The Hole in the Wall - widely regarded as one of the most influential restaurants in post-war Britain - is up for sale.
Situated in the vaults of two Georgian townhouses in Bath, the 85-cover restaurant was established by restaurateur and chef George Perry-Smith in 1951 and went on to be known as the birthplace of fine dining in Britain. Its leasehold is now on the market with Christie & Co for £175,000.
At a time of austerity and lack of culinary experimentation, Perry-Smith helped change the dining habits of food-lovers and influenced a generation of chefs, before his death in 2003. As a scholar of the food writer Elizabeth David and for two years a teacher at the Sorbonne, Perry-Smith brought the food influences he gained in France back to Bath to create a restaurant which for decades aimed to strive for uncompromised excellence.
The late Keith Floyd was a Perry-Smith acolyte and in his autobiography recounted his first visit to the Hole in the Wall: "The sight that met my eyes astonished me. It was just amazing food that most British (people) in the 1960s would never have seen."
The restaurant was originally known as The Cellar, but the venue was given the nickname Hole in the Wall by American servicemen and it stuck.
Valerie Turner of Christie & Co said: "Opportunities to acquire restaurants of this calibre - and with such a unique place in British culinary history - do not come along too often. The Hole in the Wall retains much of the influence of George Perry-Smith and today is still the showcase for the talents of its chef and for the very best West Country produce. That's why it remains among the most popular restaurants in the West of England and we expect a great deal of interest in this superb business opportunity."
By Janet Harmer
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