Exclusive Hotels uses lockdown to devise brand new restaurant schemes

Fine dining

Exclusive Hotels is working on two new restaurant schemes to launch once the lockdown in England has ended.

The hotels and venues group, headed up by managing director Danny Pecorelli, is to introduce Hillfield, a new eatery at Pennyhill Park showcasing the best local Surrey produce, and The Well House at Lainston House, a new restaurant in the cookery school at the Winchester hotel.

Hillfield will be a transformation of the current Pennyhill Park Brasserie and will feature a menu packed with modern dishes with a twist of nostalgia, ready to open in time for Easter.

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The cookery school at Lainston House is being adapted to make way for The Well House, which will focus on wood-fired dishes, BBQs and smoked meats. Seating will also be introduced in the hotel’s kitchen garden to immerse guests in the complete dining experience.

The new addition will be Lainston House’s second restaurant, running alongside The Avenue.

Mr Pecorelli said: “We’ll also be running more outside cooking classes, such as teaching people how to cook on the fire pit, and will be organising around 30 courses next summer on wood fired cooking, BBQ techniques as well as using the fire pit. One thing we have learnt during this is that when people can be outside, they want to be outside.”

The group is also focusing on a number of other initiatives during this lockdown period, with its four hotels, two country house venues, and village pub currently closed, as well as reassuring staff and making sure they are looked after as a priority.

Despite the stop-start nature of the lockdown, having multiple sites in different locations impacted by varying tier restrictions meant that Exclusive Hotels’ could redistribute food and minimise any waste.

“At one point I was getting tens of thousands of food and driving it around from one hotel to another,” revealed Pecorelli.

When asked about reopening, Pecorelli stressed that hospitality must be given sufficient notice to allow businesses to get back on track: “I’m sure the government has destroyed more businesses with short notice.”

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Andrew Seymour

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