The London restaurant festival 2019 was a huge success and is the best London food tour to date This ultimate foodie tour with over 400 restaurants taking part lasts for the whole month of October each year
This is everything you need to know about The London Restaurant Festival which takes place every year during the month of October. In partnership with American Express this unique foodie festival showcases some of London’s most amazing restaurants.These totally unique events include places and experiences you cannot even book by yourself. This year 2019 was the 11th year of running, it saw some new restaurants and menus being showcased. Guest’s enjoyed Restaurant Hopping Tours on a Red Route master bus such as the Gourmet Odyssey and events hosted by amazing chefs in the Ultimate Gastronomic Weekends.
Here is an look at this years itineraries and an idea of what to expect for the london restaurant festival 2020.
What is the london restaurant festival?
The London Restaurant festival hold a variety of events to cater for all budgets and tastes. These include;
Top Ten cuisines
This event series showcases londons food scene to it best and is exclusive to American Express card members. 2019 saw a four-course meal with some of London’s greatest chefs in places such as Theo Randall at the InterContinental Italian restaurant and Sabor by Michelin-starred chef Nieves Barragan.
For One Night Only
London Restaurant Festival presented four new exciting culinary concepts this year at London’s longest lunches. Restaurants experiences such a High Flyers hosted at the top of the Gherkin with panoramic views of London and an exclusive evening conversation with Bill Bryson hosted at Robin Gill’s restaurant Darbys.
Tasting menus priced between 45 and 95 at restaurants and brasseries such as Eastway Brasserie in the heart of London’s East End paired with Calvet wine.
Restaurant Hopping Tours
On Restaurant-Hopping Tours you explore by with tours such as a tapas tour at Pix Pinxtos, Tapas Brindisa, Condesa, Barrica and Capita paired with Estrella Galicia beer for £45. Alternatively tour the bloomberg arcade at Homeslice, Koya, Ahi Poke, Bleeker, Caravan paired with Calvet Crèmant.
Tasting Menus with featured Chefs
These menus showcase some of the best restaurants in London and you even meet the chef! Some of the London’s most exciting chefs produce wonderful Tasting Menus ranging from four to six courses where you can over indulge.
Learn to make some of your favourite cocktails at different bars such as Rakes. Who knew becoming a mixologist could be so much fun?
The Gourmet Odysseys explore some of the city’s most iconic areas such and discover the Shard or discover Battersea. What could be better than travelling between restaurants on an iconic heritage Routemaster bus with champagne paired with each course? The Gourmet Odyssey offers 3 courses experienced in different parts of london such as South London or the city. Explore luxury menus in three different establishments in one single day. You will travel between restaurants on a red Routemaster in style!
The Ultimate Gastronomic weekend
2019 saw two unforgettable weekends exploring many restaurants for two days! The London restaurant festivals Ultimate Gastronomic weekends are packed with top chefs in Michelin star restaurants and 5 star luxury hotels. Not only do you have champagne receptions and meet famous chefs but you also get to do the iconic Gourmet Odyssey as well.
An Example of an Ultimate Gastronomic weekend.
The Mere, hosted by Monica Galetti and the Bloomberg Arcade
This Ultimate Gastronomic Weekend took place on the 12th and 13th of october 2019 and we began at the Andaz London hotel in Liverpool Street, London.
On a Gastro weekend there is a designated London Restaurant Festival welcome desk located in the Lobby Bar and you receive welcome packs which give you all the details of the itinerary for the weekend ahead. Our Luggage was tagged and taken to our room.
Once we were checked in champagne was served and our hosts talked us through the plan for the weekend. We then made our way to the main restaurant on this occasion it was The Mere.
Lunch at the Mere
Mere is Monica Galetti’s elegant and contemporary restaurant in Fitzrovia. Monica’s unique cuisine celebrates her South Pacific heritage with a modern European influence.
We enjoyed a welcome drink of Remy Martin and a four-course tasting menu hosted by Monica Galetti and her husband David.
Our lunch lasted for approximately one and a half hours and we had additional alcoholic drinks which were paid for separately. We had a such wonderful experience and the food was fantastic. The menu was Lemon and orange cured salmon, Pumpkin agnolotti, Cornish cod and the most divine Chocolate and Hazelnut dessert.
After the meal Monica came to greet us and we took a cheeky snap!
In fact Monica was so enthralled with the iconic route master bus she had a photo taken with us.
On this occasion after lunch we had a choice of things to do with maps to guide us around the city. We could either stay in the West End, exploring the hidden gems of Soho and Chinatown or return to the Andaz, and settle into our room.
You could also walk off your lunch with a tour discovering the local foodie neighbourhoods of Old Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane using the handy map in your Welcome Pack.
Private screening in The Temple Cinema at the Abdaz hotel
Later on in the afternoon we had a private screening of Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning film: Eat Drink Man Woman. Considered one of the best foodie films. The screening took place in an extraordinary Masonic temple, tucked away in the Andaz Hotel, one of London’s ‘hidden gems’!
The evening was at our leisure
The evening was at our own leisure and when in London there is such a huge range of great restaurants you are spoilt for choice. For a little bit of help Included in the welcome pack there was a list of restaurants in the neighbourhood and hotel for help.
The next morning breakfast in the 1901 Restaurant.
Breakfast was at the Andaz before checking out of our hotel room and heading over to the Bloomberg Arcade of course by Bus!
Guests gathered in Rake’s Bar at the Andaz for a Champagne Reception, and to assemble for the Gourmet Odyssey.
The Gourmet Odyssey at the Discover Bloomberg Arcade
With a pick up from the Andaz hotel we were transported to the bloomberg arcade by a route master bus. On this Gourmet Odyssey we Discovered the Bloomberg Arcade. We explored three restaurants in the Bloomberg Arcade which is now home to some of the city’s most up and coming restaurants.
Three restaurants three courses
We had our your first course at Ekte, our main in Brigadiers and dessert in Koya. Each course was accompanied by fine wines from Calvet. There are no formal seating arrangements you just sit with friends and meet new people.
In-between courses a mini experience.
In-between the three restaurants we had three surprises! Between each course we enjoyed a mini-experience. We visited the Temple of Mithras had a guided tour of Bloomberg Arcade and also a Wine Tasting at Vinoteca.
The Mithras temple was out of this world! We had plenty of time to experience this piece of ancient history with a private guide.
Vinoteca was a great wine tasting space with plenty of exciting choices.
After lunch the heritage Routemaster bus took us back to the Andaz hotel where we collected our luggage and said farewell.
At the time of writing an Ultimate Gastronomic weekend costs £380
All dietary requirements are catered for so be aware and notify the London restaurant team
Next years London restaurant festival starts on the 1stOctober and ends on 31st October 2020.
New for the London restaurant festival is Jerusalem Open restaurant.
The London Restaurant Festival are also expanding to Jerusalem’s city! This cuisine is about to be explored! New this year in November LRF will be uncovering traditional Middle Eastern and exotic Asian flavours and continental European cuisine. You will find street food and fine dining in Jerusalem and explore a new food movement. With this new festival taking place in an iconic part of the world you will get to experience sights and try ground breaking food. This will include unique events and talks. There is more details on the website
Disclaimer; This LRF review is my own personal opinion, privately funded with no connection to LRF or AMEX.