Winning ways 31 January 2020 Steve Groves, head chef of Roux at Parliament Square, on his National Chef of the Year triumph and tips on preparing for chef competitions
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Michelin-starred chef says banks ‘don’t understand’ fine dining restaurants

21 October 2019 by
Michelin-starred chef says banks ‘don’t understand’ fine dining restaurants

Michelin-starred chef Chris Harrod has said banks ‘don’t understand’ fine dining restaurants at the successful conclusion of a drawn out process to acquire the freehold of the Whitebrook.

2018 Great British Menu winner Harrod took over the lease of the restaurant with rooms in Monmouthshire in 2013 from James Sommerin, and it was awarded a Michelin star in 2015.

The funding has been provided by Christie Finance; however Harrod said the banks he had dealt with previously had not shown enough support to small businesses like his.

He said: “They fail to see us as a small independent business, instead grouping us as part of the larger casual dining market that has been struggling in recent times. Very few of the banks we spoke to could understand that the Whitebrook is a fine dining, Michelin star restaurant that is very much a destination restaurant that can bring in people from all over the country, and in my case the world, to a little hideaway tucked away in the Wye Valley.”

Chris Field, director of Christie Finance, who brokered the deal, added: “Owning his own freehold restaurant has been a plan which has taken many years to realise, but I’m absolutely delighted to have helped make this dream a reality, despite some challenges along the way.”

Harrods’ plans include increasing the number of rooms (currently four), completely renovating the property and putting on more events at the venue.

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