Gastronomes rejoice: the London Restaurant Festival is almost upon us, running from 3 to 21 October. In addition to the festival menus, which provide some pretty great deals at a number of London’s best restaurants, there are also some cracking events to look forward to:
Eat Film at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly
Our top pick is an amazing one-off screening at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, hosted and curated by Johnathan Ross, as he presents the Studio Ghibli masterpiece Spirited Away, followed by a bespoke Japanese dinner. Working in close collaboration with Head Chef Anton Manganaro, Ross overseas a seated meal inspired by Miyazaki’s finest feature. Pre-screening treats include handmade sweet wasabi popcorn; some trendy pork hirata buns; and an Umeshi cocktail, an in-house concoction with high quality Umeshu (plum wine), fizz and a dash home-made mandarin-lemon sherbet. The after-show dining consists of hake with a wonderfully balanced yuzu-chilli kick, classic nasu miso and, of course, sushi. Not to be missed.
Eat Film takes place at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly on 7 October, tickets are £75 per person for a drink reception, screening of Spirited Away and a post-film meal.
Trails – 'Passport Tours'
For those who want a bit of everything, these passes allow you to visit six venues in one day, with a drink in each (hooray!). Tours of Spanish, Italian and Japanese restaurants all feature in this years’ programme, with Tapas Tour, the sell-out star, returning for a third consecutive year and includes specialist tapas bars Copita and Barrica. For Venetian/Italian lovers there’s Cicchetti Trail, which seeing guests pop into Polpo Covent Garden and Mele e Pere, and then there’s the new Japanese Journeys, which makes its debut this year with selection of sushi, yakitori (Bincho) and ramen (Tonkotsu/Shoryu) joints.
Cicchetti Trail costs £50 and takes place 5 & 12 October. (Please note Saturday 19 October is now sold out)
Japanese Journey costs £60 and takes place 6, 12 & 13 October. (Please note Saturday 5 October is now sold out)
Tapas Tour costs £50 and takes place 5 & 12 October. (Please note Saturday 19 October is now sold out)
Graze – Ideal For Post-work Gatherings
Groups of hungry workers can descend upon handpicked restaurants in three locations - West End, North London and The City – and receive a complimentary drink when they purchase a ‘graze’ dish at any of the 12 participating eateries in their chosen area. We’ll be getting ourselves down to Tramshed (North), The Northall (West) and Redhook (City).
Graze tickets cost £15 per region and are valid between 7 to 20 October.
Gourmet Odyssey – For The Hardcore Foodie
One for buzzing busy food fans who want to check out three of London’s brightest stars in one night, freeing themselves from that ‘I never have the time’ excuse. The Gourmet Odyssey concept is simple – each course, from starter to dessert, takes place in a different establishment. And you get a glass of Champagne Laurent Perrier, matched to every single dish. Fancy. Each of the three Gourmet Odysseys is themed, and we love the look of the Discovery, which swings by Chop Shop, Social Eating House, Picture and Gymkhana.
Discovery takes place on 5 October, Tickets £125
Masters takes place 12 October, Tickets £125
Please note that The Shard is now sold out
Read more about the London Restaurant Festival at londonrestaurantfestival.com.