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August 22, 2012

England's Pop-Up Restaurant Invasion

By Adam H. Graham | Restaurants

England’s Pop-Up Restaurant Invasion
Cullinaire Saisonnier

No country has embraced the pop-up restaurant revolution more than England, which is seeing a boomlet of pop-up restaurants spring to life, from London to Manchester to Harrogate and beyond. The Chateau Marmot is held at a secret location every weekend where rotating chefs, such as young Aussie Miles Dupree from London’s renowned Ottolenghi, serve up small-plate five-course meals including dishes like butternut-squash consommé and poached snapper, turnips and dashi butter. The final installment is in Harrogate (September 21–22).

Pop-up goes vegan with Hanover’s Gourmet Girls, whose Friday pop-ups include themed dinners featuring Mexican fare (August 24), Greek food (August 31) and gourmet burgers (September 28). Manchester’s cocktail-centric Summer House takes inspiration from Europe’s colorful pop-art gardens and will run through September in the city’s Exchange Square, serving light fare like mezes, salads and bar snacks.

Though the entire country has pop-up fever, London wins the gold medal for having the most, which have been showing up at department stores like Selfridges and its Big Rooftop Tea & Golf Party (open through September 2) and hotels, including the sold-out A Taste of Noma at Claridge’s. Last year’s London Restaurant Festival at the London Eye set the bar for creativity high, and since then the city has watched pop-up mobile steakhouses like Flat Iron, rooftop picnics with the London Picnic Club and even secret Korean hot-dog feasts like Superette (August 25 and September 1) become part of the landscape.