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

London’s restaurants reopened their dining rooms, and go again

Inside Thattukada in East Ham — for the first time welcoming guests back into its dining room

London’s restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars are now allowed to open, under coronavirus tier two restrictions. Here’s what happened during another week of reopening.

  • As restaurants reopened from 2 December, a familiar sense of uncertainty hung in the air. Increasingly promising vaccine news suggests that making it through to spring 2021 will represent surviving a cataclysmic 12 months. But “making it” entails trading through what is traditionally the busiest time of year under public health restrictions, while uncertain whether or not the rent moratorium which is keeping thousands of businesses from the brink will be extended. It expires in January; without an extension or a back rent solution, there will be a bloodbath. Here’s what that reopening looked like across the city.

  • The days leading up to reopening were mired in now-familiar mixed messaging from the government over restrictions. A minister said Scotch eggs were substantial meals; Downing Street said they were not. The ontology of egg wrapped in sausage is ultimately trivial, but it served to illustrate how the government’s strategy has itself long been mired in reactive, inadequate policy making.

  • Then Boris Johnson announced a grant for “wet” pubs. “Wet” pubs do not serve food, and thus must close under both tier two and tier three coronavirus restrictions. The grant is ... £1,000, which does not touch the sides for pubs and their supply chain.

  • And then, some faint hope. First Tesco, and then Aldi, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s, pledged to “repay” hundreds of millions in coronavirus business rate relief. It was a saving — but there is money going to the government, and one place it might be used is in a restaurant and pub rent bail out. Early days, but U.K. Hospitality were quick to stake their claim.

Where to eat in London..

Until next week, eat well and be safe.

Santa Maria

11 Bond Street, , England W5 5AP 020 8840 4998 Visit Website

The Clove Club

380 Old Street, , England EC1V 9LT 020 7729 6496 Visit Website

Two Lights

28-30 Kingsland Road, , England E2 8AA 020 3976 0076 Visit Website