Planning Appeal for the Rochelle Canteen

I first experienced Margot Henderson’s cooking at the French House in Soho (which she ran with her husband Fergus Henderson of St John/Nose to Tail fame). The space was small and intimate with the food seasonal and simple but exquisitely cooked (nothing shouty-shouty about either the space or food). In short, everything I like on the rare occasions we dine out. The trend has continued at the Rochelle Canteen which Margot runs with Melanie Arnold to rave reviews.

I’ve been amazed to hear that the renewal of their catering licence has failed for reasons such as noise disturbance and anti-social behaviour. Open only for weekday lunches (for under forty heads) and accessed by ringing a buzzer, you would have no idea the place exists as the entrance is so discreet. Furthermore, they don’t sell alcohol. The operation supports community projects, provides local employment and generates income for local businesses whose services they use. The planning application isn’t simply about the lunch-time business but crucially, their wider off-site event catering. As they write on their website, without permission to continue their event catering ‘we will not be able to continue to run the canteen’. Please support their appeal against the planning decision by sending a brief letter (a sample is provided on their website with the relevant address and planning application details).

Pictures © Arnold and Henderson

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