Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday 31 October that England would move into lockdown from Thursday 5 November. It means restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes are again closed in England, moving into takeaway, delivery, grocery sales, merch, and meal kits for at least another month.
- The week began with restaurants across the city anticipating closure on Thursday; bookings piled in and diners did too. Unlike the first lockdown, the vibe was more “last supper,” with buoyant meals documented on Instagram showing a difference in attitude to March.
- Then on Wednesday night, it was last orders for at least a month in London. Restaurants across the city were full, as shutters went down and diners went out.
- As London diners know from March, lockdown totally changes the complexion of eating in the city. Here’s what the new coronavirus shutdown means for restaurants in London, and here’s how restaurants are responding to it — some hopeful, some drained, all focused on surviving.
- With lockdown comes the need for further restaurant support. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension of the furlough scheme — in which the government pays 80 percent of employees’ wages — until spring 2021, in an admission of the severity of the impact of COVID-19 into 2021.
- Restaurants of different sizes are able to respond in different ways. McDonald’s will keep every single restaurant open for drive-thru, takeaway, or delivery, despite unresolved worker concerns about safety policies that stem back to March.
- As America elects its next president, its future food relationship with the U.K. remains in the balance. The government made its strongest pledge yet on keeping U.K. food standards by disallowing American products that do not meet them, but, it has yet to enshrine this in law and has backslid on food standards pledges all year.
- Staying with food policy, COVID-19 continues to exacerbate food poverty and insecurity in the U.K., with food banks across the land reporting “newly hungry” users who have never had to use them before.
- Supermarkets and suppliers are in an ever-changing position. As leading restaurant supplier Natoora takes its produce nationwide for delivery, Sainsburys supermarket cuts its specialist meat, fish, and deli counters.
- Great British Bake Off update: 80s Week was a return to the low-key high-key drama the show does well, which has been sorely lacking all season.
Fresh restaurant guides on where to eat in London during lockdown...
- Start with the ultimate guide to eating at home in London, of course. But to break it down further:
- The best restaurants for delivery and takeaway.
- The most interesting restaurant meal kits to order.
- The hypebeast’s guide to London restaurant merch, and where to buy it.
- The best food shows and films on Netflix.
- Favourite cookbooks from the city’s top writers and chefs.
Until next week, eat well and be safe.