Gastroblog

Gastroblog

The Chancellor unveils a VAT cut and a 50% offer to help out restaurants

In parliament today, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced  a series of schemes to support the beleaguered hospitality industry. They are:

  • A VAT cut. That comes down from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions - it takes effect from next Wednesday, 15 July.
  • A £1000 bonus, payable in January 2021, for every staff member kept on once the furlough period ends in October
  • And an August…

Read more: The Chancellor unveils a VAT cut and a 50% offer to help out restaurants

Elizabeth Haigh launches Bā - a new supper club at Mei Mei

With Mei Mei in Borough Market back up and running (alongside a new delivery venture), Elizabeth Haigh is launching her next big thing. Harking back to her Kaizen House pop-up, she's launching Bā, a new twice-weekly dinner at Mei Mei. 

She'll lead the supper club/chef's table experience, for 16 people across 16 counter seats (and a couple of extra tables). Bā is Chinese for th…

Read more: Elizabeth Haigh launches Bā - a new supper club at Mei Mei

La Pilarica is a Mexican pop-up taking over nights at Loafing Cafe in Hackney

With Loafing Cafe now back up and running in Hackney, they're already launching their first post-lockdown pop-up. 

La Pilarica is a Mexican pop-up created by Federico Perez Diaz and Michael Kutziola, The pair originally met at Frankie’s Bar and Grill in Selfridges back in 2010 - have worked together since, both in restaurants and street food stalls - although this will be their fir…

Read more: La Pilarica is a Mexican pop-up taking over nights at Loafing Cafe in Hackney

The Tapas Room plans two new openings, bringing tapas and wine to Brixton and Battersea

8/7/20 - updated with the opening date

The lockdown obviously paused many plans to open new restaurants in London and we're still to really see the impact on those places that are currently planning to open in the summer. But some restaurants have managed to open over the past few months, albeit for delivery only (like Attawa) and others are moving full steam ahead with plans to open in our post-…

Read more: The Tapas Room plans two new openings, bringing tapas and wine to Brixton and Battersea

Tom Aikens launches Musette delivery service from his Belgravia restaurant

Over in Belgravia, chef and restaurateur Tom Aikens had just started to see amazing reviews come in for his new restaurant Muse, just before lockdown hit. You can read our Test Drive here.

The restaurant is almost entirely counter dining, making it pretty hard to accommodate the new socially distant rules, so it won't reopen until 3 September.  But, in the meantime, he's launched a delivery…

Read more: Tom Aikens launches Musette delivery service from his Belgravia restaurant

Hoshi street food finds a permanent home in Spitalfields

 

You may have come across Hoshi before. They've been popping up at Kerb and a number of markets across town, serving up what they dub 'Asian-inspired' street food. Now, as lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted, they're getting ready to open a permanent place in Spitalfields.

The permanent restaurant is billed as fresh fast food and is primarily a takeaway spot. The menu is mainly a cr…

Read more: Hoshi street food finds a permanent home in Spitalfields

Test Driving Mr Oyster Boy - Richard Corrigan's Bentleys/Daffodil Mulligan delivery service

 

Richard Corrigan has kicked off a delivery service that features some of the best of the legendary Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill (with a little Daffodil Mulligan thrown in). We take a look. …

Read more: Test Driving Mr Oyster Boy - Richard Corrigan's Bentleys/Daffodil Mulligan delivery service

Test Driving the Drapers Arms - our first meal out post-Lockdown

Hot Dinners makes our first foray back into the world of dining out - picking a popular Islington gastropub for the first post-lockdown meal. …

Read more: Test Driving the Drapers Arms - our first meal out post-Lockdown

Silver Lining in Hackney will be the UK's first orange wine bar

Hackney folk wondering when popular restaurant Silver Lining will be reopening should put this coming Wednesday in their diary. But, when the doors do reopen, it'll be quite a different kind of place.

The intention is to turn it into the UK's first wine bar focused entirely on orange wine. In its first phase, it'll open this week as a takeaway bottle shop with over 30 varieties of orange wine to…

Read more: Silver Lining in Hackney will be the UK's first orange wine bar

Nando's is back! Find out where you can dine-in this week.

One of the UK's most successful restaurant groups is returning. Yes, that's right - Nando's is coming back. They've been delivering around London for the past few weeks, but from this week you'll actually be able to dine in a couple of their restaurants. For the moment it's just a couple in town (more are opening across the UK) - and they're both in west London - Westfield London and Park Royal.&…

Read more: Nando's is back! Find out where you can dine-in this week.

Oklava's Selin Kiazim says they'll be dropping their service charge when they reopen

 

Many (but certainly not all) of the UK's workers and businesses have benefited greatly from the government's furlough scheme over the past few months. But hospitality staff haven't had quite the protection that many other businesses got. The proportion of their salary that comes from the service charge was not eligible to be included in the furlough calculation, meaning those staff on furlo…

Read more: Oklava's Selin Kiazim says they'll be dropping their service charge when they reopen

The Shepherdess Cafe has closed after 37 years

Another sad closure has been announced as the result of the lockdown - The Shepherdess Cafe on City Road. The cafe has been much-loved by locals for 37 years, but the owners posted a note on Facebook about its demise:

It is with great sadness after 37 years we have decided to close the Shepherdess. Circumstances, Covid-19, increased rents and a lack of sympathy from agents and landlords have all…

Read more: The Shepherdess Cafe has closed after 37 years

Keeping track of the restaurants that are closing in London

Here at Hot Dinners we mainly focus on the hottest restaurants in town, as well as new openings. But the London restaurant scene is ever-changing and that means some restaurants fall to the wayside. With that in mind, we're keeping track of the notable restaurants that London has lost over the past year.…

Read more: Keeping track of the restaurants that are closing in London

Queen's Park restaurant Milk Beach is expanding - with more alfresco seating and a new bar

A lot of restaurants in London have taken the enforced downtime of lockdown to take stock of their business. And over in Queen's Park, Aussie restaurant Milk Beach has decided that expansion is the way forward.

The team behind the all-day restaurant, which is tucked away on Lonsdale Road mews, have taken over next door Hugo's Restaurant. They'll be doing renovations over the coming two months, du…

Read more: Queen's Park restaurant Milk Beach is expanding - with more alfresco seating and a new bar

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