The London Restaurant Festival is running a citywide tour of the best restaurants in London all through October. The events vary in scale, from individual meals to weekend long gourmet marathons. All kinds of restaurants take part, from Marco Pierre White to your local independent bistro, either offering ‘festival menus’ up to £50, or more indulgent tasting menus.
Central to the events will be the 5-star Andaz hotel in Liverpool Street. As partner to this year's Restaurant Festival, the hotel is hosting a special series of foodie events. We're looking forward to wine tasting the Andaz studio, where for £15 per person experts and novices alike can enhance a glass of the good stuff with a tasting experience to broaden palettes.
Or you could upgrade movie night popcorn at Eat Film, a series of culinary-themed cinema screenings held in the Andaz Hotel's Masonic Temple — a tucked away chamber that's every bit as atmospheric as it sounds. For £39 a head, guests can sit back and watch a classic film inspired by food and enjoy a two-course meal at the hotel's Eastway Brasserie. The full line up of four films is here and our top pick is Sideways, the 2004 dramady about wine and romance.
Plus the Andaz restaurants are offering specially designed festival menus. Though there a several to choose from, we would recommend the 1901, who have an impressive wine list and locally sourced cheeses.
For the more nomadic gourmands, the Restaurant Festival has a series of food trails. Each of the tours is located in a different borough, and the London restaurant festival aims to initiate guests into some of the undiscovered gems of the London dining scene as well as some of the most established, top London restaurants. With over 200 restaurants participating in the event – some of which have only recently opened their doors – there’s sure to be somewhere that’ll tickle the taste buds.
The line-up caters to the most varied of palates with the highlight being a 'Cicchetti Trail' (cicchetti being small Italian savoury snacks) involving sampling a variety of Mediterranean nibbles at restaurants such as Mele e Pere, the Soho vermouth specialist or the perennially popular Polpo. Other options include a Japanese Journey (Tonkotsu, Chisou, Bo Drake…) and a Soho & Fitzrovia Tour (Portland, Smoking Goat, Blacklock...).
From seeing how things have gone in previous years, we reckon the London Restaurant Festival is going to sell out pretty fast. American Express cardholders will be pleased to hear that they will be able to get their hands on tickets to exclusive events (though even they are selling fast), including special meals cooked up by renowned Australian chef Skye Gyngell and Theo Randall of The River Cafe.
And, if you are visiting London for the festival and need somewhere to stay, Andaz Hotel are offering 20% off with the code ‘LRF16’.
|What||The London Restaurant Festival 2016|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
01 Oct 16 – 31 Oct 16, Event times vary
|Website||Click here for more information|