THE great kings and queens throughout history have often surveyed their kingdoms from suitable thrones.
But few could have had a seat as impressive as that used by Paris House chef Phil Fanning.
For the Michelin star winning chef can often be found looking over his kitchen while seated on a giant red sofa.
Built from scratch by Scottish upholsterers in the Paris House kitchen, Mr Fanning said the sofa provides ‘a comfortable cosy space in a potentially chaotic kitchen’.
But why such a striking colour?
“I can’t take any credit for that,” said Mr Fanning.
“The story goes, Alan (Murchison, Paris House executive chef) had an idea about the shape he wanted to get across to the designers.
“He drew them a quick sketch with the pen behind his ear and off the designers went.
“As the pen behind his ear is always red, the sketch was red and so, in the end, was the sofa.”
Mr Fanning said he uses the sofa for a variety of things including taking care of admin while staff carry out tasks like scrubbing the stoves.
“It’s main use is obviously to have a guest sat there to enjoy the entertainment of a busy kitchen in operation while we serve them as much food and wine as they can handle.
Set in 22 acres of parkland near Woburn, Michelin-starred Paris House is part of The 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group.
And Mr Fanning said sister restaurant L’ortolan in Reading has a similar set-up.
“The sofa is smaller but in it’s place is a huge fish tank filled with tropical fish.
“I worked for Alan Murchison at L’ortolan for about three years before I came to Paris House.
“The concept of a chefs table is not unique, but our sofa is absolutely 100 per cent unique and we love it.”
The sofa does have one other more homely use though.
“It’s also pretty good for a mid-afternoon power nap,” added Mr Fanning.