The inaugural London Restaurant Festival opens today with three events sold out and more than 550 restaurants showing their support with special menus and other events.
The week-long festival, masterminded by restaurant critic Fay Maschler and broadcaster Simon Davis and designed to boost trade at the capital's restaurants, has reportedly 'exceeded organiser's expectations' as more restaurants than anticipated have got behind it and the public have clambered to buy tickets.
Sally Chatterjee, interim chief executive of Visit London, one of the founding partners of the festival, said: “The last 18 months have been challenging for the London restaurant sector. Our aim with the festival was to put them back in the spotlight, to remind people of the quality, value and diversity of the capital’s dining scene, and to encourage people to re-discover eating out in London.
"We’ve been delighted with just how much interest tourists and locals have shown in the festival".
Tickets to a pop-up restaurant called the Supersonic Masonic Supper Club at the Andaz, run by the team behind London's Bistrotheque restaurant, sold out within days and a series of pop-up restaurants on the London Eye involving seven of London's top chefs also sold out more than a week ago.
Legendary French chef Pierre Koffman was also asked to extend his stay behind the stove at a temporary restaurant on the roof of Selfridges department store by an extra two and a half weeks such was the demand.
Restaurants across the capital have introduced special menus and are holding special events over the week to support the festival. Read our special LRF promotional round up - our pick of the best - tomorrow on BigHospitality.co.uk.