London restaurant scene sees record growth

Diners in London now have more choice of where to eat than at any point since records began, according to new figures.
A total of 148 new restaurants were opened in the capital this year with 47 closures, meaning 2014 saw a net increase of 101 new restaurants, which is far ahead of the previous record of 75 from 2006.
The unprecedented growth was revealed in Harden's 2015 London Restaurants guide, which analyses 65,000 reports of the capital’s dining scene.
The guide also found that East London continues to attract quality new restaurants with The Typing Room in Bethnal Green and both Lyle’s and Merchant’s Tavern in Shoreditch recently opening.
Handed the title of Top Gastronomic Experience was The Ledbury with Brett Graham’s restaurant also taking top billing in the food rankings.
The Ledbury’s backer Nigel Platts-Marin also saw Chez Bruce pick up the award for London’s Favourite Restaurant – a title it has won for the past ten years running.
Leading the pack of newcomers was Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridge’s, which also went in at number four in the overall rankings.
Another Chef receiving praise was Jason Atherton, with the guide calling him the “surest bet” for a great meal from a celebrity Chef after the launch of his City Social restaurant.
Also appearing in the guide, but slightly less likely to be celebrating, are those included in the Most Disappointing Cooking list which was topped again by Oxo Tower, with Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental in second and Marcus Wareingʼs Marcus at the Berkeley and Ollie Dabbousʼs eponymous restaurant also featuring in the top ten.
However, for the first time in 15 years, Oxo Tower escaped also being named the Most Overpriced Restaurant, with the ‘prize’ instead going to The River Café.
In terms of price, the average diner can expect to pay £49.46 for dinner, which is up annually by 2.7 per cent and broadly in line with inflation.
By Owen Mckeon
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