London food festival goes cold on Square Mile’s haute cuisine

Edith Hancock
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City restaurants such as Paternoster Chop House may be feeling snubbed at the moment (Source: Getty)

City restaurateurs are feeling the chill this autumn after getting a noticeable snub on the London Food Festival’s Londoner’s choice awards shortlist.

This year’s finalists for the award are all independent or neighbourhood restaurants, beat­ing the likes of Jamie’s Italian, Sketch and Heddon Street Kitchen in favour of eateries further out. Putney’s Bibo, Stoke Newington’s Foxlow, Southwark’s Champor-Champor and Maida Vale’s The Summerhouse all made up the final four, with the winner due to be announced next month.

Why, though? According to Nigel Massey, the grand and well-connected chair of a luxury PR firm of the same name, it’s all about privacy.

Massey said that he knows many a City boy burned by the close proximity of the Square Mile’s dining tables. “I remember once two private equity traders were discussing a business takeover in a City restaurant, and the private conversation reached the pages of the Sunday Times in three hours.” Does this mean M&A talks are now taking place in zone 2? Perhaps The Capitalist should book a table in Putney.