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Matthew Grant

Hibiscus moving?

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I have it on good authority that Hibiscus is to be sold and will relocate.

Fingers crossed that Claude and Claire move to London where I'm sure they would be a massive success, 3 stars anyone?


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I have it on good authority that Hibiscus is to be sold and will relocate.

Fingers crossed that Claude and Claire move to London where I'm sure they would be a massive success, 3 stars anyone?

We'll have them in Leicester. Can't guarantee the same trade as Mayfair of wherever, but there would be less competition :biggrin: .

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I think they are well able to stand up against the competition in London.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Matthew - any idea when? (I'm booked in for 16 August)

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I think they are well able to stand up against the competition in London.

Yes, but does London need them?

I think I'm right in saying that London already have four M2* places, along with a dozen aiming at a similar level. If Hibiscus moved to the smoke, that would mean Britain's two-stars would be spread equally, five each, between the capital and the provinces.

While I'd like to have Hibiscus within Tube distance, I can probably survive knowing that my Zone 2 travel card will still reach Capital, The Square, Pied a Terre, Aikens, Greenhouse, Ledbury, Petrus, Connaught, Noisette, etc. etc. (Even if my wallet can't with any regularity.)


Edited by naebody (log)

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I think London does need them, the style of food is very different to that of the most 2 stars in London (Tom Aikens aside)

Winot, I've no idea of dates, I'm sure further information will be forthcoming shortly.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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NOOOOOOOOOO :sad:

Back there for a couple of meals in September- hopefully not our last time, before they move.

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You might mean YESSSSSSSSS depending on where they move to :laugh:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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You might mean YESSSSSSSSS depending on where they move to :laugh:

Not if it's London- we moved away a year ago. But if it's anywhere near Manchester- now that would be a different story. :rolleyes: Although there is more chance of Gary Marshall dipping his hand in his wallet to get a round in, than that happening. :sad:


Edited by Bapi (log)

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let's look at the facts...

for the last 8 odd years Bapi has resided in london happily and the bosi's likewise in ludlow.

bapi now moves out of london and hence the frequency of visits to hibiscus increases.

Result, hibiscus moves to london.


you don't win friends with salad

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let's look at the facts...

for the last 8 odd years Bapi has resided in london happily and the bosi's likewise in ludlow.

bapi now moves out of london and hence the frequency of visits to hibiscus increases.

Result, hibiscus moves to london.

Cheeky Bastard :laugh:

And Scott- sorry I forgot to tell you. I spoke to Claire recently about our September booking. I am afraid that you won't now be able to join us. It appears that their dress code is now very strict and bald Millwall fan looalikes are no longer welcome. :wink: They tend to unerve the locals. :biggrin:


Edited by Bapi (log)

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I think they are well able to stand up against the competition in London.

Yes, but does London need them?

I think I'm right in saying that London already have four M2* places, along with a dozen aiming at a similar level. If Hibiscus moved to the smoke, that would mean Britain's two-stars would be spread equally, five each, between the capital and the provinces.

While I'd like to have Hibiscus within Tube distance, I can probably survive knowing that my Zone 2 travel card will still reach Capital, The Square, Pied a Terre, Aikens, Greenhouse, Ledbury, Petrus, Connaught, Noisette, etc. etc. (Even if my wallet can't with any regularity.)

Think would be a very good thing. With the exception of Tom Aikens (whos still * I think) and Bjorn and van der whathisface (although from early reports he may have de-hauted a bit at noisette) London's lacked real excitement at the aspiring ** level probaby since GR ascended.

The rest of the **s - Capital, Square, PAT, Gavroche (and Petrus, thoughh its still *) are all there technically but basically do standard-mod-french (or for gavroche comfort-haute-french) which is lovely but not about to set the world alight.

I have a nagging feeling in the back of my head this is partly down to the impact of the Gordon Ramsay stable, which brings consistency, stability and secure financial backing to what is a good porfolio of metropolitan *+ restaurants. But however much the restaurants bear the stamp of the individual chefs I always feel they're missing a bit of the individual verge you get at TA. Maze may the the honourable exception but thats not quite operating at the haute end.

Possibly all I'm saying is that GR restaurants are too "corporate". I never was much good at precis.

???

J


Edited by Jon Tseng (log)

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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The rest of the **s - Capital, Square, PAT, Gavroche (and Petrus, thoughh its still *) are all there technically but basically do standard-mod-french (or for gavroche comfort-haute-french) which is lovely but not about to set the world alight.

Indeed. But I wasn't really arguing about the standard of the menu, only the standard of the clientelle.

In Ludlow, Hibiscus can boast a catchment area of about 100 miles where it is considered the ultimate "special place" venue. It couldn't have the same cachet in London, even if was running the best kitchen in town. We're far too spoiled for high end options, and far too lazy. (Note that diners are travelling to Ludlow from Manchester and Liverpool for dinner whereas, as confessed elsewhere, I can't be arsed to travel from Shepherd's Bush to Knightsbridge because it's hot.)

