Anyone passing the former Piccolo Mondo restaurant in the Milford on Sea High Street will have noticed a major transformation taking place. The complete renovation of the frontage, dining areas and kitchen is being completed by new owner Lionel Sene, Emily his wife, all of the in-laws & kids! New to the village, Lionel & his young family are not only creating an exciting new dining option for us all, but he & his family are also now living near the village centre.
Lionel is to be both the owner & head chef of the soon to be named ‘La Perle’. As some readers will know my wife & I once emigrated to France & the translation to ‘The Pearl’ was not hardship pour votre rédacteur! Yes. Lionel is indeed a Frenchman, and a charming one at that. Originally from Hautvillers, Epernay in the beautiful Champagne area, he is now looking forward to becoming part of our village life. He has been working as a chef for 17 years and is passionate about food. Having completed his apprenticeship in the Royal Champagne Hotel & Le Grand Cerf – both acclaimed 1 Michelin star restaurants in eastern France. Lionel then moved to Paris and worked in the famous 2 Michelin Star Hotel Crillon alongside Dominique Bouchet, then Head Chef.
In the following years Lionel has combined his love of travelling & cooking moving to Switzerland to work in the famous Mandarin Hotel in Geneva, followed by his first experience of England at Chewton Glen and then Pebble Beach. He met Emily, his future English wife in Australia & has now arrived to settle in Milford on Sea.
Le Perle is Lionel’s first venture and combines his idea of fresh, tasty & locally sourced European cuisine. His focus for the restaurant is to create a cosy, friendly environment with fresh, tasty & authentic dishes at a reasonable price. I for one are looking forward to when he opens the door in early June.