It would be tin-eared of me to keep piping the virtues of such places at a time like this, writes Giles Coren for The Times

The thing is, very expensive new restaurants are still opening all the time. They haven’t stopped just because I’ve come out and said I will only be reviewing places where you can get in and out for 40 quid a head including wine. I’m a bit offended, I must say. I thought I was more influential.

But I guess some people can afford to spend a lot more on their lunches and dinners out, and there is nothing remotely wrong or evil about doing so, or about providing the means for people so to do.

I just think it would be a bit tin-eared of me to keep piping the virtues of such places at a time like this, when all the money you used to set aside for tasting menus and mad forays into the depths of the wine list was more than likely swallowed in one gulp by the Bank of England’s 0.75 per cent interest rate rise on November 2.

One minute, you’ve got a table booked at Maison François or Dorian or St Barts, and the next minute your mortgage has gone up by two grand a year and you’re on the phone to them saying, “Dreadfully sorry, my grandma died and also my dog ate my cheque book and I may have Covid, so I shan’t be able to make it.”

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