Michelin star Notts chef returns to his roots to open new Bakewell restaurant

After getting to the final of BBC Two’s ‘Great British Menu’ last year, Lee Smith decided it was time to return to his hometown to begin working on his dream of owning his own restaurant.
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After 16 years of hard work, where he earned a Michelin star at Samphire in Jersey, the 34-year-old decided it was time to fulfil his dream of owning his own restaurant.

He moved back to his hometown of Mansfield and began a crowdfunding campaign, and had just secured a property when coronavirus struck and derailed his plans.

He has worked tirelessly during lockdown and can finally open part of his restaurant on Bath Street, in Bakewell, this weekend.

Lee pictured outside his new restaurant.Lee pictured outside his new restaurant.
Lee pictured outside his new restaurant.

Lee, a former Ashfield School pupil, explains: “It has been a long time coming, from the leap of faith in moving back from Jersey, to finally being ready to open many months late due to the current circumstances.

“COVID-19 was something that we could never have planned for, but we have carried on throughout and are finally ready, and extremely keen, to open.

“Although its not entirely as we originally planned, we have decided to open in stages so that we can still offer something close to what we always envisioned.

“We can't wait to start doing what we love.”

The restaurant in BakewellThe restaurant in Bakewell
The restaurant in Bakewell

Coffee by Lovage opened on July 4, serving light lunches, and Restaurant Lovage finally opens August 6.

It is described as ‘a modern British restaurant with a casual country vibe’.

For more information or to book a table, visit their website.

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