Along with threatening to cause a rise in "acquisitive crime", according to the Government – that's home break-ins and car theft to you and me – the credit crunch, rather more positively, is also boosting creativity in the marketing departments of London restaurants keen to keep punters flooding in.

At Richard Corrigan's Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill in central London, for example, there's a new £26.50 three-course lunch menu, including wine, while around the corner at the Dorchester, a tie-up with Marmite means its award-winning high tea will temporarily feature the black stuff in its cucumber sarnies – you've gotta love it. Or maybe hate it...

At the nearby Lanesborough, frustrated smokers spurning fine dining to puff with abandon chez eux are being targeted with a Cuban-inspired indoor humidor and every A-lister's favourite Mumbai export Trishna is offering a five-course beer-tasting menu – one world beer to match each spicy dish. We'll drink to that.