Hospitality firms leading London to 2012

Innovative restaurants, hotels transforming boroughs

London has regained its footing following last summer’s terror attacks and a rush of new businesses is changing the look and feel of the city, a prominent travel guide has claimed.

With the worst behind them, Londoners now have their eyes fixed steadily on the future, namely 2012, according to the latest edition of Lonely Planet’s London guide.

While past editions have lamented some of the capital’s gaudy hotels and roaming bands of drunken hooligans, the city is now bursting with innovation, the book states.

London’s dining scene is growing more diverse, according to the guide, and the West End is no longer centre ground. Outer boroughs have benefited from a surge of new restaurants, gastropubs and small eateries.

“It’s a sign of the times when the hippest restaurant in London…has an 0208 phone number,” the guide says.

What’s more, as the capital has recovered from last July’s shock, Olympic buzz has taken over, the book says.

London is seeing a trend in new inexpensive but high-quality and well-decorated hotels it terms “budget boutique” and says it bodes well for 2012. but shows that it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see the capital successful in its Olympic bid.

“It shouldn’t have been a surprise that London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics,” said Sarah Johnstone, author of the new edition.

“Given recent events, it’s very easy for Londoners themselves to get tunnel vision about the negatives, such as the creaking public transport, the crowding and the shortage of affordable housing.

“With new sights and attractions opening almost everyday, the evolution of neighbourhoods from humdrum to hip and a plethora of designer restaurants, what are Londoners waiting for?”

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