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The bar at Stax Diner

5 London restaurants with a taste for retro

From kitsch 50s-style diners to elegant art deco addresses, the city has a restaurant to suit every mood. Read on to find out where to make a reservation.

  • Sketch

    9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG

    Set in a grand old Mayfair townhouse, Sketch is full of surprises – not least its avant-garde decor.

    Ask for a table in The Gallery, with its bubblegum-pink interior designed by India Mahdavi, and witty David Shrigley drawings on the walls. Velvet club chairs and a zig-zag marble floor add a stylish 70s feel; take it all in over dinner, or the exquisite afternoon tea.

  • Bob Bob Ricard

    1 Upper James St, Soho, London W1F 9DF

    With its opulent art deco-style interiors (think acres of marble and mirrors), this glamorous Soho restaurant leaves its clientele wanting for nothing.

    Infamously, each of the leather booths is equipped with a ‘Press for Champagne’ button, making for riotous soirées. If you only order one thing, make it the chicken kiev; a comforting retro classic, cooked to perfection.

  • Poppie’s

    6-8 Hanbury St, Spitalfields, London E1 6QR

    For proper fish and chips, this cheerful chippy is hard to beat; portions are generous, and fish comes fresh from Billingsgate Market every morning.

    This being the East End, there are jellied eels for the brave – though we’d go for classic haddock and chips, with a side of home-made mushy peas. Retro memorabilia, a rock ’n’ roll-fuelled jukebox and 50s-style uniforms add to the sweetly vintage vibe.

  • Stax Diner

    Kingly Court, Soho, London W1B 5PW

    This gourmet diner is a paean to vintage Americana, from road trips and crackly blues records to Deep South-style comfort food.

    Its owner, Virginia-born Bea Vo, serves up all the classics, from cheeseburgers in retro plastic baskets to buttermilk-fried chicken and waffles. Sweet cravings are met with ice-cream floats, cherry-topped sundaes and deep-fried brownies; Elvis, we feel, would approve.

  • Brasserie Zédel

    20 Sherwood Street, Soho, London W1F 7ED

    Restauranteurs Corbin and King are behind this polished brasserie, set just off Piccadilly Circus.

    The restored beaux-arts interiors ooze a heady glamour, with their soaring marble pillars, rich gilding and elegant art-deco lights. The surprisingly affordable menu, meanwhile, pays tribute to Parisian brasserie classics, from steak haché and confit duck to an excellent tarte tatin for two.

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