Londoners getting ready to party as champagne sales fizz

·2-min read

Bars and restaurants are bracing for a “bumper” bank holiday weekend as it was revealed Londoners are splurging more on champagne-fuelled celebrations when they go out.

Hospitality bosses have been inundated with bookings with the West End set to bask in an alfresco bonanza amid a predicted mini-heatwave.

As Londoners prepare to celebrate their newly-regained freedoms in glorious weather for the first time, industry leaders say the bank holiday weekend coupled with temperatures in the low to mid-20s will be a “prime opportunity” for businesses to boost their recovery after a year of lockdowns.

London Chamber of Commerce chief Richard Burge said: “At long last, good weather looks to have aligned with a bank holiday weekend and our ability to once again safely enjoy what London has to offer. London’s economy is set for a well-deserved, bumper weekend.”

Many restaurants are fully booked for indoor dining over the next few days, following the lifting of the indoor hospitality ban on May 17.

Meanwhile dozens of streets in Soho, Mayfair and Belgravia have been closed to traffic and transformed into alfresco dining boulevards to cater for a predicted surge in demand.

It comes as it was revealed diners are indulging in a post-lockdown champagne-fuelled celebration frenzy.

Venues across the capital saw the average spend increase by up to 40 per cent on bills before the pandemic as customers splash out on luxuries.

Leonid Shutov, owner of Soho’s Bob Bob Ricard, said a huge backlog of celebrations was in part responsible for the splurge.

He said: “Last week our best-selling champagne after the house was Dom Perignon at £138 a bottle, followed by Krug at £148 and then rare Bollingers — not the regular non-vintage bottles but special cuvées and grande années. That is an unusual state of affairs.”

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