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Here’s What Happened in the London Restaurant World Last Week

Halfway through winter lockdown, restaurants seek urgent clarification on whether they really are halfway

p. franco, one of the city’s best wine bar and restaurants
P. Franco in Clapton before it closed for lockdown
Michaël Protin/Eater London

London’s restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars are, according to the government’s timeframe, halfway through winter coronavirus lockdown. As things stand, they can reopen 3 December. But as goes 2020, so goes the next couple of weeks — it’s entirely uncertain what measures they will reopen under; it’s not yet certain whether they will be allowed to reopen at all. They must wait, but waiting costs money, costs jobs, costs time. And so they wait.

  • There’s a Pret near Westminster, just like there’s a Pret near everywhere with offices in London. With that real estate an albatross round its neck, it’s trying anything it can to survive, now offering a dinner delivery menu for its most diehard stans.

  • As discussed in the introduction, one of the key unknowns for London restaurants is what they will open into after lockdown. Previously under tier two restrictions, Conservative minister Robert Jenrick’s comment that the government is seeking “greater consistency” going forward has led to fears in some quarters that there could be stricter measures this time around. A shutdown, with proper support, would be more effective.

  • Great British Bake Off update: With the final next week, and the rules of the game changing from who loses to who wins, here’s a retrospective on the series rooted in Patisserie Week, and an explanation why it needs a serious revamp.

Fresh restaurant guides on where to eat in London during lockdown...

Until next week, eat well and be safe.