Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Smoking Ban? This Isonewe Prepared Earlier. TOP CHEFS LEAD THE WAY AS THEY STUB OUT CIGARETTES IN RESTAURANTS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Smoking Ban? This Isonewe Prepared Earlier. TOP CHEFS LEAD THE WAY AS THEY STUB OUT CIGARETTES IN RESTAURANTS

Article excerpt

Byline: KATHARINE BARNEY

AFTER months of lobbying and warnings of chaos, MPs voted yesterday to ban smoking in all pubs, clubs and restaurants.

But a poll of the best restaurants in the capital found that around half have already preempted a legal ban. Chefs such as Gordon Ramsay say their customers prefer a cleaner atmosphere, and they want diners to be able to concentrate on the quality of the food and wine.

Some chain restaurants have been slower to introduce smoking bans, but one-third of the major chains have introduced an outright ban.

Gordon Ramsay decided to ban smoking in all eight of his restaurants from September 2004.

The award- winning Chez Bruce, on Wandsworth Common, is also a smoke-free restaurant. A spokesman said: "We are an intimate restaurant so we don't want one person's smoking to impose on another."

However, some celebrity chefs, such as Antony Worrall Thompson, are standing firm until they are forced to put a ban in place.

Where to find ashtray-free tables in The Big Smoke. …

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