With many eateries struggling, this might not seem the ideal moment to enter the restaurant trade. But with spring in the air, it is all about new beginnings as a clutch of establishments open their doors.

Literary types and royals alike should both feel at home in Marylebone's The Swan and Edgar, a thoroughly British affair boasting a bar built from second-hand books, seating fashioned from recycled tweeds and a menu stuffed with hearty, old-school fare.

Meanwhile, slick pub/dining-room The Fellow (pictured) is offering Anglo-French cuisine appropriate to its location near St Pancras's Eurostar terminal, and Ramsay protégé Bjorn van der Horst is to go it alone next month with The Eastside Inn in Farringdon.

Reassuring to know, too, that at least one new patron is mindful of our shrinking wallets – in Belfast, the Michelin-starred Kevin Thornton has just set up kitchen at the five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel, emphasising that his "great food" will be "keenly priced".