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  • Exquisite dining in London's Square Mile

    Where? Aurora, Great Eastern Hotel, Liverpool St, London EC2M 7QM (020-7618 7000,

    Mood Formal but friendly. Set in a grand dome-ceilinged hall and accompanied by a jazz pianist in the evening, this is where you want to head for special occasions and power lunches.

    Who goes? It’s in the city, so you’ll find a business crowd during the day but more relaxed dining in the evening – particularly on Thursdays and Fridays.

    Why go? Aurora is a charming restaurant and it’s great place for deluxe or romantic dining, so if you’re happy to pay the price for quality, you’ll get it here.

    To eat? Everything on the dessert list – particularly the chocolate mousse with plum sake jelly. The modern European menu, devised by Head chef Dominic Teague (formerly of L’Escargot), features delights such as smoked partridge with apple compote and organic cod with red wine jus. The crab starter is deservedly popular, and the beautifully-dressed Scottish lobster and (generous) side salad comes highly recommended. And if you can’t decide on dishes, try the Degustation Menu, which lets you sample seven dishes from the a la carte menu with wine for each course.

    To drink? Well, it would be rude not to kick things off with a glass of rose champagne. Beyond that, take your pick of over 800 bins from the wine cellar – Aurora’s collection has been voted as one of the country’s finest. To finish, there’s a great selection of coffee and herbal teas.

    Need to know This is one of Sir Terence Conran’s treasures and, from the décor to the food, bears his stamp all over it. The menu varies according to seasonal specialities.

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