Who are they?
Whenever anyone talks about sustainability in London's flourishing restaurant scene, one name always comes up: Lyle's.
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With its modern British fine-dining fare served up in an ultra-stylish former tea warehouse in the heart of Shoreditch, this most quintessential of London restaurants is the creation of chef James Lowe and business partner John Ogier. The pair met at St. John and opened Lyle's in 2014. Two years later it landed a Michelin star (and retained it the following year), and in 2018 it ranked 38 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of why our judges named it Best Fine-Dining Restaurant this year and you haven’t read Lowe’s story in his recent Foodism interview, it revolves around a progressive, common-sense approach to sustainable sourcing and the kind of food and service that gives the restaurant such a great reputation – and such a considerable platform to influence others in the industry.
What's on the menu?
Well, it depends. Lowe’s relationship with his suppliers is everything, which means the menu is short and sweet – sharing plates at lunch and set menus only on evenings and weekends – goes by the seasons and revolves around what is available in the moment. Come two days in a row and you won't always eat the same dish twice; once the season or supply is done, it’s on to the next.
Of course, Lowe's philosophy doesn't stop at the food, it extends to the drinks, too, and many, if not all, of the wines are sourced from "agriculturally responsible locations". Expect artfully created dishes with a focus on foraging and fermentation.
Where can I find them?
You know Boxpark Shoreditch? Not there, but close enough. Come out of the Overground station and turn left, and you’ll see the Tea Building (very possibly behind a queue of tourists boarding a National Express coach).