Great food for free in Covent Garden, but there’s a twist

Act quickly before this pop-up pops off

Does the idea of eating great Italian food and drinking refreshing Italian-inspired beer for free appeal? Of course, it’s pretty much a rhetorical question.

Well, that’s what’s on offer in Covent Garden right now. But, like many of the good things in life, there’s a catch. Well, a few actually.

One, you need to act quickly. The offer only runs until this Saturday (15th) and then this pop-up – Trattoria Birra Moretti – will pop off. So it has ended now!

Two, you need to try to reserve your place or (more likely) apply to get on the waiting list.

Three, and this is no wind-up, you need to bring your own table!

Diners queue at the Trattoria Birra Moretti, the world’s first BYOT (bring your own table) restaurant, welcomed in by celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo

Birra Moretti and celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo have unveiled the world’s first bring-your-own-table (BYOT) restaurant. It will offer diners a delicious Italian sharing menu on the house if you turn up to the restaurant with your table.

Most people will be familiar with the concept of a BYOB (bring your own bottle/booze), but this BYOT restaurant signals the start of Birra Moretti’s ‘Il Grande Invito’ – a nationwide campaign to bring friends and family together around tables this summer.

Heading up the kitchen of is the godfather of Italian food, celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo, who has designed the money-can’t-buy exclusive six-course sharing menu that diners will be eating from their own tables.

Whether it’s kitchen tables, coffee tables, pottery tables, garden tables or even pool tables, BYOT diners can bring any sort of table they want to the restaurant – provided they are large enough to seat at least four people, balance your beers and meals on and they are returned to their rightful homes after the meal!

The BYOT pop-up dining experience opens after research by Birra Moretti revealing that 72% of Britons wish they spent more quality time with those who matter in their lives. As a result of the pace and pressures of modern life, most notably work demands (42%) and a culture of being ‘always on’, one in four (25%) of people surveyed by the beer brand feel they spend less quality time now with friends and family than they did in the past.

Diners are setting up their tables at the Trattoria Birra Moretti, the world’s first BYOT (bring your own table) restaurant

After working up an appetite transporting tables of all shapes and sizes to the restaurant, guests can enjoy their delicious six-course feast surrounded by rustic Italian interior design, beautiful green foliage and atmospheric lighting. All food will be created and served under the supervision of Gennaro Contaldo.

Mouth-watering dishes from Gennaro’s exclusive menu include sweet and sour agrodolce di peperoni, slow cooked cuttlefish with wine, olives and plum tomatoes, a potato, pecorino, pancetta and Moretti tray bake, as well as lasagne made with a twist. All of the dishes have been designed to pair perfectly with a refreshing Birra Moretti and enjoyed with the people that matter.

Gennaro Contaldo said“If carrying a table through London to a restaurant doesn’t bring people closer to their friends and family, then the delicious food and drink surely will! I’m honoured to open the world’s first BYOT restaurant with Birra Moretti, and accept their ‘Il Grande Invito’ to bring people together around tables and share some of my favourite Italian recipes with the nation.”

Diners who don’t wish to – or can’t – bring a table of their own can hire one from the restaurant in return for making a £10 donation to Birra Moretti’s chosen charity, the Campaign to End Loneliness, which encourages people to connect and bring communities together.

Open from 12-15 June, diners can enjoy a delicious six course meal created by Gennaro Contaldo, on the house, if they bring their own table.

Izabela Glodek, Birra Moretti marketing director, said: “Trattoria Birra Moretti is the first in a series of invitations over the summer and we sincerely hope it will help friends and family spend some more great times together.”

Diners hoping to sample the amazing food and secure their space at the Trattoria Birra Moretti can enter the online ballot here

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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