Henry James was scathing about London’s restaurants, "whose badness is literally fabulous," he declared. But not so now! London has zoomed up the global gastro charts, and can seriously mix it now with the world’s top culinary heavyweights. Standards have rocketed at all price points and, dare we ask, might the London restaurant scene be in the most robust health it’s ever been in? A
bottom-up local foodie revolution and a top-down cascade of City lucre and hot global monnay has juiced things up fabulously. Feel like the most-tender Wagyu beef steak on planet Earth? Yours for £92 at CUT at 45 Park Lane. You wanna try ultra-modern old English gastronomy from the time of Henry VIII? Ashley Palmer-Watts is your man at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. You only eat hot dogs and Champagne? No worries, we’ve got just the thing: try Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia for … hot dogs and Champagne, at £8 a pop. Can’t stand any more snobby culinary stuff? The low-key British wild game’s so good at The Harwood Arms that they’ve bagged London’s first gastropub-based Michelin star.
Everyone’s a foodie here now, and it seems everyone’s blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Snapchatting, Pinteresting, and Instagraming their way through the latest and greatest openings. One week chef Karem Sethi’s flavor of the month at ace curry den Gymkhana in Mayfair, the next it’s Daniel Doherty ripping it up at Duck & Waffle, 40 floors up the Heron Tower. Thankfully, pride in the best of British food—local, seasonal, foraged, and wild—is witnessing a genuine resurgence. And you, too, will be smitten, because you’ll be spending, on average, 25% of your travel budget on eating out. Dig in. Fork up. Enjoy.
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