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Marco Pierre White pulls out of two flagship restaurants

Marco Pierre White pulls out of two flagship restaurants

Restaurateur Marco Pierre White is pulling out of the Oak Room restaurant at the five-star, 267-bedroom Le Méridien Piccadilly hotel in London.

He is also pulling out of the Titanic restaurant in the capital's 900-bedroom Regent Palace hotel, but is taking over full ownership of the Criterion, in Piccadilly.

White's spokesman said he had decided to close the restaurants because he had had enough of the hotels in which they sat constantly changing hands.

He said the decision was not a financial one and that the group of restaurants was not losing money.

The spokesman added that the Oak Room would close on 15 February, with Titanic following suit by the end of March.

White will assume sole control of the Criterion over the next few weeks, he said.

A spokesman for Le Méridien said the decision to dissolve the partnership was an amicable one, and meant that it could focus more on its Terrace restaurant at the Piccadilly hotel.

He said Le Méridien was considering "a number of alternative uses for the Oak Room" but had not yet decided whether to reopen it as a restaurant.

Robert Reid

Robert Reid, head chef of the Oak Room, thinks the restaurant should win a brand-new award - "Best restaurant to close".

He said life had been "demoralising" recently as the rumour of closure had been hanging over him and his staff for almost a year. He said he had separated from his wife and had been feeling "miserable".

Taking a long-delayed holiday will be his first move: "I need a break to rekindle my enthusiasm." He added that two weeks was usually enough before he wanted to return to the kitchen.

He has no job lined up. "I can't think of any place that I can say I want to go yet. I'm sure Marco will help. I'm still friends with him. We still get on," he said.

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