Connaught hotel owner the Maybourne Group has dismissed claims that Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) parted company with the hotel because of Angela Hartnett’s refusal to serve room service.
Last week GRH announced that its contract with the hotel was not being renewed, prompting speculation that Hartnett and Ramsay were unhappy about having to provide room service from the restaurant.
However, Paula Fitzherbert, public relations director for the Berkeley and the Connaught, insisted that there had “never been an issue over room service”.
“Since the day Angela Harnett at the Connaught opened, her kitchen has provided it,” she told Caterer. “The hotel is closed and both parties were in a position to reassess the arrangement. It’s absolutely amicable.”
The Connaught is thought to be searching for a three-Michelin-starred chef to replace Hartnett, but Fitzherbert would not be drawn on rumours linking Alain Passard, chef-patron at L’Arpège in Paris, to the hotel.
Meanwhile, GRH denied claims that Hartnett is set to move to the Berkeley Square Cafe.
Fitzherbert admitted that the future of GRH’s 120-seat Boxwood Café, situated in sister hotel the Berkeley, was in doubt after the hotel applied for planning permission for its Park wing, which houses the restaurant.
“If planning permission is given, Boxwood will be relocated,” she said, “but it will be Gordon Ramsay Holdings’ call as to where it will be relocated to.”
Other GRH restaurants in the Maybourne Group include Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, which renewed its contract in 2006, and Marcus Wareing’s Pétrus restaurant at the Berkeley. But Fitzherbert said Maybourne was in no mood to let them go.
“Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s is legendary,” she said. “It would be folly for us to play with that, and of course Pétrus was awarded two Michelin stars this year, so we’re very proud.”
The Connaught is due to reopen after a £60m refurbishment later this year.
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By Amanda Afiya
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Published by: The Caterer