Canton Blue: London’s Chicest Spot For Lunar New Year 2024

By Olivia Emily

6 months ago

Looking for luxurious dinner plans? Look no further


British silver service, fine Cantonese cuisine and modern glamour converge masterfully at The Peninsula London’s flagship restaurant, Canton Blue. It’s the perfect spot to celebrate Lunar New Year 2024 – or any special occasion for that matter.

Review: Canton Blue, The Peninsula London

The tea room at Canton Blue with low chairs and a beautiful ceiling

How can one restaurant feel so reminiscent – so old-school glamorous – and yet decidedly contemporary? Canton Blue is a masterclass in this fine balance, weaving tales of the Maritime Silk Road through luxurious yet playful interiors and a storied menu.

We settle into a booth after treading the restaurant’s sumptuously thick carpets, and are immersed in a marvellous collection of crockery: a wall of porcelain plates great and small to one side, and strings of delicate teacups on the other cascading like a waterfall, all in hues of blue. Cast your eyes up, and a magnificent glimmering celestial navigation map stands in for the sky.

An ornately decorated private dining room

Private Dining Room

The warmth of Canton Blue’s waitstaff shines beneath the soft ambient lighting, from guiding us through the lengthy food menu to helping us pick a wine to complement our choices. The drinks menu is a journey in itself, spanning Chinese rice wine to English sparkling wine, styled as ‘a voyage from the Far East to Britain’ – or peruse the teas menu for similar comprehensiveness. We sipped a full-bodied Austrian white wine, poured from a corked magnum with an innovative device and a flourish, and served in a glass elegantly etched with weaving floral design.

On the food side, start, naturally, with dim sum, with 11 mouthwatering, steamy options available. We tucked into the deliciously earthy Siu Mai chicken dumplings with black mushroom, and the fluffy barbecue pork buns, before moving onto the main event. The menu isn’t lengthy but every option sounded just divine, so drawing on the waitstaff here was a real help, as they considered our tastes and pointed to the ideal options: Atlantic king prawns sauteed with XO sauce and stir fried British wagyu tenderloin with premium soy sauce, accompanied with noodles and rice and a selection of seasonal veg wok fried with garlic, all dished up silver service style. Heavenly.

Plates of dim sum on a white table

If you can squeeze a dessert in, you’ll be pleased to find a selection of delicate options, from refreshing sorbets to the cool almond milk jelly with ginger syrup and lychee sorbet. But the best way to conclude an evening at Canton Blue is by heading downstairs to its sister cocktail bar Little Blue, where that playful interior design style beams once more.

Wooden cabinets, painted porcelain and delicate white birds suspended from the ceiling, emulating tiny ghosts, all meld together to evoke both British and Chinese history. Sink into leather seats and sofas and pick from the eight signature cocktails (although another, more extensive drinks menu is also available) – two inspired by Hong Kong, two by St Helena, two by New York and two by London, emulating that Silk Road journey again. I ended with the London Velvet in true British style: a subtly spicy take on the iconic Espresso Martini, and inspired by the merchants who sailed the Keying Junk, it mixes cocoa, coffee, espelette, pimenton and vodka for the perfect end to a perfect evening.

The bar at Little Blue, with stools lined up and a bit white decorated pillar in the centre

The Final Word

Looking for a spot to kick off the Year of the Dragon in style? Canton Blue ticks all the boxes. Plus, a special menu will be available in celebration, accompanied by festival decorations like hanging red envelopes and Chinese kumquat trees.

BOOK

Canton Blue is open everyday for lunch (12–2pm) and dinner (6.30–10pm), except for Tuesdays when it is closed.

The special Lunar New Year menus are available from 7–16 February 2024; pre-booking is essential.

The Peninsula, 1 Grosvenor Pl, London SW1X 7HJ

peninsula.com