La Bécasse becomes Mortimers under new operators

18 November 2015 by
La Bécasse becomes Mortimers under new operators

Chef Wayne Smith and manager Andrew Brookes have taken over what was La Bécasse in Ludlow.

The pair reopened the restaurant in a low-key relaunch two weeks ago, following an abortive attempt earlier this year by Alan Murchison to take the business over.

It is now called Mortimers and serves a menu of modern British cuisine.

Smith's career has seen him work for David Cavalier at Chapter One, Tom Aikens at Pied a Terre, Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire and more recently the nearby Overton Grange hotel in Ludlow.

He said the restaurant had brought back the old bar to where it used to be in the restaurant in order to give it a more neighbourhood feel, and that he and Brookes were working on cultivating a local customer base.

La Bécasse had been owned by 10 in 8 Group Ltd, the company that once included L'Ortolan, Paris House in Woburn and the Angel in Dartmouth among its portfolio. The group had been set up as a partnership between Murchison and businessman Richard Pursey with the aim of accumulating 10 Michelin-starred restaurants in eight years.

After its acquisition from Claude Bosi in 2007, Murchison put head chef Will Holland in charge of the kitchen at La Bécasse, in what turned out to be a shrewd move - Holland ended up winning a Michelin star in 2009 while still under the age of 30. However, he left in 2013, and is now head chef of Coast in Pembrokeshire.

Meanwhile, 10 in 8 collapsed, with La Bécasse, by then no longer part of the group, entering voluntary liquidation in May 2014.

Alan Murchison pulls out of La Bécasse >>

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