The 2024 guide notes there are now 54 restaurants in London charging over £150 per head for a meal, a 46% rise of last year’s figure of 37.
This trend is replicated outside of the capital, where the number of restaurants charging over £150 per head for a meal has risen from 40 to 56, representing a 40% rise.
Growth is most pronounced in the number of restaurants charging over £200 per head, with the number of such entries growing 59% (from 17 to 27) and 46% (from 13 to 19) respectively inside and outside the capital.
Additionally, the number of London restaurants charging more than £250 nearly doubled from six to 11.
“It is tempting to conclude that the capital is becoming a playground for what used to be called ‘the jet set’,” says Peter Harden, the guide’s editor and co-founder.
“But historically one of the striking features of the London restaurant scene has been its lack of a top tier of splurgy, expensive destinations such as those that have long characterised top-end dining in Paris and Tokyo.
“Perhaps it is perverse to complain if London can now hold its own internationally.”
Elsewhere the guide, which reviews and rates over 1,600 restaurants at all price points, laments what it describes as ‘the tepid state of growth in London’s restaurant scene’.
The opening rate of 123 newcomers in the 2024 guide is the lowest level of openings since its 2012 edition, which – combined with a rate of 77 closures – equates to a current level of net openings more in line with the growth rate in the 1990s than that since 2000, Harden’s says.
The new edition of Harden’s London Restaurants 2024 is published today (8 November), with Harden’s national guide – titled Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2024 – set to be published next month.