London’s smallest fine-dining restaurant? MasterChef: The Professionals finalist to launch 14-cover venue

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant

Former private chef Marianne Lumb, who was a finalist in MasterChef: The Professionals, is to launch what is believed will be London's smallest fine-dining restaurant
Former private chef Marianne Lumb, who was a finalist in MasterChef: The Professionals, is to launch what is believed will be London's smallest fine-dining restaurant
Marianne Lumb, a finalist in the 2009 series of MasterChef: The Professionals, is to launch her first restaurant – an eponymous 14-cover venture in Notting Hill – in September. 

Marianne is expected to become London’s smallest fine-dining restaurant when it opens. The site will house a compact open kitchen and just five dining tables.

Lumb will be cooking in the Chepstow Road venue for most of the year with just one kitchen assistant and one front-of-house staff member for company. The restaurant will be open for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday and for lunch from Friday to Sunday.

Private chef

Small fine-dining restaurants are popular in both Paris and New York but the trend has not yet reached the UK in a significant way, due in part to the property costs in London.

Story (40 covers) and Kitchen Table (19 covers)have both opened in the past 18 months and several restaurant commentators, including Aqua Restaurant Group’s David Yeo,​ believe the trend towards smaller venues could hit London in the next year.

Lumb, a butcher’s daughter who rose to prominence in 2009 when she reached the final of the BBC TV series MasterChef: The Professionals, is expected to draw on her experience as a private chef to the likes of the Bamford and Sainsbury families and George Soros.

Seasonal

Lumb, who originally trained at the one Michelin-star restaurant Gravetye Manor, is creating a menu focussed on seasonally-led food.

A statement released on behalf of the first-time restaurateur said: “Marianne will offer a daily-changing seasonal menu from £48 for three courses per person at dinner, and from £30 at lunch.”

Dishes will include soufflé of courgette with Gruyère and Cheddar, globe artichoke and olive oil purée with dressed Cornish crab and white peaches poached in rose and lavender with nougat ice cream.

The wine selection has been created with Tom Lorimer of Lea & Sandeman and will comprise around 40 bins to match the menu and the seasons.

“Design by Godrich Interiors will reflect Marianne’s vision of having a personal chef in the dining room of one’s own home,” the statement added.

“Generously proportioned banquettes, vintage wall lights and a soft colour palette will offer a high level of comfort that will enhance this intimate dining experience.”

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