Musical chefs at Launceston Place

Ben Murphy, a protégé of Pierre Koffmann, has been appointed chef at Launceston Place, the South Kensington restaurant most famous as Princess Di’s local.

Murphy, 26, made an immediate impact with his first restaurant, the Woodford, in northeast London last year, but quit after only 10 months. His predecessor at Launceston Place, the highly regarded Belgian chef Raphael Francois, who joined from Le Cirque in New York, also lasted less than a year in post.

The new Harden’s Survey describes Launceston Place as restaurant group D&D London’s best all-rounder, “relaxed yet opulent” with “sound, refined cooking”.

Meanwhile, D&D has announced plans to open a second branch of the Bluebird, its King’s Road, Chelsea venue, at the former BBC White City studios, with the possibility of further branches to follow. The company enjoyed a successful Christmas holiday period, boasting of its first “million-pound” day, when it recorded more than £1million in gross takings from a single day’s trading.


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