Nicholas Lander | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe
After Manchester Grammar School, Cambridge University and forays into the worlds of textiles and commodity trading, I fell into the restaurant business when I bought L’Escargot in Soho, central London in 1980. This then became one of the capital’s most renowned restaurants.
Ill-health forced me to sell and in 1988 I became the restaurant correspondent for the Financial Times, a role I fulfil to this day, and where I initiated the first British restaurant promotion, Lunch for a Fiver, in 1993. I also write the monthly restaurant column for Business Life, the British Airways magazine, and on a regular basis for Conde Nast Traveller. My writings can be found on
In 1992 I began to act as a hospitality consultant to arts organisations across London. These include and have included: The Southbank Centre; the British Museum; the Royal Albert Hall; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Opera; Somerset House; the Roundhouse where Made In Camden has just opened; the V&A; the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford; the British Film Institute; and Chiswick House.
In the renaissance of St Pancras International I was responsible for the installation and selection of the operator for the Champagne Bar and St Pancras Grand as well as for many of the other café and bar operators. I am now fulfilling the same role for Argent plc in their development of King’s Cross and for the Crown Estate along Regent Street and St James.
The Art of the Restaurateur by Nicholas Lander has recently been released as an eBook, and is now available for iPhone and iPad exclusively on iBooks.
The Art of the Restaurateur presents the compelling stories behind some of the world's best restaurants, and celebrates the complex but unsung art of the restaurateur. In his first ever book, acclaimed Financial Times restaurant critic (and former restaurateur) Nicholas Lander reveals everything you ever wanted to know about the highs and lows of the restaurant business.
Every story is fascinating, different, and has something to tell about the creation of a successful restaurant, from finding the right location to deciding what kind of food to serve. Engaging, erudite and packed with insights, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in food - especially, of course, anyone who's ever dreamed of opening a restaurant.
Years at Litfest: 2013, 2015, 2016
Nicholas Lander @ Financial Times
The Art of the Restaurateur
Nicholas Lander's Website


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Litfest - A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.
It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food and drinks enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.

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