London Restaurants – Are They Affordable?

london-restaurantIn a lot of ways, this is like asking whether there is a length to a piece of string, or how cats feel. Affordable is a relative concept, which changes from diner to diner according to the size of his or her wallet. The “London restaurant”, on the other hand, is a class of things so vast that it can’t really be said to possess any unifying attributes, of affordability or otherwise, with the exception of two: they’re establishments in which people eat, and they are in London.

Before we look more closely at what London restaurant may or may not be affordable, we need to consider the idea of affordability in terms of food and eating out.

Affordability essentially refers to the ability of a person with money, or some other means of payment, to buy or transact for a specific object, item or service. A London restaurant that charges £10 for a meal, then, is affordable to someone who has £10 available to spend on eating out.

This concept of availability is key to the idea of affordability. You can have as much money as you like in your pocket or bank account – if all of that money is already tied up with other obligations, then you can’t afford to eat out. If, for example, you just got paid £2,000, but your rent and credit card bills plus weekly food shopping already total £2,000, then no London restaurant is affordable.

So in order to talk meaningfully about the affordability of a restaurant in the capital, then, we need a new set of definitions. Probably the most useful one is that of value for money. This assumes that the hypothetical restaurant goer has money that he or she wishes to spend on eating out in a restaurant, and will choose a price range that he or she knows he or she can cope with.

For a very wealthy person, then, any London restaurant is affordable. The question becomes not whether he or she can pay to eat in a specific location, but whether he or she wants to.

Take Chutney Mary as an example. This is an Indian restaurant whose main meals cost more than a “regular” salary will bear, except on special occasions. It is, though, also a restaurant whose food has been so critically acclaimed, and whose service and ambience is so good, that even someone whose wages, month to month, might not afford it, may save up specifically to go and eat there.

Now look at somewhere like the Curry Leaf, which charges less than a fiver for each dish on the menu. The quality of the food in taste terms is just as good. The surroundings, on the other hand, are way less salubrious: a little café with four tables in it, on the corner of a side street leading off Haringey’s frankly slightly frightening West Green Road.

In both cases, the value paid for the experience had is about right. And in both cases, if the money’s in the bank, the experience is probably worth it.

Author Bio

Rachel is a freelance writer based in Denbighshire. Rachel is a big fan of dining out and Indian restaurants having experienced some of the best London Restaurants personally. Rachel enjoys spending time out in the garden and going to the cinema with her partner in her spare time.

Leave a Reply