Despite continued uncertainty in the restaurant and hospitality world as a result of Brexit, and the immediate threat of rate rises that could force many out of business, London will, once again, see an endless stream of new openings (and closings no doubt). Other than the new restaurant quarters at the Nova Victoria and St. James’s Market developments, Covent Garden, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Canary Wharf are all set for new establishments. Plus the trend for restaurant groups expanding their openings further out from central London into the trendy East and residential areas like Clerkenwell and Brixton, tapping into the market of evening and weekend dining for locals not inclined towards later nights or heading central.
With so many, it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, so we’ve put together a list of which ones are exciting us the most, and the ones that you’ll probably have to book ASAP if you want to get in any time around opening.
Opening Early 2017
Rick Stein, the famous Cornish fish chef opens his first London restaurant. The Depot brassiere overlooking the Thames in Barnes has been going for thirty years, and now taken over by Stein. It is currently undergoing a major refurbishment ahead of its reopening. Stein, who has always said he wouldn’t open in London, fell in love with the venue and couldn’t resist the opportunity it offered.
Ollie Dabbous opens his third restaurant, this time in the new Covent Garden Hotel from the team behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, The Henrietta. Further details are hard to come by, but expect it to be a popular hit.
D&D brings a new Nordic restaurant and casual dining café to the Nova quarter in the soon to be finished redevelopment around Victoria Station. The space will be split between a more casual café area and a restaurant across two floors. We love the fact that fish roe is on the menu in the café, along with cinnamon buns.
Jean Georges at the Connaught
New York chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten returns to London – he operated Vong at the Berkeley till it closed in 2012. This time he is to open a neighbourhood-style restaurant at The Connaught. We’re interested to both try the food and see how it sits along side Helene Darroze’s two-star restaurant in the hotel.
Claude Bosi Moves to Bibendum
Closing Hibiscus in 2016 in search of new ventures, Claude Bosi is taking over kitchen at the classic Terence Conran French restaurant.
Sometime in 2017
Little is known about when Smyth will open her first solo restaurant, or what it will be called. The latest, though, is that she has secured 92 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill – the same site that Prue Leith first opened at in 1969. Despite the mystery, when the woman that kept three stars at Gordon Ramsey’s flagship restaurant for so long decides to open up her own place, we get excited.
The two-starred chef is finally opening up in central London, taking over The Rib Room Bar and Restaurant at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower on Sloane Street.
Image: Mike Norton