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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Celebrity restaurant loses crown
Chez Bruce restaurant
Chez Bruce knocked The Ivy off the top spot
Celebrity haunt The Ivy's nine-year run as London's favourite restaurant has ended, according to a new guide.

The 8,000 reviewers for Harden's London Restaurant Guide preferred Chez Bruce, which caters for a more local clientele in Wandsworth, south-west London.

The Ivy fell to second place in the "favourite restaurant" category, which weighs up overall dining experience.

Gordon Ramsay's Chelsea restaurant won the "top gastronomic experience" category, judged solely on the food.

FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS
1) Chez Bruce
2) The Ivy
3) The Wolseley
4) J Sheekey
5) Le Caprice
6) Gordon Ramsay
7) La Trompette
8) Hakkasan
9) Nobu
10) Zuma

There was no comment from the Ivy, an upmarket and internationally-renowned West End restaurant, frequented by celebrities such as Madonna, Liz Hurley and Clive Owen.

It was one of several restaurants which divided opinion. It appeared in several of the top 10 lists, including favourite, top gastronomic experience and best for romance.

But it also appeared in the "most disappointing" and "most overpriced" categories.

Harden's, London's second biggest-selling restaurant guide and which has been going for 15 years, bases its reviews on feedback from restaurant goers, rather than critics.

It's not the kind of restaurant where you would expect to see Michelle Pfeiffer
Bruce Poole
Chez Bruce

It showed 142 restaurants opened in London over the past 12 months and average prices have risen 4% to 36.82 for a dinner for one.

Its editor, Peter Harden, told BBC News he thought the Ivy had lost out on "consistency" and was no longer delivering its "great old performance".

But Bruce Poole, co-owner of Chez Bruce, said that while the accolade was welcome, it would not be going to their heads.

"We just plug away doing what we do," he said.

"We are very much a neighbourhood restaurant and we concentrate on all our guests, the vast majority of whom are local people.

"It's not the kind of restaurant where you would expect to see Michelle Pfeiffer or whoever. We just look after our regular guests."




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