The era of the £100-a-head meal has arrived, according to the new Harden’s London Restaurants guide. Sketch was joined in the category by Le Gavroche, Blakes and Umu. The cost of a meal in London restaurants has risen three times faster than inflation in the past year. The guide's editors said that the prices reflected increases in staffing costs, with further inflationary pressure building due to bonuses being paid in the financial sector. Average restaurant prices across all levels rose by 4% last year and the average cost per head of all London restaurants in the guide was £36.82 compared with £35.79 the previous year. Richard Harden, the co-editor of the guide, said: "Despite the current tough times for retailers, it would seem that there are still plenty of people able and willing to eat out, without too much concern about rising menu prices. "Overall, the London restaurant scene has enjoyed something of a boom over the past 12 months, having seen record levels of openings, and the top end of the market, in particular, is flourishing."