NHS staff get free drive-through food at London’s five-star Berkeley Hotel


NHS staff get free drive-through food at London’s five-star Berkeley Hotel that’s home to Marcus Wareing’s Michelin-starred restaurant

  • The Berkeley Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge has been closed for over a month
  • Kitchens remain open with staff preparing 250 hot meals a day for key workers
  • Also provided 1,500 meals a week to the Westminster Connects initiative
  • Owner Maybourne Hotel Group have furloughed 1,200 staff at Claridge’s and The Connaught and Berkeley

A luxury Knightsbridge hotel are putting their incredible culinary skills to good use during the lockdown to make hundreds of meals for emergency workers.

The 5-star Berkeley has opened up it kitchens to provide hot food and drinks to all NHS workers, police, fireman and paramedics who drop by a new drive-through station outside their front door. 

Diners at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing restaurant usually expect to pay anything upwards of £115 for a five-course menu, but frontline workers have been seen taking away aromatic braised lamb and harissa-roasted chicken dishes. 

The 5-star Berkeley has opened up it kitchens to providing hot food and drinks to all NHS workers, police, fireman and paramedics who drop by a new drive-through station outside their front door

Diners at the hotel's Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing restaurant usually expect to pay anything upwards of £115 for a five-course menu

Diners at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing restaurant usually expect to pay anything upwards of £115 for a five-course menu

Frontline workers have been seen taking away tasty dishes including aromatic braised lamb and harissa-roasted chicken dishes

Frontline workers have been seen taking away tasty dishes including aromatic braised lamb and harissa-roasted chicken dishes

Up to 250 ‘nourishing’ meals are available every day from 11.30am, and will be accompanied by a ‘warm Berkeley welcome’.

Berkeley General Manager Knut Wylde said: ‘We are honoured to help support our much valued Emergency Services at this very difficult time, and we are particularly proud of so many of our team who have volunteered to step up and help… as far as we are concerned we are all in this together.’ 

It has also been reported that the hotel have been making more than 1,500 meals a week which are delivered to Westminster residents.

Police horses enjoy a bite to eat on the forecourt of the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge

Police horses enjoy a bite to eat on the forecourt of the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge

Up to 250 'nourishing' meals are available every day from 11.30am, and will be accompanied by a 'warm Berkeley welcome'

Up to 250 ‘nourishing’ meals are available every day from 11.30am, and will be accompanied by a ‘warm Berkeley welcome’

An army of volunteers is delivering food from the Berkeley to people in sheltered accommodation and low-income households through the Westminster Connects initiative.

Along with delivering meals, volunteers are also delivering 800 grocery shops to help people who are unable to go shopping because they are isolating.  

Mr Wylde added that staff were keen to turn their skills to help their neighbours.

‘We are honoured to help support our local community at this very difficult time, and we are particularly proud of so many of our team at The Berkeley who have volunteered to step up and help,’ he said. 

The Berkeley is part of the Qatar-backed Maybourne Hotel Group, which also owns Claridge’s and The Connaught Group in London.

WHAT IS ON THE BERKELEY’S MENU?

Dish 1: Aromatic braised lamb, roasted butternut squash and spiced couscous.

Dish 2: Harissa-roasted chicken, herb gnocchi and baked courgettes.

Dish 3: Braised topside of beef, roasted root vegetables and herb potatoes.

Dish 4: Chicken and tomato curry, cumin rice, baked aubergine and chick peas.

Earlier this month it was announced that 1,200 staff from the group had been furloughed, with the government paying 80 per cent of their wages and the group paying the rest. 

Staff at the three hotels were told the furlough will be back dated to March 24. 

Claridges has remained open to allow NHS frontline workers to stay overnight between shifts.

The free accommodation also includes an evening meal with volunteers working to keep the hotel operating.

Up to 40 doctors and nurses from St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington are understood to have taken up the offer to stay at the hotel where rooms cost up to £600 a night.

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