London restaurants reopened their dining rooms for the first time in 152 days on 17 May. Here’s how the first five days panned out, with all the top stories.
- On the reopening day, restaurants were both hopeful and uncertain; relieved to be allowed to open but mindful of attendant risk to workers and diners, with vaccination not yet reaching age groups that make up the majority of hospitality staff. But most of all, London’s restaurants dared to hope that they would not have to close again. They dared to hope that, finally, this is it.
- Something that could mean that this actually is not it is the newest coronavirus variant causing rising cases in England, B.1.617.2. Here’s everything you need to know about what that coronavirus variant means for restaurants.
- But dining rooms did reopen. Take a look around the city’s restaurants as diners returned, in pictures (and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan went for a neatly staged dining crawl.)
- The return of diners meant the return of staff, with many hospitality workers having left the industry or left the country owing to the pandemic and to Brexit.
- Last week, Pret a Manger’s next great survival strategy was putting its sandwiches and drinks into Tesco. This week, it’s opening petrol station Pret a Mangers.
- New restaurant openings continue to be dominated by groups with money in reserve able to exploit a desperate property market. An Amsterdam seafood bar called The Seafood Bar will open on the huge former Red Fort site on Dean Street, in Soho, while Gordon Ramsay believes that where numerous casual pizza and burger chains failed in expanding quickly, Gordon Ramsay can succeed in expanding quickly.
- When life gives you regular sized chocolate Flakes and you need half-size chocolate Flakes for a 99 ice cream, don’t moan about a shortage. Just snap them in half.
And now, the good stuff:
For dining out...
- Where to eat outside in London.
- Where to eat outside in London... When it’s raining.
- New neighbourhood guides for the best places to eat in Peckham, Camberwell, and Brixton.
- A reminder of the city’s best, best-value restaurants.
- Pasta! Hot Pots! Sushi!
- Brilliant London sandwiches.
- Where to get some top tacos...
- And outstanding Indo-Caribbean roti.
- Sunday roasts to eat al fresco, or finish at home.
- Outdoor slurping at London’s best ramen spots.
- The best places to eat near — or in — London parks.
- What London’s standout 38 restaurants are doing.
- The most exciting new restaurants in London right now.
- The most exciting pop-ups to check out.
- The best bakeries in London for takeaway pastries and bread.
- Where to drink the best coffee in the city.
And for dining in this weekend...
- How to ship a taste of London’s restaurants nationwide, with kits including suya, udon, and some world-famous butter chicken.
- And here are some condiments to put on them, or indeed anything else.
- Order from London’s best restaurants without the apps.
- The best restaurants for delivery and takeaway.
- The best meal kits from London restaurants.
- And a general guide on where to buy food in London.