United Kingdom

Police on horseback in restaurant 'bust'

Police on horseback were stationed outside an upmarket London restaurant yesterday amid reports of a Covid-busting office party in full swing in the basement.

Staff were heard arguing with officers in the street outside Frog in Covent Garden, run by former MasterChef finalist Adam Handling. 

Under the current lockdown rules, restaurants and bars must remain closed, but can provide takeaway food and drink.

Police on horseback were stationed outside an upmarket London restaurant yesterday amid reports of a Covid-busting office party in full swing in the basement

A Met spokesman said police on routine patrol noticed ‘a significant number of people’ inside the restaurant and spoke to the ‘owner’ about the national restrictions.

‘All diners left the premises shortly after and no arrests were made,’ said the spokesman.

It is not clear if Mr Handling, 31, was on the premises of the restaurant he opened in 2017.

Last night no one from Frog could be reached for comment.

Callers to the restaurant receive a message saying the premises are ‘closed due to the Government restrictions’ and will open again on December 2.

A woman who spoke to a policewoman on horseback at the scene said: ‘She told me it was an illegal Christmas party and that they were breaking it up.

‘People walking past were furious when they realised what was going on. It was all so blatant. Polystyrene was used to block the windows, but that only attracted more attention.’ 

Mr Handling began cooking at 16 and trained at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. His big break was on TV where he made the final of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013. 

However, he was accused of being ‘mean’ last year when six contestants had to produce top-class dishes under his guidance at Frog.

It is not clear if Mr Handling, 31, was on the premises of the restaurant he opened in 2017

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