Vegan ventures, farm-to-fork, foraging; Britain certainly knows how to embrace a food trend with gusto and apply unique British passion and style to it. What will 2019 bring to the tables? Here are just a few of the gastronomic trends that await you over the next 12 months.
- SUGAR-FREE DESSERTS – Have your guilt-free cake and eat it – gone are the days when sugar-free meant taste-free. In the smart north London neighbourhood of Islington is Romeo’s Sugar Free Bakery & Café, and yes, those lip-smackingly good red velvet cakes, banoffee pies and raspberry gateaux are all made without naughty refined sugar.
- FERMENTED FOODS – From London’s thriving Korean foodie scene, where traditional kimchi (fermented vegetables) is a regular side dish, to the city’s Scandinavian-inspired restaurants, fermented food is having a moment. Nestled in the corner of south London in Clapham is small plates restaurant Counter Culture and the place to come for a fermented foods’ feast. Taking each season’s produce, the people behind the restaurant are fermenting, pickling, curing and bottling before serving it up with meat, fish and vegetables.
- ZERO WASTE RESTAURANTS – Discover pure pleasure from flavoursome food while keeping a clean conscience, thanks to the growing number of zero-waste restaurants in Britain. One of the pioneers, Brighton-based restaurant Silo, grew from a desire to respect the environment and to reinvigorate the food industry. What you’ll discover is a menu drawn from products made in-house, direct trading with farmers, and choosing local and British ingredients, resulting in zero waste. There’s no compromise on taste – its brunch menu alone contains delicacies such as Sheffield pigs’ cheek and Yorkshire rhubarb.
- ETHICAL DRINKING – Hot on the heels of the trend of pay-as-you-feel meals and zero waste restaurants, local drinks companies are increasingly following ethical practices. In Manchester, north-west England, the Moss Cider Project takes place seasonally around September, turning apples donated by members of the public into delicious cider and juice, selling it, and sowing the profits back into the local community. And at Brew Wild Manchester you’ll be able to enjoy a pint from a community project that brings beekeepers, brewers and gardeners together through the medium of beer.
- PLANT INSPIRATION – In full bloom on many sophisticated menus, floral flavours have become a staple; look no further than Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant at London’s Somerset House for inspiration. Now it seems plants are also having a moment. One of London’s innovators of cocktails, Ryan Chetiyawardana of White Lyan fame, opened the Dandelyan bar at the Mondrian hotel on London’s South Bank and brought customers a cocktail menu called ‘Modern Life of Plants’. Discover taste sensations such as ‘Greener Grass Fizz’, which uses gem lettuce and ‘Monkey Puzzle’ where hogweed is an ingredient.
- ONE-FOOD MENUS – In the spirit of London’s one-food option eateries, such as the Cereal Killer Café and the Porridge Café, this is a trend spreading across the UK. Head up to Glasgow in Scotland to find the UK’s largest urban pancake house Stack & Still, which opens its doors this October. Get your head around its colossal pancake menu that claims to offer more than ten million possible combinations – including buckwheat, gluten-free, vegan, buttermilk, protein and sugar-free options – before checking out Glasgow’s first-ever self-dispensing drinks bar.
- LATE-NIGHT FEASTING – Now that the London Underground runs through the night at weekends, we’ll be looking to spend more time at late-night dining hotspots in 2019. Forget the fast-food joints, satisfy your hunger with a splash of sophistication. Mix with the glamour crowd at Bob Bob Ricard, open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, at its all-booth dining room serving English and Russian cuisines, with a Press for Champagne button at every table. You’ve not been to Soho if you’ve not been to the legend that is Bar Italia, open from 7am to 5am for coffee and cakes. A mouth-watering late-night menu can be found at the Duck & Waffle in the City’s Heron Tower; open 24/7, you can grab duck egg en cocotte, duck kebab or salt beef grilled cheese on its 11.30pm to 5am menu. Or for a laid-back vibe styled on Bangkok’s late-night canteens check out Shoreditch’s Smoking Goat, open until 1am Thursday to Saturday.
- BY DAY/BY NIGHT VENUES – With space at a premium in cities, why let a good venue go to waste when it’s completed its day job? By day, Hill & Szrok trades as a butcher, by night, it becomes a restaurant serving at communal tables – but within both guises it serves only organic and free-range meet bought direct from farms. Cafés are catching on to the day-to-night transition too; Rake’s by Liverpool Street station, is a café by day and transforms into a hip, DJ-set bar by night, while Grind – which has four outlets across London – serves up your favourite macchiato in the daytime and espresso martinis come nightfall. You might even catch a music star or two at its Shoreditch branch; it has its own recording studio where artists such as Tinie Tempah, FKA Twigs and Sam Smith have laid tracks.