December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The average cost of a dinner for two in London has rocketed by 11 per cent in a year to pass the £90 mark for the first time.
The record high restaurant prices were found during research for the new edition of Harden’s London Restaurants due out next month.
Its survey of more than 1,800 eateries found the average cost of a meal for two in the capital to be £90.02, including three courses, or equivalent, wine, coffee and service.
Co-editor Peter Harden said annual inflation had never before been anywhere near 10 per cent in the 21 years the guide has been running.
He added: “This year, however, has seen a ‘perfect storm’ – food prices trending sharply upward worldwide, plus the one-off effect of the January VAT increase.
“If there is any comfort at all to be found for restaurant-goers, it is that you have to see this gigantic rise in the context of a modest increase the previous year.
“Stripping out VAT effects, underlying prices have – over the past two years taken together – increased by ‘only’ 4.5 per cent per annum.”
Harden’s has recorded 107 restaurant openings in the past 12 months, the lowest total since 2000 and sharply down from last year’s figure of 140.
The research also found that tough economic conditions have had remarkably little effect on restaurants, with the 72 closures being in the mid-range of figures seen in recent years.
While the number of new restaurants may be down, the quality of the new openings has been very high, according to the guide.
Co-editor Richard Harden said: “It is sometimes said that hard times make good art, and it seems to be the same with restaurants. The way quality is – at last! – flourishing in the London restaurant scene really is impressive.
“For far too long, we’ve seen the capital’s restaurant scene seemingly dominated by big media-friendly names – Conran in the late-90s, then Ramsay in the noughties – but now we seem to be entering a much more mature era where what counts is quality, sometimes twinned with innovation, not media profile.”
Each year the guide selects its 10 most significant openings of the previous 12 months.
This year the top 10 is: Brawn E2, Les Deux Salons WC2, Dinner SW1, Galoupet SW3, Hedone W4, Medlar SW3, Pollen Street Social W1, Riding House Cafe W1, Roganic W1, Yashin W8.