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Chez Bruce in Wandsworth
Photograph: Johnny Jones / Alamy Stock Photo

The AA Awards has named London’s best restaurant and it’s a pretty safe choice

The bougie Wandsworth joint serves up old-school French fare

Written by
Alice Saville

Some restaurant awards shine a spotlight on places you haven’t heard of (like the British Restaurant Awards, which handed the top spot to a Bulgarian fast food joint called Happy). And some go for tried-and-true choices that won’t scare the horses. This year, the AA Hospitality Awards fall squarely into the latter category. They’ve named Chez Bruce as London’s Restaurant of the Year, adding to a pile of gongs that already includes a Michelin star, and coming out on top in a 2007 Harden’s Guides poll.

Opening back in 1995, Chez Bruce has long been prized by well-heeled Wandsworth locals for its rarefied menu of French culinary classics and its stonking 600-bin wine list. It’s co-owned by chef Bruce Poole (hence the name) and his business partner Nigel Platts-Martin, while head chef Matt Christmas has kept things classy in the kitchen since 2000. Its current set menu is priced at £75 for three courses, including perennial customer favourite, chateaubriand with chips and bearnaise sauce, alongside more adventurous offerings like veal cheek or grouse with liver crouton. The interior is pared-back, white-tableclothed sophistication, while its regulars typically sport immaculately pressed shirts and thoroughbred-worthy blow dries. Our own review gives Chez Bruce four stars, calling it ‘not especially original, but stylish, tasteful, classic and totally dependable’, though we do reserve a special mention of its cheeseboard as ‘one of London’s great whiffy treasures’. 

The AA Hospitality Awards also anointed Pan Pacific as London’s best hotel, and recognised The Ritz’s John Williams MBE with a lifetime achievement award. A trio of London restaurants also scored four rosettes in the AA’s Guide: Notting Hill institution The Ledbury, hyper-exclusive Mayfair spot Ormer and Jason Atherton’s imaginative Social Eating House

Chez Bruce, 2 Bellevue Rd, SW17 7EG.

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