London's 'most romantic' restaurant had mouse droppings in kitchen

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Clos Maggiore
Image caption,
Clos Maggiore was given a one out of five hygiene rating earlier this year

A restaurant dubbed London's "most romantic" has been given a dire hygiene rating after mouse droppings were found in the kitchen.

Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden was given a one out of five hygiene rating by Westminster City Council on 28 February.

A health official found a mouse infestation, with droppings on the kitchen floor and in a storage room.

The French restaurant said it was now pest-free.

The King Street establishment, which has frequently been described as the most romantic restaurant in London, is well known for its cosy interior with cherry blossoms dangling from the ceiling.

'Eliminate these pests'

Dishes at the swanky restaurant include lobster, caviar, venison and a side of mashed potato with truffle priced at £8.50. It also boasts an "award-winning" wine list, including a bottle of red that costs £39,000.

A hygiene report from an inspector said, in addition to mice, there were run-down chopping boards and poor cleaning practices, according to a report obtained by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The inspector said: "During the inspection mice droppings were noted on the floor in the kitchen and dry storage room. Appropriate treatment methods must be used to eliminate these pests."

The inspector also found there was a risk of food contamination at the restaurant because raw fish had been vacuum-packed using the same machine used for "ready-to-eat" food.

'Accelerated revisit'

The report warned: "There is a significant risk of cross-contamination with pathogenic bacteria present in raw food… if the same vacuum-packing machine is used to process raw and ready-to-eat foods."

A spokesperson for Clos Maggiore said the restaurant had made all the recommended changes and an external pest control agency had since found no evidence of activity.

The spokesperson added: "I want to reiterate that our new executive chef (who has taken on these relevant responsibilities) has already returned the kitchen equipment to its original position and improved the airflow.

"Not only have all the points from the report been addressed but we have contacted the environmental health officer to request an accelerated revisit and rating update as soon as possible."

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