Is the home of hospitality in the city of London with a reputation for fine food & wine.
The Innholders are one of about a hundred livery companies in the city. Their origins lie in the mediaeval guilds, which where formed under licence of the crown and the corporation to regulate their crafts, trades or services within the square mile.
Many are incorporated by Royal Charter and together they comprise the electorate from which the Lord Mayor, the two Sheriffs, and some other Officers of the city are chosen. The Innholders stand 32nd in the precedence of livery companies and have provided five Lord Mayors.
For further information please go to our historical website.
Born in Austria, growing up on a small farm in a mountain village surrounded by fields, forests, rivers and lakes gave him his first inspiration and interest in good food. Everything was home produced or gathered from the wild and tasted full of natural flavours. At a very early age he started to cook with his parents, both wonderful home cooks, and at the age of nine his decision to become a chef was made.
He trained at the Grand Hotel Zell and See and catering college Salzburg. Followed by five years in some of Switzerland's finest hotels before moving to England, working at the Connaught Hotel, Claridges, Head Chef at the Mirabelle and Executive Chef at the Cafe Royal.
Stages in France included world famous establishments like Robuchon, Maxims, The Ritz, The Bristol and Troigros.
Herbert received his first Michelin star at the Connoisseur, followed by a star for the Grill Room at the Café Royal.
In 1998 he became Chef Partner at 1 Lombard Street which became the favorite city destination for fine food, again rewarded with a Michelin star for the restaurant.
He has received many accolades and awards; "Mention d'honneur Prix Pierre Taittinger" - "Maitrisse Escoffier" - "Cordon Rouge, Association Culinaire de France" and has been the subject of many reviews, features, media appearances including Master Chef and radio. He is a member of many professional organisations including the Academy of Culinary Arts and the Reunion des Gastronomes.
He works closely with schools and professional bodies to promote and educate young chefs and believes in staying in the kitchen to look after his guests.
In 2012 he formed Berger Restaurants Ltd and took over the exclusive catering contract to Innholders Hall opening the doors to the public and positioning this unique Livery hall as the destination for fine food in the square mile.
Events & Marketing Manager
Elena brings a wealth of passion, flair and experience to Innholders Hall.
She has been in the events industry for over 17 years and has worked for some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry, including Marco Pierre White, The Royal Garden Hotel, Sanderson & St Martin’s Lane and Herbert Berger at 1 Lombard Street to name but a few. She has also worked with 'A' list celebrities organising amongst many other prestigious events, the Bafta & Brit awards.
Elena has vast experience and knowledge in planning weddings, parties, gastronomic events, batmitzvahs, conferences and corporate events, so you can be confident that regardless of the size, needs or importance of your function, your enquiry will be dealt with professionally, friendly and promptly.
From your initial enquiry to the conclusion of your event Elena will be there every step of the way to give you the support, advice and service that will make your event the very best it can be and more.
After training at the Ambassador Hotel in Paris Tim returned to London working at Langan's Brasserie and the two Michelin starred Connaught hotel where he first worked with Herbert some 30 years ago.
He held Sous Chef positions at Inn on The Park and The Savoy followed by eleven years as Head Chef at the Petersham Hotel.
He then went to work with Chef Patron Herbert Berger at 1 Lombard Street for 12 years. Tim was Herbert's right-hand man and together they established great food in the city and earned amongst many accolades including the Michelin star for the restaurant.
They make the perfect team hence Tim followed Herbert Berger to Innholders' hall to continue this partnership.
Arnaud started his training in a pastry shop in Monbeliard where he was taught all the foundations in the art of pastry making.
After his training he joined 2 Michelin stared Jean Paul Jeunet at the Hotel de Paris in Arbois, his home region, for two years. Arnaud then went on to work in the world famous 3 star Michelin restaurant George Blanc, Relais et Chateau.
He finally made the decision to come to London, UK and went to work with Herbert as Head Pastry Chef at 1 Lombard Street and Noble Rot for over 9 years. He took a year out working in Canada in a leading restaurant before returning to London rejoining Herbert at 1 Lombard Street and finally following him to Innholders Hall.
Arnaud also did a course at the famous school Le Notre in Paris where he perfected the art of making bread and croissants. We are proud and delighted to say that Arnaud bakes all our bread, Danish and croissants.
He has won several competitions and has also taken part in the Food and wine Festival in Melbourne.
Front of House Manager
David Campbell started his career on the QE2 at the age of 17 as a Commis waiter he went round the world four times and he also went on numerous Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises. He worked on board for 11 years and during this time he was promoted to Restaurant Manager.
