April 19 2011
I spent the day at St Pancras. Not waiting for a train, but instead watching final preparations before our first service at my second restaurant, The Gilbert Scott, a modern British brasserie in the newly opened St Pancras Renaissance set to open on Thursday, May 5. After months of planning and hard work by a number of people, the revolving door will finally start to turn. Last night we welcomed friends and family to sample the service, taste the food and most importantly give us their very valuable opinions.
My day started fairly early with a press interview and photos at 7.30am in the new dining room, followed immediately by another. Food tastings took a couple of hours; the menu at The Gilbert Scott has a very British feel to it and I am loving trying these dishes, which are tasty yet comfortable, such as the lamb shoulder on sippets or rhubarb crumble.
It doesn’t matter which restaurant I am in – I spend my time looking for challenges or errors so that we can improve. Particularly important today before we open for the first time; nothing ever runs smoothly! We started taking bookings online last Thursday and I am delighted and amazed at the number of bookings we already have. I spent some time looking through the booking lists, although I do tend to leave that to the team.
After checking in at The Berkeley, I was back to The Gilbert Scott before the first arrivals at 6pm; the bar was full and had a great buzz. Service went fairly well with a few glitches but nothing that cannot be fixed. I got home after 1am with some great feedback and useful comments. Time for a quick cup of tea before bed ahead of another early start as we do it all again.