Britain, lest we forget, is a country that was built on rich, warming, carb-heavy comfort food. Our ancestors raised on stews. Our wars fought on pies and mashed spuds.
As the cold sets in - both in the sky and from our spurned neighbours in Europe - we thought it was time to round up the best London has to offer by way of dishes that warm you up proper. Dig in, and be proud.
Shepherd's Pie at The Ivy
As long as the rich and fabulous have been flocking to The Ivy, they've been ordering their iconic Shepherd's Pie which really is a cut above any other iterations of this humble dish. Having sat proudly on their menu since the early eighties, the secret to the flavour is their use of both beef and lamb mince giving it a rich and indulgent texture. The crown of mash is whipped to perfection and tastes like velvet when you break through the crisp crust.
The Ivy Soho, 26 Broadwick Street, Soho.
Steak and Ale Pie at The Windmill
No longer confined to the counter of Greggs, pies have had an image makeover that has seen luxury versions pop up on the menus of eateries across London. The Windmill pride themselves on their pastry prowess and even run a regular pie club. They've won three national awards for their signature steak and ale pie, a meaty marvel where the steak speaks for itself.
The Windmill, 6/8 Mill Street,London,W1S 2AZ
Sausage and mash at Mother Mash
With six styles of mash, eight types of sausage (including gluten-free) and five kinds of gravy ( including dairy-free and vegetarian) this - as the name implies - is the mother of all mash joints. For the adventurous among us the sweet potato mash comes with carrot and a sprinkling of chili and the natural mash with cheddar and mustard is also a warming winner. Sausage-wise cumberland is a strong choice and lamb and mint are surprisingly moreish.
Mother Mash, 26 Ganton Street, London W1F 7QZ
Beef Wellington at The Riding House Café
Imagine the most succulent, tender and perfectly cooked fillet of beef sliced into a thick medallion, enveloped in soft and crispy pastry and drizzled with truffle oil. That is the taste of the menu star at Fitzrovia spot The Riding House Café. So many layers of flavour are at play with this dish you'll find something new in every bite.
The Riding House Café, 43-51 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7PQ
Fish Pie at Angler
Fish pie can often be underwhelming with leftover cuts of fish used to bulk out the filling. This is far from the case for the offering at Michelin-starred seafood specialist Angler which uses a lobster bisque in the sauce and has lobster tail and claw meat encased within it. The decadence of lobster with a warming sauce and perfectly whipped mash on the top makes for an excellent marriage of flavour and texture.
Angler, South Place Hotel, 3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF
Soup at Mildreds
Soup is usually an office byword for drab and conjures images of depressing lunches that leave you hungry. Certainly not the case at gourmet vegetarian and vegan restaurant spot Mildreds who now have sites in Soho, Kings Cross and Camden. Their regularly changing soup menu includes flavours like Pumpkin, coconut and cardamon and creamy mushroom and chestnut.
Mildreds, 45 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AN
Mince and Potatoes at Dean Street Townhouse
Soho House's popular restaurant breathes life into this classic British dish that has a rich meaty sauce with a subtle kick of Worcester Sauce. This stew is simple but still grabs you by the collar with its intensity and will warm you to the bone. The ratio of potatoes on the surface are spot on too, meaning you won't leave hungry.
Dean Street Townhouse, 69-71 Dean Street, London W1
Truffle Potato and Cheese Gratin at The Princess of Shoreditch
Another location from Noble Inns who have mastered the balance between restaurant and pub, The Princess of Shoreditch are famous for their sublime roasts and pies. Though their meats are impressive you won't miss it in this gooey medley of cheese and truffle where the potatoes achieve the perfect marriage of crispy shell and soft in the middle.
Princess of Shoreditch, 76-78 Paul St, London EC2A 4NE