It'll be a medium sized fish in a big pond. And, like all ambitious London venues exept RHR, it will have to rely on City/sleb money to provide daily trade. I'm simply not convinced the average bond trader/Big Brother escapee will care overly about the difference between the classical-French-with-a-modern-twist on offer at PAT, and the modern-French-with-a-classical-twist available at Hibiscus. They'll just go to the place where Nicola Horlick/Sienna Miller is most likely to be at the next table, as they always do.

I wish Hibiscus every success if they do come to the smoke. I just suspect they're appreciated a lot more where they are.


Edited by naebody (log)

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It'll be a medium sized fish in a big pond. And, like all ambitious London venues exept RHR, it will have to rely on City/sleb money to provide daily trade. I'm simply not convinced the average bond trader/Big Brother escapee will care overly about the difference between the classical-French-with-a-modern-twist on offer at PAT, and the modern-French-with-a-classical-twist available at Hibiscus. They'll just go to the place where Nicola Horlick/Sienna Miller is most likely to be at the next table, as they always do.

True

Can be tough for big fish/small pond transitioning to London.

David Thompson sort of managed it with Nahm.

Christine Mansfield did not with East/West.

The only other one I can think of is William Drabble who did it admirably at short notice at Aubergine (although I would note that it was an established establishment rather than a new opening).

Hmmm.

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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:laugh:

I haven't seen it myself but apparently there is something in Caterer that does actually refer to them moving and they are looking in or around London and are

"considering franchises in boutique hotels, stand alone restaurants and restaurants with rooms outside London"

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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In Ludlow, Hibiscus can boast a catchment area of about 100 miles where it is considered the ultimate "special place" venue. It couldn't have the same cachet in London, even if was running the best kitchen in town. We're far too spoiled for high end options, and far too lazy. (Note that diners are travelling to Ludlow from Manchester and Liverpool for dinner whereas, as confessed elsewhere, I can't be arsed to travel from Shepherd's Bush to Knightsbridge because it's hot.)

Are diners still travelling to Ludlow in such great numbers since Shaun Hill closed? In reality the most popular dining destination in Britain was no more once Shaun Hill left, you rarely hear of diners rving about Mr Underhill's, surely the attraction was to be able to eat at Shaun Hill's and Hibiscus in the same weekend? That option is no longer there and I'd be surprised if people were travelling in such great numbers any more. Hibiscus closing will be the absolute end of Ludlow as a foodie destination unless another big name chef moves in.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Don't worry Winot, he was joking :biggrin:

Phew, thank goodness for that. You guys really had me going for a while there.

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Well sadly, it is true, they are looking to close Hibiscus in Ludlow. I have it on very good authority that Claire and Claude are actively looking to move south to set up a new venture - although that doesn't necessarily mean the heart of London. But wherever they move to - it will be when they are ready to and are confident that there new surroundings are just what they want. In other words - they will be in Ludlow for sometime to come, whilst potential offers are considered.

I will be the first to admit that I adore Ludlow as a town- but half of the draw of the place has always been eating at Shaun's Merchant House and Claude and Claire's gaff. So - like Matt- I wonder how this will impact on Ludlow's foodie reputation. Having said that, Claire and Claude are a bright, ambitious and driven couple, who need a fresh challenge; having achieved all that they can within Ludlow. And it is probably no small measure of their calibre as employers that their entire team are willing to move with them, to help them realise their dream.

Now whilst I agree in a small part with what naebody is saying about Hibiscus having a loyal following locally and being yet another restaurant in an oversaturated market in London. I don't agree that Claude's food is not sufficently different to create its own buzz. I agree Bond Traders( who incidentally, couldn't tell the difference between a Consomme and a Knorr Cup-a-Soup) may well be their bread and butter, in terms of customers - but I know of sufficent Southern "foodie" types who write on boards or just like visiting restaurants - who have just not been arsed travelling up to Ludlow in the past. Now they will get the opportunity to try his food a little closer to home (the lazy bastards- sorry that just slipped out :biggrin: )

In any case, this is all conjecture - we don't know where they will end up yet and it could well be some time before they sell and manage to locate to somewhere they like in the South . But I admire them for having the sparkly cojones to push pessimism aside and do what they believe is right. Who out of any of us who write here- wants to be given an opportunity, that one then doesn't take up, only to look back in 10 years and think- Bugger I wish I hadn't given it a go - but it's a bit too late now? I say- Good luck and every conceivable success to them. :smile:


Edited by Bapi (log)

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Here's the Caterer news item.

Personally, I think they should move to Brighton - they'd have at least one regular customer. Mind you, to survive, they'd have to offer a two course pizza/pasta early bird dinner for £5.95 and hold a weekly Bacardi Breezer promotional night. Apart from that, the city would welcome them with open arms.

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If they're moving south, maybe they're just accepting that Torquay is the new Ludlow.

So what happens to Ludlow? It either falls apart and Mr UNderhills finally loses its star, or the other great places in town, Dinham Hall and especially Overton Grange, get the recognition they deserve.


It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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I ate at Hibiscus last week and it looks like it will be months yest before they move.

They have yet to find a new venue to move to.

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