Marianne, chef, author and BBC Masterchef: The Professionals finalist, has announced that she will be running London's smallest fine-dining restaurant which caters for just 14 covers – a total of five tables - with the help of one kitchen assistant and one front of house.
The idea behind the intimate set up is that with so few seats, Marianne will be able to focus on what's important to her - precisely crafted plates made with seasonal produce.
Already popular in France and New York, the trend for small but perfectly formed fine-dining restaurants seems to be surfacing in the UK, too. Harry's Place restaurant in Grantham, Lincolnshire, for example, caters for just ten diners in its family-sized dining room is still ever-popular since its opening over 20 years ago.
With just 14 seats, however, Marianne certainly sets a new benchmark for intimate fine-dining venues. Let’s just hope the food makes up for what it, rather quaintly, lacks in size…
Growing up in a butcher’s family in Leicestershire, Marianne Lumb is described as a voracious eater, who left her studies in architecture to begin training as a chef.
She completed her training at the Michelin star restaurant Gravetye Manor as well as one Michelin starred The River Café and Le Gavroche, two stars.
Marianne has also worked internationally as a private chef for A-list celebrities, actors, musicians and politicians, work which took her all over the world from The Hamptons to the Côte d’Azur and Australia. Her former clients include the Bamford family, the Sainsbury family and the Soros family.
Marianne will offer a daily-changing seasonal menu from £48 for three courses per person at dinner, and from £30 at lunch. Sample dishes will include Soufflé of courgette, with Gruyère Alpage and Montgomery Cheddar, Globe artichoke and olive oil purée with dressed Cornish crab, and White peaches poached in rose and lavender with nougat ice cream.
Marianne’s wine selection will consist of around 40 bins - a hefty number for such a small concept - that will reflect both the seasons and the restaurant’s menus. Created with Tom Lorimer of Lea & Sandeman, it will include a wide variety of white wines such as Sancerre Chavignol, Domaine Vincent Delaporte, France 2012 and Vinho Verde Loureiro, Portugal 2012. Reds on offer include Morellino Di Scansano 2012 from Southern Tuscany and Vinyes Velles Nobles Bodegas Acustic 2010 from the region of Montsant in North East Spain. Sparkling wines and Champagnes will include Larmandier-Bernier and Krug and an English sparkling, Nyetimber.
The restaurant will occupy a corner site at the northern end of Chepstow Road. Designed by Godrich, the restaurant's interior is said to reflect Marianne’s vision for her guests to feel like they have a personal chef in their dining room.
Visit www.mariannerestaurant.com for more details