If you are a foodie in London, then, boy, are you in luck! The third annual London Restaurant Festival is slated for 3 – 17 October, and this celebration of eating out in the capital spans a happy fortnight. Initially launched in 2009 by Fay Maschler, restaurant critic for the Evening Standard, and her business partner, Simon Davis, the Festival began with over 400 restaurants participating in the festival, and that number grew to nearly 600 participating restaurants in 2010. This year, organizers anticipate that more than 800 restaurants will be a part of the show.
The London Restaurant Festival first and foremost is an avenue for restaurateurs to offer fixed-price Festival Menus: customers can easily explore a new restaurant, or to visit again a restaurant that might generally be a bit beyond their reach. Festival Menus, generally a two course meal, will primarily be priced from the £10 to £25 range. And restaurants get the opportunity to showcase just how fabulous their food is.
But the festival has also become quite the party. Under the umbrella structure provided by the LRF staff, festival special events also take place. For example, foodies can undertake the Scotch Egg Trail by sampling their way through some of the best of London's Scotch Eggs and vote on their favorite; foodies can jump aboard a Routemaster bus for the "Gourmet Odyssey," touring some of the top restaurants in London; foodies can catch the debate on ethnic food with the "Chewing the Fat" event; and foodies who are also film lovers can catch a film and enjoy a three-course meal at Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel, or the Soho Hotel.
Other special events include "Starter for Ten," which is a food quiz designed to test a foodie's culinary know-how; and "What's For Lunch?" an event in which Asian, British and French chefs reinterpret traditional appetizers, main dishes and dessert plates.
But perhaps the most razzle-dazzle event is the "Pop-Up In The Sky" event, which touts the likes of chefs Angela Hartnett, Claude Bosi, Jason Atherton, Marcus Wareing, and Pierre Koffmann serving up a fabulous meal--on the London Eye, no less. If you are planning on attending and need a hotel, check out the Jurys Inn range of hotels in London.