Harden’s Guide 2024: UK restaurants charging more than £150-a-head hit record levels

The Staff Canteen

Harden’s restaurant guide has announced that the number of UK restaurants charging more than £150 a meal have doubled in the last 12 months..

Data released by Harden's London Restaurants revealed that 54 restaurants in London and 56 nationally now charge more than £150 a head.

Looking at the top end of the scale, restaurants charging diner’s more than £200-a-head have also seen a boom, increasing by 59% in London and 46% nationally.

The change represents a huge rise in prices, particularly compared to previous years.

For example in 2016, there was only one restaurant in the capital and five across the UK which charge more than £150.

Commenting on these findings, the guide’s Peter Harden said: “It's somewhat ironic that the venue diners most often nominate as London's most overpriced restaurant is still the River Café. But at £150 per head, it's definitely no longer an outlier in terms of pricing: perhaps it's just that the middle-class diners who take part in our survey can still just about afford to go there.”

Peter added: "It is tempting to conclude that the capital is becoming a playground for what used to be called ‘the jet set'. But historically one of the striking features of the London restaurant scene has been its lack of a top tier of splurgy, expensive destinations such as those that have long characterised top-end dining in Paris and Tokyo.”

Harden’s, which reviews more than 1,600 restaurants, also highlighted ‘tepid' growth in the London market, with the 2024 London guide welcoming 123 newcomers, the lowest level of openings featured seen since its 2012 edition.

Best London Restaurants 2023

The new data from Harden’s revealed that the Noble Rot group is emerging as a forerunner in the capital's dining scene, after it achieved a spot in both the Top 10 and Top 20 most-mentioned restaurants for the first time.

Meanwhile Henry Harris's Bouchon Racine was the most mentioned newcomer in the guide and is hailed as a "fabulous successor to the legendary Racine".

Indian restaurant Dastaan in Ewell was the top performer in the cheapest (£54 or less) category, followed by Euston's Roti King.

Whilst Endo Kazutoshi's Endo at the Rotunda in White City achieved the guide's highest rating for food while Core by Clare Smyth in Notting Hill was named diner's Top Gastronomic Experience of the year.

The Stafford Collection's Norma restaurant in Fitzrovia achieved the highest rating for an Italian restaurant, while Bibi was named the capital's top Indian restaurant.

Harden's Best UK Restaurants is to be published next month.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th November 2023

Harden’s Guide 2024: UK restaurants charging more than £150-a-head hit record levels