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The article below featured in Property Week in November 2007:

It is not particularly surprising that property entrepreneur Bruce Ritchie enjoys taking his meals at Mirabelle in Mayfair, London W1.
After all, he is the joint owner. And the art deco eatery, as famous for being a place to see and be seen as for its carefully crafted French cuisine, is not the only clam in Ritchie’s business chowder. His company, Residential Land, and its sister vehicles own more than 1,000 flats and houses across London as well as string of city’s top eateries – the Criterion, Quo Vadis and Drones.
He fell into ownership of Mirabelle though his friendship with its founder, top chief Marco Pierre White.
But while owning restaurants is a canny investment play for Ritchie stocking them is more of passion.
‘I’m in shooting syndicate with a couple of other property guys,’ Ritchie explains. ‘We make sure we have refrigerated van hand so that when we’ve shot the birds we can then have them packaged up and distribute then among the restaurants in the chain.’
Among the more recent high-profile guests have attended his syndicate’s shoots are Madonna and Guy Ritchie, to whom Ritchie could be related. ‘We may be, but aren’t sure how,’ he says.
Bruce connection with Guy, director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells, reflects the autumn menu’s emphasis on game. Ritchie admits that the chefs sometimes complain that they receive too many partridges from his exertions.
Clearly, Guy and Madge dine at Mirabelle to eat what they kill, but it’s the sheer opulence that has attracted other celebrities over the years, such as Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward Princess Margaret, Aristotle Onassis and Jonny Depp.
Despite being located in basement opposite DTZ’s Curzon Street office, the outside world seems very far away when you swish though the revolving doors and step down the marble stairs. The overall effect of the art deco bar and restaurant area is of light and space, helped by stylish décor and cleverly positioned trample l’oeil cartoon murals, which give the place an almost colonial feel.
‘People always ask me that’s good when I take them here,’ says Ritchie. ‘And the truth is everything. We’ve got some smashing chefs and I’ve never had a bad experience here.’

The verdict: Mirabelle

In true Marco Pierre White style, the food is classic French with eclectic overtones. The lunch menu changes daily, while the main a la carte menu is long and revised infrequently.
We opted for dressed crab, sauce mayonnaise and melba toast, which was deliciously light and melted in the mouth, followed by roast rump of lamb with olives and nicoise garnish. Other possibilities included langoustine bisque, roast pheasant or plaice fillets with aubergine puree.
For pudding, we chose champagne-poached strawberries with crème vanilla. Other options include tarte sable of bitter chocolate and a large cheese platter.
The lunch menu is set at a sensible £16.50 for two courses and £19.95 for three. The a la carte is substantially pricier.

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