'Sacre bleu', cordon bleu: Ramsay to crack France

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Gordon Ramsay, the UK's best-known chef, could be about to achieve the culinary equivalent of sending coals to Newcastle.

Blackstone, the private equity group that has backed several of Mr Ramsay's restaurants, including his latest venture in New York, has acquired the palatial Trianon Palace & Spa Hotel outside Versailles in France for an estimated €150m (£101m).

The company is set to offer Mr Ramsay a chance to create a restaurant there, fulfilling his ambition to open a gastronomic experience in France. He has been involved with several restaurants in Blackstone hotels, including the Savoy, Claridge's and the Connaught in London.

A spokesman for Mr Ramsay said: "Gordon has always wanted to own a restaurant in France. He may do it with Blackstone or he may decide to go it alone."

Blackstone, one of the world's largest hotel owners, is to spend €16m on renovating Trianon Palace . Mr Ramsay is currently working flat-out to ensure the success of his new restaurant at another Blackstone hotel, the London in New York.