No fuming please: Gordon Ramsay to ban cigarettes

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If you're looking to live dangerously, and skydiving's too tame, try lighting up a cigarette in one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants after 1 September.

If you're looking to live dangerously, and skydiving's too tame, try lighting up a cigarette in one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants after 1 September.

The famously irascible chef has banned smoking in all seven of his fashionable London eateries from that date, he announced yesterday. You will light up thereafter at your peril. Mr Ramsay, 37, Britain's highest-profile kitchen celebrity, said many customers of his Michelin-starred restaurants had asked for the ban. He said he was giving people plenty of time to cancel or change reservations if they wish to.

"As a chef with a sensitive palate, I have always found it unpleasant to be surrounded by smoke while eating in a restaurant," he said.

"I believe that all my customers deserve maximum enjoyment from their experiences of my restaurants, and for most people that includes breathing clean air.

"I have received many letters from non-smokers, and even a few from smokers, complaining that eating in the restaurants had been marred by smoke and urging us to ban smoking.

"We have decided that now is the time to implement such a ban."

The ban will affect all seven restaurants which form Mr Ramsay's London gastronomic empire. There will be total bans in three restaurants: Gordon Ramsay (Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea); Petrus; and Banquette. Partial bans will apply at Mr Ramsay's eponymous restaurant at Claridge's, and also at his restaurants at two other London grand hotels, The Connaught and The Savoy. At the Boxwood Café there will be a smoking section upstairs.

The ban may be a sign of things to come, and a first step in London following cities such as New York and Dublin in banning smoking in all restaurants.

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