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London Restaurant Festival 2020

Bao, image: Carol Sachs

Now in its 12th year, the month-long celebration of London’s gastronomic scene will include at-home events for the first time, alongside in-restaurant ones. The festival will run throughout October, in line with new Covid restrictions

Exclusive ‘Feasts At-Home’ from 20 of London’s leading restaurants, including Aquavit, Gymkhana and Bao, aim to bring the festival to those who have to – or prefer to – stay at home. Also new for this year will be a series of ‘Chef’s Table At-Home’ dining experiences where top chefs, including Sabor’s Nieves Barragán Mohacho and The Cinnamon Club’s Vivek Singh, curate a menu to be delivered to their guests’ doors. A video shows how to assemble the ingredients, and the chef will join guests in their homes later via video link to eat dinner and answer questions about their career.

‘Restaurant deliveries have obviously grown in popularity,’ said festival director Chris Wright. ‘With LRF At-Home we intend to take the "restaurant-at-home" experience to the next level.’ The festival’s Gourmet Odyssey experiences – which see guests enjoy starters, mains and desserts in different restaurants – have also been adapted for COVID. This year, bubbles of up to six people will be able to enjoy a six-course lunch, hosted in the private dining rooms of top restaurants – Galvin at Windows, Benares and Seven Park Place are among those taking part.

Simon Davis, founder of the festival, said: ‘LRF was established to celebrate and reflect the phenomenally vibrant London restaurant scene through exclusive experiences that inspire people to visit as many restaurants as possible throughout October. ‘Our irrepressible restaurant scene has been forced to adapt in 2020, as have we,’ he adds. ‘But we must still celebrate it if we can. It needs all the support it can get.’