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Le Gavroche earns £1.9m from high-profile wine auction

A high-profile auction featuring hundreds of world-class wines from Le Gavroche’s cellar earned £1.9m this month.

The esteemed restaurant, Le Gavroche, closed in January after owner Michel Roux Jr. decided to focus on other projects.

His father and uncle, Albert Roux and Michel Roux Sr., opened the restaurant in the heart of London’s Mayfair district back in 1967.

It was the first UK restaurant to gain three Michelin stars, and it helped to launch the careers of celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White and Marcus Wareing.

There were still hundreds of bottles of high-end wine in the cellar when it closed, so the owners decided to sell them at auction.

Christie’s, which oversaw the auction, sold all 670 lots at strong average prices, earning a total of £1,877,038.

One of the most eagerly anticipated lots featured seven bottles of Richebourg 1993 from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. That lot sold for £35,000, smashing its estimate of £14,000 to £22,000.

Meanwhile, two magnums of Château Lafite Rothschild 1945 sold for £15,000 against an estimate of £6,000 to £8,000. Magnums of Krug 1971 & 1975 also beat their estimates by realising £9,375.

Tim Tiptree MW, international director of wine and spirits at Christie’s, said: ‘We are thrilled with the results of the sale, which is the first single-owner sale of what is an incredibly exciting season ahead.’

Le Gavroche also auctioned off a range of artworks and mementos from the restaurant to raise money for charity.

Items included the guestbook, which featured signatures from more than 500 famous guests, including Charlie Chaplin, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Barbra Streisand. This guestbook had an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000, but it was eventually sold for £37,800.

This part of the auction earned a total of £392,238, of which £18,900 will be donated to industry charity Hospitality Action.

Michel Roux Jr. said: ‘I am delighted with the results of the two-part auction celebrating the cherished artworks, special items and wines from Le Gavroche. It has been truly remarkable witnessing such spirited bidding for pieces of the restaurant’s rich history.

‘These items hold immense significance for the Roux family, and I am pleased to see these iconic pieces find new homes.’

This summer, he will open ‘Le Gavroche residencies at sea’ on board two luxury cruise ships –  Cunard’s Queen Anne and Queen Mary 2, which will travel from the UK to Norway.


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