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

London’s restaurants learned they would not be evicted in January, but now nervously wait to discover if they will have to close this week

England Enters Tier System After Second Coronavirus Lockdown Ends- Tier Two Peter Summers/Getty Images

After London’s restaurants, cafes, and pubs reopened last week, they did so under a cloud of uncertainty, ahead of what is normally the busiest time of the year. A week on, those businesses did learn that protections against eviction would be extended from the end of the year until 31 March. But they end the week with a warning from Mayor Sadiq Khan who has said restaurants could be facing even tougher restrictions — and another period of closure — before Christmas, if rules were not followed.

Here’s what happened in the world of food and restaurants this week in London.

  • A day later, as widely expected, the government did the bare minimum to avoid what UK Hospitality had said would have been a “bloodbath” on the high streets: It extended legislation to protect restaurant tenants from eviction in January. It also said that no further extensions would be granted; that it was now up to tenant and landlord to reach an agreement.

  • Because of hospitality’s perceived vulnerability to the headwinds of restrictions, rent debt, reduced demand, and recovery prospects in 2021, there were renewed calls from high-profile quarters this week for “proper” political representation for the industry: Chefs Angela Hartnett and Tom Kerridge were among those to appear on new platform, “Seat at the Table,” petitioning for a Minister for Hospitality.

  • Then, a big announcement from the London Evening Standard newspaper: After 48 years, its critic Fay Maschler would leave, taking a new role at Tatler magazine in the new year. Maschler is succeeded by ES Magazine’s Jimi Famurewa whose first review will be published in the newspaper and online on 13 January.

  • In the foreground, then, the coronavirus pandemic. In the background, Brexit!

Last November’s catchphrase du jour, “oven-ready Brexit deal” resurfaced in Westminster this week, as Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly was forced to explain that the trade agreement the British government was now trying to secure had never been oven-ready. No, it was the Withdrawal Agreement that had been “oven-ready” and “delivered.” “People who are using that phrase about that trade agreement are either displaying their ignorance or dishonesty,” Cleverly said.

And, of course, all the dining guides you need in London this weekend...

Until next week, eat well and be safe.


593 High Road Leytonstone, , England E11 4PA 020 8281 4801 Visit Website

Roux at Parliament Square

11 Great George Street, , England SW1P 3AD 020 7334 3737 Visit Website