch times. It serves hearty, comforting food and there’s a cocktail bar downstairs if things go really well.
Two courses for £20 or three courses for £23
Lima is riding the current trend for Peruvian food and this set menu is such good value for money that it’s a perfect introduction to the cuisine if you haven’t tried it before. Expect plenty of ceviche, quinoa, and sweet beetroot and throw in a glass of wine for £4.
Pollen Street Social, Soho
Two courses for £26 and three courses for £29.50
Run by chef-of-the-moment Jason Atherton, Pollen Street Social is booked up weeks in advance so the set lunch menu could be your moment to get in there. It’s set to be an interesting experience, too, with a full English breakfast listed as a starter with toffee apples and liquorice ice cream to finish.