Chiswick Locals Face Long Wait for Jamie Oliver's New Restaurant

Authorities want tourists and Olympic officials to be given priority at Union Jacks

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Eating out in Chiswick


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Chiswick diners may have a long wait to visit the eagerly anticipated new Jamie Oliver restaurant on Chiswick High Road. New guidelines mean it could be September before residents get a chance to eat at Union Jacks which opens this Monday (2nd April).

The authorities are aiming to ensure that visitors who come to London around the time of the Olympics do not miss out on the best of British cuisine by forcing selected restaurants to implement a booking policy that ensures that tourists and Olympic sponsors and officials get preferential treatment.

Union Jacks the new venture of the celebrity chef is on a 'Best of British' list which a Government Quango believes gives an opportunity to redeem the international reputation of cooking in this country.

Restaurants on the list are being told that when reservations are made they should ask for the home address of the person. They may take the booking of a W4 resident but the table would have to be given up if it is later requested by an overseas visitor or a member of one of the national Olympic associations. The restrictions are likely to remain in place until the Olympic and Paralympic Games have finished.

Avril Amadan, a spokesperson for the team behind the £4 million project said, "This is a one-off opportunity to make a paradigm shift in global perceptions of British food. Visitors to this country will no longer just be coming for the great weather, superb low-cost public transport, taxis and cheap hotels with high standards of service but because of a national cuisine that will be recognised to be on a par with France, Italy or Germany."

Traditional British food stuffs like jellied eels, flat bread pizza, black pudding and haggis are to become reasons why people visit the UK rather than why they stay away. Along with Union Jacks, Garfunkels and the Aberdeen Angus Steak House will be among those establishments off limits to Londoners.

Ms. Amadan has asked for the support of locals for the scheme, "Basically, it would be rather selfish of Chiswick residents to take up space in sought after restaurants when important officials from other countries are visiting and would like to try these places. They are all on expenses so will be spending far more freely than local people who can wait a few months and then go as often as they want assuming the restaurant is still open."

It may be possible to get a table at Union Jacks by including a member of the Olympic Family in your booking. Currently on Ebay for £35 member of a sports bureaucrats will make a reservation on your behalf allowing you to secure a table. You would also have to invite them along and pay for their meal.

When asked for a comment by Mr. Oliver said, "Dab of this, dab of that. Bish, bosh. Pukka!"

Article published on 1st April 2012