A former chef from the Michelin-starred restaurant Auberge du Lac in Hertfordshire has launched his own venture in North London.
Gareth Thomas, who trained under celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli at Auberge du Lac as well as Gary Rhodes at the Michelin-starred Rhodes 24 in London, has acquired the lease of the Rose & Crown pub in Highgate.
The restaurant, which comprises a 40-seat dining room and a bar as well as a 50-cover outside area, is housed in a 400-year-old building on Highgate High Street. One of the oldest pubs in north London, its back bar became known as the "Royal Box" after it was frequented by royalty in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Chef-proprietor Thomas, who serves a modern British menu with French influences, told Caterersearch he was thrilled to have opened his own restaurant.
"I have always wanted to own my own restaurant and taking over the Rose & Crown was a great opportunity," he said.
Property agents Christie & Co negotiated the deal for the Rose & Crown, with Thomas acquiring the 20-year lease off an asking price of £139,000.
Meanwhile, Thomas's mentor Jean-Christophe Novelli, is no longer operating his two A Touch of Novelli pubs, after holding company Sweet Medicine, ran into financial difficulties over a dispute with investors.
The White Horse in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, which is owned by Enterprise Inns continues to trade and the French Horn in Steppingly, Berkshire, which is a Greene King Pub is believed to currently be closed.
Phil Thompson, executive chef, at Brocket Hall's Auberge du Lac celebrated his first Michelin Star this January.
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