If you eat out in London and are wondering where your money has gone, publishers of a restaurant guide, Harden’s London Restaurants 2012, said that the cost of dinner for two in London had rose by 11% in the last year and now exceeds £90 (around $148 dollars) for the first time, which is the biggest gain in more than 20 years.
Dinner for one is around £45.01, Harden’s London Restaurants 2012 said. The prices are based on the average cost of a three course meal including wine, coffee and service charge at the 1,900 restaurants listed in the guide.
Co-editor of the restaurant guide, Peter Harden, blamed higher food prices and a tax increase. However, other factors may have affected prices, such as commercial restaurant insurance, staff costs, supplies and other running costs.
Harden said “In the 21 years we have followed the restaurant scene, we’ve never seen annual inflation anywhere near 10 percent.”
On the 4th January this year, the standard rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) increased to 20% from 17.5%. Harden said that excluding VAT, costs have gone up by 4.5% in the past two years.
The number of new restaurants opening over the past year fell from 140 to 107, which is the lowest since 2000 when the number was 102.
Peter Harden and his brother Richard, named their Top 10 favourite new restaurants in alphabetical order as, Brawn, Les Deux Salons, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Galoupet, Hedone, Medlar, Pollen Street Social, Riding House Cafe, Roganic and Yashin.
Last week, Pollen Street Social, Chef Jason Atherton’s restaurant was named London’s best new restaurant by “The Good Food Guide 2012”, followed by Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
If you are interested in reading Harden’s London Restaurants 2012, it will be published on the 1st September 2011.
Have you visited any of the Harden’s top 10 favourite new restaurants yet? Let us know if you have!