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How High-End Independence Is Dominating the London Leisure Scene

London has a more vibrant restaurant scene than other cities they had visited.

The London restaurant scene is thriving, with diners now happy to frequent restaurants at lunch-time and on weekday evenings. According to the 400-person survey commissioned by Camden restaurant Gilgamesh, over half of those surveyed said they believed that London has a more vibrant restaurant scene than other cities they had visited.

Our London leisure property specialists would argue that this is because of the surge in high-end independence now dominating the leisure scene.

‘Foodie’ culture

An obsession and passion for high quality, locally sourced produce has gripped the nation as people have become more health and environmentally conscious. This has affected the entire food distribution chain, from the producers themselves to the restaurants selling the food.

In the past couple of years, there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of independent food merchants on London high streets, and an unbelievable 65 percent increase in the number of independent supermarkets.

According to Risk Capital Partners chairman Luke Johnson, Britain’s new foodie culture coupled with better training has made the hospitality industry a more attractive career choice, and this has evolved the restaurant landscape. Now, those looking to develop more high-end, independent concepts have started to emerge in the hospitality world.

What this all suggests is that there has been an increase in both the amount of supply and demand for premium food experiences in London and the wider UK.


Premium independent concepts

Walk down any street in London and you’ll see examples of new independent concepts.

Visit 110 Bishopsgate in the City of London, for example, and head to the 40th floor to experience Duck & Waffle – the highest restaurant in the UK. From delicious free-range eggs and light, fluffy waffles, to delicious, refreshing cocktails and panoramic views of London, there isn’t a more literal example of how quality and independence are dominating the capital.

In the ever changing, ever forward-thinking Soho, you’ll find the new Pan-Asian Carom, delighting guests with their exotic a la carte and tasting menus, exuding vintage Indian flavours and eastern atmosphere. The restaurant has been such a success that it is expending through a pop-up on Madison rooftop.

Trullo in Islington is a similar story. Opened in 2010, This rustic Italian serves impeccable, seasonal produce on a simple menu that changes daily. From the fresh pasta to the charcoal grill, Trullo is a real success story for premium independence.


The power to revive old scenes

While British cuisine was seen as relatively old-fashioned 15 years ago, it’s now enjoying a renaissance thanks to restaurants like HIX, part of the HIX group that also owns Oyster & Chop House.

The emphasis on locally sourced produce, nose-to-tail eating and seasonality at restaurants like HIX are popular with the new foodie garde, with old British staples like veal, faggots, dumplings and more flying out of the kitchen.

The same story is true of St. John, established by Fergus Henderson, Trevor Gulliver and Jon Spiteri in 1994, where bone marrow on toast and lamb’s fry are visitor favourites.

Ultimately, high-end independent restaurants are dominating the London scene thanks to an increase in both supply and demand. This has led to a diversification of London’s restaurant portfolio, and the resurgence of British cuisine. If you are a restaurateur planning to open a new unit, speak with one of our London leisure property experts to discover how you can capitalise on this surging trend.

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