As the credit crunch continues, so too does the rising tide of restaurant closures. Anthony Worrall Thompson has been moaning about the deserting diners and foreclosing banks which have forced him to close four restaurants.
Tom Aikens managed to rescue two of his though left his suppliers out of pocket, while Raymond Blanc's Manchester brasserie also bit the dust.
But it's not all doom and gloom for diners. Clapham's Avalon dining-room has just introduced a menu offering half-price food, for example, while London's Lanesborough has launched a Sunday "credit brunch" with unlimited glasses of prosecco. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Arbutus are both doing lunch for less than £20, while the Waterloo Brasserie is serving it for £11. But best of all has to be Clerkenwell's Little Bay, which has torn up its price list and is asking diners to pay just what they think the meal is worth. "It's up to each customer whether they give £100 or a penny," they say. Sounds like a bargain to us.