His roles have varied from five star Hotels to Seafood and Oyster bars where he was a General Manager for eight years. He then moved into casinos for over twenty years looking after very discerning clientele as Casino Services Manager.
In 2007 he joined Herbert Berger at 1 Lombard Street as Brasserie Manager where he won the hearts of many highflying city executives. He worked with Herbert for five years before moving with him to Innholders' Hall as Front of House Manager.
David is a real people's person and is very aware of every client's individual needs and requests. He is very passionate and experienced about service and thoroughly enjoys looking after his clients.
John Cash MBE
John joined the Royal Navy as a Steward in 1976 and left 30 years later as a Warrant Officer 1 Steward. Serving in every type of warship and running Admiral's Residences both at home and abroad. His final appointment in the Royal Navy was as the Steward's Training Office responsible for the training of all Stewards' at every level.
Moving to the City of London he became the Hall Manager and Beadle to the Worshipful Company of Innholders' in 2006 in, 2007 became the Beadle to WCO Cook's and then in 2011 became the Ward Beadle to Dowgate Ward and Alderman Alison Gowman. Married for 35 years John has two children Ben 28 and Reanne 25. A regular runner, keen gardener and with an unhealthy obsession with Manchester City!
Awarded the MBE in the 2007 New Years honor's list for services to the Royal Navy.
We craft contemporary, classic and seasonal cooking using carefully sourced ingredients.
Receive guests in the Georgian style Reception serving pre-dinner drinks before entering the Dining Hall.
Check our Wedding Availability using or interactive calendar!
The Great Hall
The Great Hall, or Dining Hall, is central to the Worshipful Company’s hospitality, providing seating for over 85 people in splendid and historic surroundings.
The Hall is richly panelled in oak, the original cladding dating from 1670, with subsequent renovations and restoration - the most recent in 1941, following bomb damage.
There is a 17th century minstrels’ gallery, originally sited across the north-east corner, but now repositioned centrally on the east wall.
New Court Room
The New Court Room, suitable for Conferences or Board Meetings for up to 30 people is a wonderful amalgam of traditional panelling and twenty-first century furnishings.
To celebrate the Millennium the Innholders commissioned John Makepeace to design and make a set of tables and chairs and a carpet to complement the furniture.
Old Court Room
Leading off the Reception Area, the Old Court Room is situated on the ground Floor and is an ideal size for small meetings, for entertaining guests at a reception or for holding a dinner for up to 30 people.
The room boasts a wonderful plaster ceiling, dated 1670 and a rare example of the domestic plasterwork from the Restoration period. It has a central oval moulding of fruit with spandrels at each corner, one containing the date 1670, the other the City’s red cross of St George, the arms of the Company and those of the sovereign, Charles II respectively.
The Return of Herbert Berger
An interview with CCS
After 14 years behind the stove at one of the City of London's most acclaimed restaurants 1 Lombard Street, we caught up with Herbert Berger at his brand new home in the city – Innholders Hall.
On a cold but fresh October day we were welcomed into the warmth and grandeur of this magnificent building tucked away along College Street in the city. Before we entered we had no idea of what was to greet us on the other side of this fairly unassuming but highly polished and decorated black door. While we stood waiting for Herbert to join us we had an opportunity to take in the magnificent reception rooms and in particular the fabulous Great Hall which we could only start to imagine must have played host to some of the most magnificent functions and dinners in the past. The Innholders Hall is the home of hospitality in the City and is one of a hundred Livery Companies and the one most closely linked to our industry. There is no doubting that this establishment was steeped in history and everything around the building suggested this but what for it's new future with Berger at the helm, the first Michelin Chef to be associated with a livery company.
At this the man himself arrived, an imposing figure but straight away he put us at ease with his calm tone and Austrian twang. Our first question, having had time to absorb this wonderful venue, was simply why here, as there must have been plenty of opportunities and propositions for him to consider?
"When I left Lombard Street I took some time out, had lots of lunches, many interesting meetings and quite a bit of fun too, most of all I did a lot of thinking. I was amazed and honoured how many people were so supportive and encouraging for which I am very grateful". Berger continues, "I looked at hotels, almost bought one with a friend and partner, considered gastro pubs with rooms in the country side and there is always 'that' fast food concept I had in mind for many years. I may still do it one day. Whatever I did next had to work at this stage in my life, after a hard divorce and parting as a partner from 1 Lombard Street after almost 14 years. It had to be financially successful as well as enjoyable, satisfying, making use of my knowledge and long career, giving something back and most of all I wanted to be in control of my own destination. I had too many experiences whereby I made companies very successful, gained the M=star for three establishments, but unfortunately too many times I lost out due to takeovers, sales and changes beyond my control. However I am not complaining as I held some amazing positions, met incredible people and every time it lead me on to another, even better and more exciting project and by all accounts this move looks the same."
