Marcus Wareing oversees food and beverage of new £24m Birmingham hotel

10 February 2012 by
Marcus Wareing oversees food and beverage of new £24m Birmingham hotel

Marcus Wareing is consulting on the food and beverage operation at the new £24m, 174-bedroom Hotel La Tour, which is set to open in Birmingham next month.

Wareing is devising the menus and assisting in the recruitment of the 12-strong brigade for the 80-seat Aalto restaurant, bar and coffee shop, which will serve classic English dishes with a modern twist.

Alex Penhaligon, who spent 17 years with Marriott Hotels, most recently as executive head chef at the Waltham Abbey Marriott, has been appointed head chef at the four-star hotel, located in Birmingham's new City Park Gate district.

"The restaurant will be brasserie-style, with the food closer to that served by Marcus at the Gilbert Scott rather than the Berkeley," said Hotel La Tour's managing director, Jane Schofield, referring to Wareing's London restaurants. "We very much want the food and beverage outlets to become destinations that will attract the local market."

"We're very proud that one of the brightest stars in British cooking has chosen to work with us. Marcus is well known for his dedicated and perfectionist approach to cooking and hospitality, with an infectious passion for food and excellence which makes him a perfect partner for Hotel La Tour."

Hotel La Tour has been developed as a new-build hotel on a 99-year lease by the former management team of Hayley Conference Centres, which was acquired by private-equity firm Permira in 2007, for £358m. Schofield, who was sales and operations director of Hayley, and Hayley's former chairman, Alan English, are shareholders in the new business, with HSBC providing a percentage of the equity.

Schofield and English, who have been joined by four other key members of staff from Hayley (which is now part of the Principal Hayley group), intend to open around five hotels in five years and are currently looking for city-centre locations across the UK.

"We have earmarked sites in Manchester and one in the South-west of England, but nothing has been signed yet," Schofield added. "The finance for future development will come from a mix of private equity and the banks."

Hotel La Tour, which is employing 100 staff, is due to open during the week of 26 March.

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By Janet Harmer

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