If you're fed up of queueing in food halls, barbecuing your own meat or having every single small dish you've ordered served up at the same time, then we have the answer. You need a taste of Guéridon service - that's where the waiter brings your chosen dish to the table and finishes it off in a flurry of theatrical activity. We've rounded up London's best restaurants for trolleys, where the service is the star. Sit back and enjoy the show.
ALL the trolleys (#1)
150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR
You'd expect somewhere like the Ritz to go big on trolley service - after all if you can't get something flambeed here (alongside a bit of coordinated dome lifting), then where can you? Every menu offered at the restaurant features a Les Arts de la Table section, denoting the dishes which will be finished tableside. Right now there's Bresse duck and beef wellington on offer, and you'll always find Crêpes Suzette on the dessert menu.
ALL the trolleys (#2)
150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR
Every weekday lunch, the carving trolley at Wiltons on Jermyn Street offers new delights. There might be a roast leg of Dorset lamb on a Monday or Salmon coulibiac on a Friday. On a Saturday evening, the beef wellington is now so popular, that regulars make sure to pre-order it ahead of arriving to be sure of getting a slice.
The duck trolley
182 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8EW
Shortlisted for Trolley of the Year at the 2019 World Restaurant Awards, this fine dining restaurant is famous for two dishes - canard and homard a la press - or pressed duck and lobster to you. The duck is now one of London's best-known dishes: a flurry of theatrics accompanies it as you're served first the roast breast, then brioche topped with the liver, finally the legs with a salad.
The chaat trolley
28 Maiden Ln, London WC2E 7JS
Head to Vivek Singh's Covent Garden restaurant for afternoon tea and you'll get a visit from Chamiya – the restaurant's chaat cart. It's laden with crisp wheat bowls, tamarind yoghurt, chickpea vermicelli, lentils, spices, chutneys, cashews, veggies and more so you can customise their signature chaats to your exact specification.
The caviar trolley
45 Jermyn St., London SW1 6DN
They go big on tableside at this St James restaurant. They'll flambé lobster spaghetti and beef wellington for you if you prefer - but surely the best thing to do is call for the caviar trolley. This serves up Siberian Sturgeon, Golden Oscietra, and Iranian Beluga 000 which will be weighed in front of you and then served with blinis, baked new potatoes and scrambled eggs, which are prepared on a small stove at the table. You can order as little as 10g as a taster.
The smoked fish trolley
The Stafford Hotel, 16-18 St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NJ
Kick off your meal at The Game Bird with a request to see the smoked fish trolley. This is wheeled round to you, fairly groaning with everything from beetroot cured Loch Duart salmon to Lincolnshire smoked eel. It's carved tableside for you and served with free-range egg, cucumber and dill pickle and soda bread.
- Order smoked salmon to start at The English Grill and they'll bring a trolley round with two choices - one Irish and one English - so you can compare.
The beef Wellington trolley
The Savoy Hotel, Strand, London WC2R 0EU
They LOVE their trolleys at The Savoy Grill. General Manager Thierry Tomasin is never happier than when he's setting something alight beside you, whether it's rum baba or crepes suzettes. But if you're after sheer meaty delight you need to order the restaurant's beef Wellington which comes to you for carving at your table.
The dessert trolley
6 Clarges St, London W1J 8AE
There is no shortage of trolley action going on at this swish French spot in Mayfair, from the Champagne trolley as you arrive, to the multitude of dishes finished off tableside. But it's the dessert trolley you really want to make room for. On a recent visit it was groaning with everything from raspberry financiers to oeufs à la neige, baked cheesecakes, canales and more.
- The dessert trolley at Oslo Court is replete with old school delights like profiterole stacks, almond tart and lemon meringue pie. It's been on and off because of Covid, so check before you go.
The baked Alaska trolley
10 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP
It takes a lot to compete with the general opulence of the restaurant at the London Edition, but the arrival of baked Alaska at your table will do that. The pistachio and honey ice-cream and meringue dessert is set on fire at your table. And if all that isn't enough to set your pulses racing, they also have - wait for it - a Bloody Mary trolley too.
The ice cream trolley
100 Strand, London WC2R 0EW
Any trolley that cost £25k to build has to be seen to be believed and Heston's creation for his London restaurant is pretty impressive. They use this to make ice-cream in front of you using liquid nitrogen. You can then pick from a range of toppings such as caramelised white chocolate and coconut, chocolate and sanity praline or raspberry meringue.
- Claude Bosi's custom-made ice-cream trolley at Bibendum is also a thing of beauty.
- At new Covent Garden opening The Lane, Lilli Vanilli's afternoon tea ends with the arrival of a trolley dishing out scoops of absinthe mint choc chip ice cream.
The cheese trolley
100 Strand, London WC2R 0EW
There are a lot of excellent cheese trolleys doing the round every day in London, but perhaps the most famous is the one at Michel Roux Jr's Le Gavroche. It's a turophile's (that's cheese lover) triumphant selection of British and French farmhouse cheeses.
- The Orrery's trolley features more than 30 British and French artisan cheeses curated by the their "frommelier" and was described by Marina O'Loughlin as a "honking, oozing splendour".
- Launceston Place nearly killed us with their double cheese trollies - one British and Irish, one European. Take a long lunch here and do both.
Plus - drinks trolleys too
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