Allegra McEvedy to reopen her mother’s wine bar

Allegra McEvedy has bought the Shepherd’s Bush wine bar Albertine, founded by her mother, and will reopen it after a spruce-up later this month.

Originally opened in 1978, Albertine became a favourite watering-hole for staff from the BBC’s White City studios further up Wood Lane – it even suggested the name Albert Square to the team that created East Enders.

McEvedy co-founded the healthy food chain Leon in 2004, and retired from active involvement five years later to concentrate on writing and broadcasting. She remains a founding shareholder in the chain, which now has 41 branches.

She still lives nearby, and retains an emotional attachment to the wine bar, where she helped varnish the original floor. She was 17 when her mother, Sarah, died and she remembers doing her homework upstairs while her mother ran the show.

“It’s an absolute dream come true and something I’ve hoped I’d have the opportunity to do for a long time.  My mum died so long ago now,”

Billed as a “traditional wine bar” in the latest Harden’s Survey – and a perfect escape from the nearby Westfield shopping centre – Albertine will emphasise food under McEvedy’s direction, in both the main bar and a new upstairs dining room. Italian head chef Roberto Freddi will cook a selection of seasonal British and European Italian meals, and customers will be welcomed from 8am for breakfast and coffee.

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