At a time when Britain was recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, former journalist and entrepreneur Simon Davis (founder of luxury hospitality brand The Rosebery) launched a festival that showcased London’s phenomenal restaurant industry – the London Restaurant Festival (LRF).
Now celebrating its 11th anniversary, the festival has returned ready to provide its attendees
with a packed calendar of events throughout the month of October.
The festival is hosted in collaboration with 250 restaurants dotted across the city and is comprised of two main elements – Restaurant Experiences and Festival Menus.
When attending a ‘Restaurant Experience’, guests can expect to be presented with a vast first-class taste of London’s flourishing restaurant scene, through gastronomic weekends, gourmet odysseys and tasting menus.
If you’re looking to have an unrivalled experience, booking one of the ‘Ultimate Gastronomic Weekend’ packages will give you just that. Priced at £380, you’ll find yourself staying at a five-star hotel enjoying cuisine from the likes of Monica Galetti and Michael Roux Jr. as well as enjoying walking tours and private screenings.
Gourmet odysseys will have you journey around London, as you enjoy a starter in one restaurant, followed by your main in another before you conclude the evening with dessert in yet another one of the city’s leading eateries.
Not to forget the tasting menus element of the ‘Restaurant Experience’, which for an extra charge (between £45 – £79) you can book an exclusive experience with the festival’s featured chefs.
While tickets are selling out fast, there’s also a smorgasbord of other events to be tried and tasted.
The Cardiff’s Bar 44 tasting menu event at Tapas Brindisa on Thursday 24th October is a particularly treat.For £55 you can crack open an Estrella Galicia beer and indulge in authentic Spanish tapas, all while watching the world go by just minutes from the famous Battersea Power Station.
Festival-goers also have the opportunity to choose from a range of participating restaurants that, as part of the ‘Festival Menus’ element of the month-long event, have created exclusive dishes based on the festival’s six curated themes. So no matter your palate or budget, you’re certain to find a restaurant for every taste.
Talk of the Town
The first of the festival’s six themes, Talk of the Town is perfect for those looking to get a taste of the latest rising stars of the capital’s restaurant scene. Dig into one of Indian Accent’s dishes that blend historic Indian cuisine with worldwide influences, or try the premium authentic Roman food from Palatino.
Take a deep dive into London’s gastronomic history by booking a table at one or more of the festival’s ‘London Legends’ restaurants. Headlining steakhouse Gaucho Piccadilly and Michelin-starred Club Gascon, are just two options where you can taste exactly why these restaurants have managed to stand the test of time.
Dine in some of the capital’s most luxurious locations by choosing a restaurant that falls under the ‘Amazing Spaces’ theme, whether it be cosy steak and seafood restaurant Hawksmoor Spitalfields or the more casual, yet still aesthetically pleasing, choice of Izakaya restaurant Kurobuta Chelsea.
Choosing an ‘Avant Garde’ restaurant will set you up to be surprised and delighted by innovative menus from the likes of Roganic, a restaurant that prides itself on dishing up remarkable inventive British cuisine straight from their UK based suppliers. If you’re on the market to try something outside your comfort zone, ‘Avant Garde’ is the theme to pick.
Flights and Pairings
If you fancy trying out a new tipple or two, in among enjoying the delights of vegetarian and gluten-free restaurant M Raw Victoria Street or Mestizo Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar, then the ‘Flights and Pairings’ theme will serve up some expert pairing courtesy of the capital’s leading sommeliers.
London with a View
Deciding to dine at these restaurants will leave you spellbound, as you get to appreciate some of the best views in the city while you dine. Enjoy classic British cuisine overlooking the Thames at the OXO Tower Restaurant, or tuck into the exquisite modern European dishes the Helix Restaurant at The Gherkin has to offer along with unbeatable views of the City.
Aside from providing gourmet experiences throughout October, the London Restaurant Festival is also hosting a travel competition with a chance to win a culinary tour of one of three breath-taking locations around the globe.
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