Goodbye to Dear Friends
Donal Musgrave RIP
We said goodbye to our dear friend Donal Musgrave, Donal and his wife Shirley have been friends of Patsy and myself for over 50 years. Donal, a great journalist and friend, came with us on many of wine trips to meet the best winemakers around France. Donal was my secret weapon in contacting these eminent people due to his empathy allowing me , a small restauranteur from Ireland, to deal directly with some great producers. There I would be rushing to our next appointment whilst Donal would still be in deep conversation with his new friends. I would bet that the wine confraternity in Chateauneuf du Pape still have mixed memories of our visit there, as Donal beat them at their own game of boules!!
The sight of Miss France and Miss Senegal gaping in wonder at Donal and Shirley doing the Charleston is a lifetime memory for anyone who saw it, when the entire dance floor of hundreds of people stopped and applauded. Donal's love of life and family was transmitted to me and many others.
We will miss him so very much.
Alfie Lyons Rip
Alfie had a wonderfully quixotic restaurant with Shirley his loving life partner called The Basil Bush in Ballydehob with some of the best (and slowest) food I have ever eaten. We were greeted as we sat at the table with a breadboard of a whole loaf of sourdough. So when I opened Arbutus Bread, it was Alfie’s influence that started me on the journey.
Alfie spoke many languages, Italian, as spoken only by Alfie. Russian again was an Alfie special, and many others. His singing voice (and he always sang for his supper) could sound like a trained singer, though the language would only be his own! A true Dub, yet at the same time a San Francisco hippy, a wonderful friend and a friend to the world.
The late Albert Roux
Albert, who was the first 3 star Michelin restauranteur in England, used to visit us at Arbutus Lodge in the old days. A most charming man always open to new influences, he first discovered Pauline Bewick at Arbutus as we had featured her on our menu covers. Albert commissioned Pauline to do menu covers, ashtrays etc.
Le Gavroche had some of the most exciting food in England at the time, and we actually sent some of our kitchen brigade there for work experience. We are poorer without his influence