So you decided on staying in the city, all be it in a very different environment. How did the opportunity come about?
"I happened to sit next to the Clerk, Dougal Bulger, (of Innholders Hall) at a Reunion for the Gastronomes dinner, chatted and one thing led to another. At the time I knew things were coming to an end at 1L, I was looking for a move and he invited me round for a look at the livery hall as they were considering outsourcing their catering and they were clear that they wanted someone dedicated and not just another outside caterer. I handed in my proposal, went through the beauty contest and won the bid. It is an amazing place with incredible history dating back to 1473 and on top of it, it was the Innholders, the home of hospitality. It has three beautiful rooms, the size suited me and I was attracted by the idea that it would be almost catering in a large grand private house, no a la carte to deal with, just total focus on each party. I have always believed that Michelin star food can be done for large numbers, it is only a question of menu design, logistics and resources. Of course I also saw a hidden gem and a unique business opportunity too. Everything is there, I just had to bring in modern chefs equipment and some nice china and glasses plus a few other little touches. To be fair and honest I did not want to enter the fickle world of trendy places and all that is associated with them these days. After 44 years in the industry I felt I have done that, enjoyed it, loved it, made many wonderful contacts and benefited from it having gained the Michelin Star three times and held it for many many years. I was also looking for a better quality of life style."
You are the first Michelin Star Chef to be associated with one of the Livery Companies and the one most relevant to our industry – what is your ultimate goal as Chef Director of the Innholders Hall?
"I believe so and I am amazed that it has not happened before. These are unique places, absolute gems and could not ever be recreated. My aim is to make Innholders Hall the Livery Hall with the best food and service for all and any occasion and attract a much wider audience. Livery Halls have traditionally been very secret and inaccessible. I want to open the doors to the public to enjoy and eat great and real food although it will be events only. However we can do a table in the Old Court Room for as few as four or six people but going up to thirty".
You have been recognised for bringing a lot of young chefs over the years through the ranks, for them to go on and have their own success. How much of an importance is this to you in addition to creating the very finest dishes.
"There are many great chefs, famous or not who have worked for me and have gone on to do very well. I don't want to single out a few, but my biggest satisfaction is having helped, guided and trained many young chefs, put them on the right track or helped them along, often from difficult backgrounds or having come out of horror kitchens. I enjoy creating a healthy environment, teaching real skills, real cooking, consistency and running a civilised kitchen. Thinking as professionals with the ability to work with management and understanding the business side of cooking is also very important to me".
Please can you tell us a little about the brigade you have at the Innholders Hall and how it differs from the normal restaurant environment you were used to at 1 Lombard Street.
"Well, I am very fortunate, Elena Leva the sales and marketing manager, head chef Tim Richardson and pastry chef Arnaud Viatte have all joined me. David Campbell, the front of house manager, will arrive shortly. Together we clock up over 32 years working together – that makes an incredibly strong team with unparalleled experience, passion and knowledge. Just what is needed for this place. We will cater for all sorts of events and cook a huge repertoire from very modern to seasonal, lots of game and all the amazing old classics. The difference and real beauty is that when we prepare for a party that’s all we concentrate on, it's cooked by us alone, I love hands on cooking and we are not distracted with a la carte and other interferences. It is also an incredible learning ground for youngsters as they will be working with us directly."
Thank you for your time today Herbert and allowing us the privilege of exploring and learning about the Innholders Hall. For more information visit www.innholders.co.uk
The Emerging Business Leaders iin Hospitality
An evening with Michelin Star Chef Herbert Berger
In the first of a series of “An evening with - ” events, the EBLH Network was entertained in great style at the historic Innholders’ Hall last night, by Michelin Star Chef Herbert Berger.
Giving some history to the building and outlining his plans for the future, Herbert was a gracious host and entertained all with excellent food and wine.
For all events enquiries please contact:
Elena Leva, Events & Marketing Manager
T 020 7236 6703 (Option 1)
M 078 0714 2176
30 College Street, London EC4R 2RH
Nearest Underground Stations: Cannon Street, Bank