London Rioters Interrupt Tourists' Fancy Dinner, Get Scared Off By Restaurant Staff
A Los Angeles couple visiting London headed out for a nice dinner at The Ledbury on Monday evening only to be served up a bit of chaos as rioters broke in to the Michelin two-star restaurant and kitchen staff defended the diners with rolling pins.
Writing under the name NakedSushi, the female tourist recounted being mugged during a candlelit dinner:
"Around the fourth dish of the tasting course, there were loud bangs outside. The restaurant staff was yelling at us to get away from the windows. Before I knew it, the front door, a solid piece of glass shattered and people came crashing in with hoodies, masks, and random weapons.... He told me to take off my rings and grabbed my hand, trying to yank them off. His friend tried to help too, but the rings wouldn't come off and I just yelled at him that I'd take them off myself...."
The blog went on to tell a tale of heroism, almost definitely worthy of three Michelin stars:
"The kitchen staff at the Ledbury went beyond their call of duty by rushing up from the kitchen with rolling pins, fry baskets, and other dangerous kitchen tools and scared off the looters. Then they provided well-needed glasses of alcohol including champagne and whisky. When word came that the looters were coming back a second time, they ushered us into the bathrooms and told us to lock the doors. A few minutes later, they led us into the wine cellar and told us to lock ourselves in there."
The Naked Sushette, of course, also documented the event on Twitter and had some choice words for her attackers that might not be appropriate to reprint.
In the end, the dinner was a bit of a disaster. The blogger had her ring stolen and broken glass got all over the food. At least the couple walked away with a story.
The riots, which began over the weekend after London police shot a suspected drug dealer in the capital's Tottenham neighborhood, have many UK tourism professionals concerned: Pictures of double-decker buses on fire put people off.
A spokesperson for London & Partners, the firm responsible for promoting the capital, told the Daily Mail that "It is currently too early to anticipate the effect on tourism but we are monitoring the situation and we will work with the industry to respond to specific issues as they arise."
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