International Women's Day 2024: Menus, events and celebrations at top London restaurants

Raise a glass to females in food at one of these special food and drink events.

Updated on • Written By Ellie Donnell

Map view
Close map
International Women's Day 2024: Menus, events and celebrations at top London restaurants

There are a ton of fantastic events taking place all over London to celebrate International Women’s Day, which in 2024 falls on Friday 8 March. Some are planned specifically for the day itself while others are running for the week or even the entire month. Not that we’re biased or anything, but we consider the once-a-year event an excellent opportunity to recognise women who are doing truly great things in the restaurant industry. We’re talking about the chefs, sommeliers, bakers, producers and front of house staff who are making some serious waves in their field.  


Rather than talking about the fact that most chef job roles are still held by men (sigh), we’re here to focus on the positives. According to the National Office of Statistics, the number of female chefs in the UK has risen by a third since 2016 which is the biggest increase in the last five years. That’s awesome. But the restaurant industry is comprised of a whole catalogue of highly-skilled roles: the wine-makers and food producers, café-owners and restaurant managers of the world.  

While we think such pioneering women should be talked about all year round, International Women’s Day feels like as good excuse as any to hero females in food. To that point, we’ve rounded up the restaurants in London doing just that via special events, one-off menus, exclusive dishes and female-forward wine tastings. Each event has been formulated to celebrate leading women in the restaurant industry and the good news is that you can get involved with them all. There’s still plenty to be done on the road to gender equality, but there’s plenty to celebrate, too. 

This year’s official International Women's Day theme is 'Inspire Inclusion' and you can find out more about how to get involved with the campaign here.  

Michelin-Starred Dinner at Great Scotland Yard, Whitehall

Female chefs and plates of food

What: Celebrate International Women’s Day with a Michelin-starred dinner created by four talented women in the restaurant industry. Head chef Florencia Abella from Michelin-starred Ekstedt in Stockholm is joined by London's Ekstedt at The Yard head chef Tess Andersson and head pastry chef Veronica Garrido, to create a six-course tasting menu with an optional wine pairing. Dishes include kohlrabi with charcoal cream and vendace roe, John Dory with truffle, fermented vegetables and brown butter, and pine sorbet with whey and fermented pine honey. The menu costs £125 a head, with the option to add a wine pairing for an extra £65 led by sommelier Christina Weiss.
When: 8 March
Where: 3-5 Great Scotland Yard, SW1A 2HN
Book now: Ekstedt at The Yard

‘Firebird & Friends’ Series at Firebird, Soho

Adriana Cavita, Abbey Lee, Theres Andersson

What: Open-fire restaurant Firebird is hosting a ‘Firebird & Friends’ series in March which sees a plethora of female chefs, restaurateurs and sommeliers create a host of memorable dining experiences. Top talent includes Adriana Cavita (Cavita), Abbey Lee (Mambow), Theres Andersson (Ekstedt) and more, each set to host three exciting dinners throughout March. From Mexico to Malaysia, Scandinavia to Ecuador, each event includes a four-course dinner priced at £70 per person, with an accompanying wine pairing for an extra £45 per person.
When: 8, 20 and 25 March
Where: 29 Poland Street, W1F 8Q
Book now: Firebird

Festival of Women at Mama Shelter, Shoreditch

 Zaynah Din

What: Shoreditch hotel Mama Shelter is celebrating International Women’s Day with a series of events hosted by female leaders in comedy, cookery, music and business. The series kicks off with a ‘Ladies of Restaurants’ evening in which seasoned female restaurateurs share what it’s really like to own a restaurant – the good, the bad and the ugly! There’s plenty more to look forward to, from comedy acts to a supper club hosted by social media star Zaynah Din.
When: 4, 5 and 7 March
Where: 437 Hackney Road, E2 8PP
Book now: Mama Shelter

‘Women in Wine’ Charity Event at The Pilgrim, Paddington

Women in wine poster, and nibbles with wine on table

What: Wine and women, women and wine – two of the greatest things in the world, don’t you think? This year, Paddington pub The Pilgrim is launching a ‘Women in Wine’ charity event hosted by Guardian wine writer Fiona Beckett and VinaLupa founder Emily Harman. The evening will see the duo pay tribute to female trailblazers in the world of wine, with a curated wine tasting and an exciting guest speaker.
When: 7 March
Where: 25 London Street, W2 1HH
Book now: The Pilgrim

JKS Presents: The Women Who Make Us Panel Discussion

Female panellists from JKS

What: JKS Restaurants - the same group that brought us Gymhkana, BAO and Hoppers - is hosting a panel event on 11 March that brings together talented women from across the restaurant group. Panellists include JKS co-founder Sunaina Sethi, Kitchen Table co-founder Sandia Chang, and BAO co-founder Erchen Chang, who will speak about their personal journeys and why it's important to empower women in hospitality. Taking place from 3pm to 6pm, all proceeds from ticket sales will go towards charity Refuge, the largest  UK domestic abuse organisation for women. 
When: 11 March
Where: 1 Great Cumberland Place, W1H 7AL
Book now: JKS Presents: The Women Who Make Us

Silverleaf, Liverpool Street

Cocktails and interiors

What: Located on the top floor of Pan Pacific hotel, Silverleaf is a spectacular location to toast a special occasion. What better place to celebrate women in hospitality than with a drink at the destination bar? On 7 March, the team will be hosting four globally renowned female bartenders, who will each be creating a bespoke menu for guests to enjoy on the night. Book a table now to sip on their creations, while enjoying live DJ entertainment all evening. 
When: 7 March
Where: 80 Houndsditch, EC3A 7AB
Book now: Silverleaf

Discover our list of top chefs in Britain, from celebrity chefs to lesser-known talent, plus all the latest chef news.

Join SquareMeal Rewards

Collect points, worth at least £1, every time you book online and dine at a participating restaurant.

Start Collecting Points

Already a member? Sign in