Launching on Thursday 23rd February in Victoria’s Wilton Road, Lorne Restaurant is the first venture from Sommelier Katie Exton and Chef Peter Hall. A true collaboration between front of house and kitchen, Lorne Restaurant is born out of the desire by its dynamic and experienced co-founders to share their love of restaurants and create a fun, convivial space where food and wine sit as equals.
Featuring a Modern British menu and a destination wine list, Lorne Restaurant will be a true representation of Katie and Peter’s professional journeys and personal experiences, while the pair’s innate sense of hospitality will be reflected in Lorne’s warm and guest centred approach to dining.
Coming from The River Café, Katie Exton is a highly-respected Sommelier, both within and outside the trade. She combines her knowledge with a relaxed, charming attitude that allows her guests to feel at ease and learn more about the wine they like, rather than the wine they ought to like. Before joining The River Café, Katie worked as Head Sommelier at Chez Bruce and The Square; where she met chef Peter Hall.
Having held senior positions at both The Square and at Brawn in London, Peter has also worked at the three Michelin starred Benu in San Francisco. Peter’s attitude to cooking is that whilst taking what he does seriously ultimately food should be about pleasure and satiation. His experience has provided him with a true appreciation for classical ingredients and combinations and the belief that flavour must be the basis for every dish. Using carefully chosen produce and making the most of it without adding unnecessary frills and fuss will be the basis for creating dishes at Lorne.
Also involved in the project are restaurateur Clive Watson (Blixen) and chef Phil Howard (The Square, Elystan Street).
The menu at Lorne restaurant will be Modern British, with a big focus on seasonality and produce. Close relationships with like-‐minded and trusted suppliers such as HG Walters Butchers and Androuet cheese-‐mongers will play an important part.
Examples from the menu include
- Mackerel, Pickled Cucumber, Ratte Potatoes, Nasturtium
- Quail, Butternut Squash, Barley, Mountain Yam
- Warm Salad, Celeriac, Chervil Root, Beetroot, Candied Sunflower Seeds
- Brill, Sourdough, Baby Gem, Sea Vegetables, Dashi
- Short Rib Beef, Onion, Pears, Cavolo Nero
- Yorkshire Curd Tart, Builders Tea Ice Cream
- Chocolate Crémeux, Salted Caramel, Peanuts
- Poached Rhubarb, Vanilla Custard, Pistachio, Ginger Snaps
The wine list at Lorne will be concise and regularly changing. Driven by the motivation to make fine wine more approachable in restaurants, it will focus on offering wines from all over the world at reasonable prices. Provenance and attention to detail will run through every part of Lorne. They will have a seasonally changing cocktail list and London brewed bottled beers, as well as Monmouth Coffee and teas from Rare Tea Company.
Designed by Justin Gilbert of Coriander Buildings, the interiors of Lorne’s 48 cover restaurant will have a light, botanical and soft feel. Using Lorne’s Australian namesake as inspiration, the room will feature the calm, washed out colours of the Great Ocean Road and an open, natural and comfortable layout. Marble topped bar dining will be mixed with natural wood tables and chairs and banquette seating. Other aspects of the design will be hands on, with hand-crafted pottery, artwork and personal touches provided by family, staff and friends.
Love for food, drinks, restaurants and good times is what drove Peter and Katie to open their own restaurant and Lorne will be the type of place they would have chosen to go to on their days off. Taking the discipline and foundations of classical training and combining it with their own touch, Lorne Restaurant will be a welcoming space for getting together for dinner with friends and family, enjoying lazy lunches, and lingering over that extra bottle of wine.