Alan Murchison Restaurants in liquidation

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Eating, Restaurant, Inn, Alan murchison

Alan Murchison remains at L'Ortolan as head chef
Alan Murchison remains at L'Ortolan as head chef
Alan Murchison Restaurants Ltd, which operated the Michelin-starred L’Ortolan restaurant in Berkshire, has been put into voluntary liquidation after running up debts of almost half a million pounds.

The firm, which was owned by chef Alan Murchison’s 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group, was left with unpaid bills totalling £447,209.

According to Companies House, HM revenue & Customs is owed almost £165,000, while the Bank of Scotland  is due a payment of over £90,000. Other company among the 50-plus list of creditors include AA Linen Services (£4,959), Bibendum Wine (£28,887) and Raeburn Fine Wines (£11,045).

Earlier this year, L’Ortolan’s freehold was put on the market for £1.3m by its owner, Peter Newman. Newman has since taken over the running of the Reading-based restaurant, with Murchison remaining as head chef.

The liquidation follows a somewhat challenging period for Murchison, who has seen a number of restaurant agreements come to an end and sites close in the past year.

Hotel partnerships

In March, the Angel restaurant in Devon – part of the 10 in 8 portfolio - was closed. And just a week earlier, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts ended its agreement with the restaurant group​ to manage and operate the 85-cover restaurant and bar at the Bear Hotel in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

10 in 8’s other hotel partnership, with Hotel TerraVina – which involved both companies buying shares in each other and sparked Nina Basset’s appointment as managing director​ – also came to an end earlier on in the year.

Meanwhile, chef Will Holland, who first teamed up with Murchison at L’Ortolan in Berkshire in 2004, announced in the summer that he would depart 10 in 8’s La Bécasse restaurant​ in Ludlow, Shropshire, to 'seek a fresh opportunity' and 'new challenges'. Holland is staying in Shropshire for the opening of his own restaurant​ early next year.

Murchison took up his first post in the kitchen as a porter at the age of 14. During the 1990s, the Scot worked in a number of Michelin-starred kitchens, including Claridges, Nobu, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and L’Ortolan. He returned to the latter in 2001 as executive chef/managing director and in 2007 he re-opened the former Hibiscus restaurant as La Bécasse. Read an exclusive interview with the chef here.

In 2010, Murchison launched the 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group,​ with an ambitious aim to operate 10 Michelin-starred restaurants by 2018. 10 In 8 now has three restaurants - La Bécasse, Paris House and L'Ortolan, the latter two of which hold a star.

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