Innovations in re-opened restaurants and bars
From pedestrianised streets for al fresco cocktails to the new take on private dining: how London's restaurants and bars are adapting to restrictions
Thought it was hard to get a table at the hot new restaurant before? Well now tables will be even more limited. Government guidelines stipulate that tables inside must be at least one metre apart, and diners must stay at their table rather than mingle. Furniture and layout will be reconfigured to accommodate a one-way system, helping maintain distance. Two different households may dine together indoors, while groups of six people from different households are only permitted to sit together in outdoor spaces.
Bare tables and limited menus
Table settings will be less aesthetic and more sparse, as cutlery, napkins and condiments will be brought out with the food to avoid contamination. All menus will be single use, or written on a board held by waiters. To minimise contamination in the kitchen, many restaurants are likely to serve smaller, limited menus. But there are creative ways around it, with chefs at the likes of The Petersham and The Ivy rising to the challenge and serving special set menus to showcase seasonal flavours.
Pedestrianised Streets and Al Fresco Tables
To enable as many business as possible to re-open within the new safety restrictions, Westminster Council has outlined 'temporary changes to highways, licensing and amenities in the areas of the city that host the majority of our hospitality industry'. The detailed planning document includes timed traffic closures and expanded pavements to maximise the outside space available around the bars and restaurants of Soho and the West End. The pedestrianised streets will be filled with tables and chairs, at safe distances, and liscencing will be extended to allow venues to serve alcohol in these outdoor. The proposals span Pimlico and Victoria, through Mayfair, Soho, the West End, Marylebone and Paddington right up to St John's Wood.
A New 'Social Bubble' Dining Concept
The old fashioned elegance of private dining has fresh appeal in our 'new normal'. APT is an innovative dining concept where guest can fire their own apartment at Town Hall Hotel and enjoy a bespoke menu created by one of London's leading chefs. The experience is designed for groups of up to 10 people form one social bubble, allowing you to mark special occasions and enjoy celebrations that were delayed by lockdown. The chefs taking part in the project include Skye Gyngell (Spring), Claude Boss (Bibendum Oyster Bar), Jackson Boxer (Orasay) and Leandro Carreria (The Sea, The Sea). Click here to book your apartment, choose a chef and curate your menu.