April 21 2011
Started first thing at The Gilbert Scott. Straight away got involved with the garden planters – concerned that some of our steps would be blocked; they really do look great and add to the grandness of the restaurant entrance. Lots of people are reaching the restaurant via the hotel – we do have our own entrance and bar facing Euston Road. Spent some time in the kitchen this morning. Talked to chef Oli about the menu, comments from yesterday’s tastings, and had a rummage through the produce. I like to know it’s good quality and that we are not keeping anything that should be sent back or equally not wasting anything.
Before lunch service, I spent some time catching up with Dimitri and James, maître d’ and chef at The Berkeley. They are both full of ideas, Dimitri is looking for new crockery and various other items for the dining room. James just raves about produce and new ideas and what he would like to try – both are really inspired and inspiring.
Had a brief meeting with an interior designer for some work we are doing at home, he was interested to see The Gilbert Scott. Had an interview linked to a photoshoot from earlier in the week for a piece coming out later this month linked to Grey Goose, who inspire our cocktails. I have been part of Great British Menu this week shown on BBC2 – it was filmed a while ago. I don’t have a chance to watch it but there are a few chefs coming up that I would like to try and catch.
Opened for lunch again today, mostly friends, but a few guests who were having a look round chose to join us too. We are talking about adding a £19 menu for lunch and early supper at The Gilbert Scott, we hope to have it organised in time for opening. The team are in the process of updating our website in time for launch; we had a few decisions to make today about the look of it. Our reservations/business manager Nicola cornered me today with homework from The Berkeley and a long list of questions, queries, requests. We have a very competent team who get on with everything but always keep me in the loop.
Third night of the soft launch tonight, we did over 100 covers but still very smooth and lots more people in the bar tonight. I got home after midnight again, the house was quiet and everyone asleep so I didn’t stay up long!