Wiltons is one of our go-to classic restaurants in London. In fact, it’s been trading for a cool 278 years, with its sister restaurant Franco’s operating for over 70. Luckily for us, they’ve opted to open another spot for the new millennium – Locket’s – which has launched on Smithson Plaza on the site that used to house the Economist headquarters. It’s been undertaken by Locket Hambro, great-granddaughter of Wiltons founder Olaf Hambro. Serving as an all-day café during the day offering breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, Locket’s segues into a swanky wine bar in the evenings. We were lucky enough to drop in and sample both.
Designed by Fran Hickman Interiors, the light, airy space is drenched in natural light filtering in through enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. The art deco flooring rivets the attention with tiling interpolated by monochromatic, sinuous wavy lines. Bright orb pendant lighting hangs from the ceiling, giving light to a cork bar overhung with a classy drinks gantry as well as tables crafted from orange resin. It’s a very relaxing place to while away an afternoon.
We began our lunch with a creamy pumpkin and coconut soup served with toasted sourdough, which was nourishing in the utmost. Following suit, polenta with mushrooms and parmesan was everything you’d expect from the alpine dish and an ox cheek smouldered in richness aside a celeriac puree. An open sandwich of chicken, avocado and chilli mayonnaise on sourdough was by-the-book delicious, while a chocolate brownie with crème fraiche was the perfect conclusion to a chilled-out an delightful lunch.
Locket’s maintains the Wilton’s brand of class. Drop in for wine or lunch.