Peter Harden of Harden’s Guides told me just before the launch of the 2023 UK edition that he had “two big takeaways this year. One is that the price per head at restaurants around the country has doubled since Brexit.” Doubled! Of the 2,800 restaurants across London and the UK in this year’s guide, 76 have a per head cost of £150 or more, 13 of which are more than £250, and that’s conservative guidebook pricing, involving sensible half-bottles of house wine per person. Of course there are still bagel shops and great-value curry houses in the guide, but at the swankier end it’s what the financial markets might call “a bit toppy”.
“The second,” Harden continues, “is that customers are having difficulty getting their