There are currently 54 restaurants in London and 56 nationally, charging over £150 per head for a meal - a rise of nearly 50% year-on year, according to the new edition of Harden’s London Restaurants 2024.

By contrast in 2016, there was only one establishment in the capital, and 5 nationally at the same price level.

Price data from Harden’s national guide also shows that amongst restaurants charging over £100 per head, above-inflation restaurant price hikes of 10.7% in London and 14.7% outside London are “swelling a new tier of hyper-luxurious restaurants.”

Growth is even more pronounced in the number of restaurants charging over £200 per head, with the number of such entries growing 59% and 46% respectively inside and outside the capital.

The guide reviews and rates over 1,600 restaurants at all price points.

It highlights a “tepid” state of growth in a London restaurant scene, with 123 newcomers in the 2024 guide at the lowest level of openings since its 2012 edition. 

In terms of cuisine, Modern British was the most popular cuisine choice for new openings with 30 restaurant debuts across London.

Italian was the next favourite, with 18 new openings, followed by Japanese with 10. 

Locationally, Central London remained dominant, with 50 arrivals.

South London led the in the suburbs, with 21 openings, boosted by the Battersea Power Station development.

East London followed, with 19 openings, while West London equalled North London’s rate of opening, with 16. 

The guide’s editor and co-founder Peter Harden noted: “It’s somewhat ironic that the venue diners most often nominate as London’s most overpriced restaurant is still the River Café.

”But at £150 per head, it’s definitely no longer an outlier in terms of pricing: perhaps it’s just that the middle class diners who take part in our survey can still just about afford to go there.

”It is tempting to conclude that the capital is becoming a playground for what used to be called “the jet set”.

”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.