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

On Monday 22 February, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars should have a kind of roadmap out of lockdown

A virtual meeting between Gordon Ramsay and Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of the Budget on 3 March HM Treasury/flickr

Boris Johnson is set to announce his coronavirus lockdown reopening roadmap on Monday 22 February. For London’s restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars, the week preceding it was dominated by clamour: on what reopening after lockdown will look like; the extent of COVID-19 restrictions; and the financial support Rishi Sunak’s Budget will offer to cushion them on 3 March.

  • With the reopening roadmap and the Budget comes clamour: clamour for reopening; clamour about reopening; clamour about what reopening looks like. The week began with pub bosses accusing the government of “disrespect” over their planning, taking the position that the “Great British Pub” should reopen as soon as possible. That’s one side of the clamour: that positive vaccine news means casting off restrictions entirely, casting them as a shackle on liberties.

  • Another side is what to do about vaccines. Passports for individuals seem off the cards (as off the cards as any piece of government policy can have been this year) but vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi suggested this week that it would be up to individual businesses to decide what measures they want to take.

  • And before they do reopen, one of lockdown’s greatest hits will deliver a star-studded takeaway and delivery pizza guest series. ASAP Pizza, based out of Flor in Borough Market, will get Quality Wines’ Nick Bramham; Lisa Lov of Tiger Mom in Copenhagen, and um, Aziz Ansari, to do guest pies. Master of None cameo, bag secured.

  • Chefs and diners used Instagram to remind people that, in 2021 especially, Lunar New Year celebrations are about solidarity and respect as much as they are about eating.

Dining guides for staying in this weekend...

And where to order takeaway and delivery in...

Until next week, eat well and be safe.

Koya Soho

50 Frith Street, , England W1D 4SQ 020 7434 4463 Visit Website

The Westbury

37 Conduit Street, , England W1S 2YF