Fire-struck Terre à Terre to remain shut for Christmas

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Kitchen, Terre a terre

Terre a Terre put this poster with an overriding optimistic message in their window following the fire which has forced them to close over Christmas
Terre a Terre put this poster with an overriding optimistic message in their window following the fire which has forced them to close over Christmas
Brighton's vegetarian restaurant Terre à Terre, which closed in October after a fire broke out in the kitchen, has been forced to remain shut over Christmas due to 'red tape delays' and a long wait for new equipment. 

Owners Philip Taylor and Amanda Powley had originally been optimistic that the restaurant would re-open in time for the festive season, but contacted customers on their database last week to inform them otherwise. 

"We are incredibly disappointed and sad that we will not be open for Christmas 2012, it’s a first for us and for this reason we are giving our customers as much notice as possible to ensure that they can make alternative arrangements," said Taylor.

A statement released by the restaurant said the situation had been completely out of the owners' control with 'no amount of optimism' able to produce a fully-functioning kitchen in time for Christmas. 

2013 plans

All staff have been retained by the restaurant and will be given a rare Christmas and New Year off before they return to work in 2013. 

Taylor said the rest of 2012 would be spent getting the kitchen back up and running and working on a new menu for next year, which will be the restaurant's 20th year in business. There are also plans to introduce a members' card for loyal customers. 

"We are channelling all our energy into the kitchen renovation and look forward to welcoming our customers back in 2013, wishing them all a very happy Christmas," he added. 

Fire cause

The cause of the fire, which broke out in the restaurant's kitchens in the early hours of 1 October, has now been identified as 'self-combusting laundry' and found to be accidental. 

Taylor said despite the disruption to the business, the damage could have been worse if it had spread further than the kitchens and not spotted in time by staff. 

"Terre à Terre hopes that all businesses in the hospitality industry learn from their experience, a truly unforeseeable accident. We're very grateful to the chefs on duty who ensured the fire doors were securely closed before they left the night before; this contained the fire in the kitchen," he said. 

Related topics: Business, Venues, Restaurants

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