London's best seafood bars

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Glamorous dining treats don't come more indulgent than a visit to a good seafood bar. We've picked London's best places for timeless crustacean and piscatorial classics – oysters, smoked salmon, fruits de mer, lobster... and of course the almost compulsory glass of Champagne

  • London's best seafood bars

    Alys Tomlinson

    • Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill

      11-15 Swallow St, W1B 4DG (020 7734 4756/www.bentleysoysterbarandgrill.co.uk)

      Richard Corrigan’s restoration of this Swallow Street oyster bar has ensured its place among the best places to slurp down briny bivalves, sip fish soup and nibble on smoked salmon. The long marble-topped bar is our perch of choice, though the luxe red leather banquettes make dining easy work, too. Read more

  • J Sheekey Oyster Bar

    33-34 St Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL (020 7240 2565/www.j-sheekey.co.uk)

    The menu at this offshoot of the iconic seafood stalwart is similar, but with extra concessions towards oysters; there’s always at least a handful of different types, many native. The bar is also twice the size of the original J Sheekey (right next door) and rival Bentley’s (see above). All the seafood is, commendably, sustainably sourced. Read more

  • Pescheria Mattiucci

    8 Blenheim Crescent, W11 1NN (020 7229 3400)

    This Notting Hill wine bar and fish specialist also offers a hit of nostalgia – this gentrified area used to be full of Italian and Spanish restaurants just like this. PM offers an array of fish and seafood fresh from the Mediterranean, and a good – if small – selection of wines from southern Italy. Read more

  • Scott’s

    20 Mount St, W1K 2HE (020 7495 7309/www.caprice-holdings.co.uk)

    This was Ian Fleming’s favourite restaurant, owners Caprice Holdings alleges, and you’d believe it. The onyx-topped champagne and oyster bar wouldn’t look amiss in a 007 film, with Bond knocking back some native oysters and eyeing up the local talent. The bar is a good choice if you don’t want the formality of the restaurant itself, but still want glamour and excellent fruits de mer. Read more

  • St Pancras Grand

    Upper Concourse, St Pancras International, Euston Rd, NW1 2QP (020 7870 9900/www.searcys.co.uk/stpancrasgrand)

    This Searcy’s catered restaurant housed in the Eurostar terminus offers quintessential English olde-worlde charm, with globe lighting and brasserie-style touches. The champagne and oyster bar features a commendable selection of local rock oysters (from Scotland, Ireland and Essex) as well as fruits de mer platters, ‘London cure’ smoked salmon, Morecambe Bay potted shrimp and whitebait. Read more

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