Celebrated chef Rick Stein has spoken of his relief that his Marlborough restaurant has been reprieved.
The High Street restaurant, specialising in fish and seafood, faced permanent closure amid the pandemic’s financial pressures, but thanks to the landlord offering a rent reduction it was saved.
Its official reopening is tomorrow - Friday, September 4.
The Marlborough restaurant is one of several owned by the chef and businessman, and he is delighted to retain a presence in the town.
He said: “I’m fond of saying it’s like a lovely English market town. It’s got lovely architecture, it’s got a great high street - it’s one of those showpieces to me of what English life is like.
“Really, I was a bit seduced when we saw this site originally because it was such a lovely place to have a restaurant.
“I suppose we opened in a time of great optimism, and because of covid things have been depressed. But what was really great for us was that the landlord realised times were tough and people wanted to continue together.
“People regard landlords as being sort of like the evil persona, probably, but it’s just basically business.
“If you can talk to your landlord and say, ‘This is how it is for us,’ they might respond, saying, ‘We don’t want to lose you,’ which is essentially what the landlord said.”
The landlord whose decision was so crucial has asked to remain anonymous.
The public, Mr Stein believes, are hungry in more ways than one when it comes to eating out.
He said: “We all spent a lot of time in lockdown thinking about stuff, and basically I think most people realise that we all need to help each other. ‘What are the ways we can help the hospitality industry?’ And it’s by going out to eat.
“I’ve got restaurants in Australia, and what happened there happened three weeks, four weeks before it happened here.
“People are very willing to go back to restaurants as long as social distancing and all the other safety things are in order.
“I think they all realise we need each other.
“It’s so nice to be back. I was driving here off the motorway and feeling relief that I could still come here because it’s such a lovely place - and also, the restaurant is so attractive.”
The restaurant is operating its own Eat Out to Help Out scheme throughout the month. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays it will offer a 50 percent discount, capped at £10, for food and non-alcoholic drinks.
The restaurant can be contacted via https://www.rickstein.com/restaurants/rick-stein-marlborough/
Grilled Scallops in the Half Shell
Indonesian Seafood Curry
Smoked Mackerel Pate
Warm Salad of Wood Pigeon