Restaurateurs in the capital are being encouraged to get involved in the inaugural London Restaurant Festival, which will take place in October.
Created by the London Evening Standard's food critic Fay Maschler and Simon Davis, who together run restaurant consultancy Private View, the festival will run from 8-13 October.
Supported by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and tourism body Visit London, it will be a citywide celebration of dining out designed to raise the profile of establishments involved and drive footfall.
The London Restaurant Festival will run as an umbrella under which myriad events will take place.
These will include "gourmet odysseys" on London buses travelling between different restaurants from course to course; a food film festival; a Dragon's Den style pitch offering operators the chance to engage with industry luminaries; and a Vietnamese street food festival. The festival will culminate in an awards gala dinner.
Johnson said: "The scale and diversity of London's gastronomic delights is testament to the vibrancy of our city and the many communities living and eating here. Their importance to the capital's economy cannot be underestimated so it is timely that this new festival has been launched to celebrate all that is best about London's restaurants."
Maschler added: "Like all good ideas, you think, why hasn't this been done before? London is an exceptional city and restaurants play a huge part in its warp and weft. That needs to be celebrated."
By Kerstin KÁ¼hn
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