Savini at Criterion

Restaurants, Italian Piccadilly Circus
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Savini at Criterion
Venue says May bank holiday afternoon tea with a glass of prosecco for £29.25. Book now for a taste of luxury.

An Italian takeover of an opulent West End icon.

If you’ve never poked your head around the door of the 133-year-old Criterion restaurant, what are you waiting for? With its gold mosaic ceiling and other luscious features inspired by exotic corners of the globe, it offers a rare window on a long-gone imperial world. (It is, incidentally, where Downton’s Lady Edith went for ‘date night’).

In recent years the Criterion’s owners have struggled to make this cavernous, eye-grabbing dining room pay: its latest incarnation is as the London outpost of Savini, a supremely upscale Milanese restaurant. The food is very good – but so it should be when a meal for two with a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses of champagne comes to well over £200.

The veal Milanese (£29) was a whopping slab of crisp and tasty meat, while the pasta of the day (£28.95) – ‘woven’ intrecci with white prawns and scallops – was a highlight. The trouble is, Savini boasts extravagant prices but no atmosphere. The new bosses have dampened the longstanding opulence with a layer of conservative Italian decor, but it’s hard to see this place becoming a hip spot for anyone, regardless of budget. My advice? Splash out at the plush bar just to take in the surroundings.

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Savini at Criterion says
Milan’s most celebrated hospitality name is now showcasing the finest all-day dining in one of the world’s most iconic restaurants in London. Savini at Criterion is a grand café that offers a sumptuous setting for ritzy breakfasts, with home-baked croissants and English breakfast alongside languid lunches and indulgent afternoon teas featuring infusions from around the world. With the magnificent chandeliers illuminating the silverware, the scene is perfect for an evening of fine dining.
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By: Dave Calhoun


Venue name: Savini at Criterion
Address: 224 Piccadilly
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
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