Meet the team
He’s known as London’s restaurant king, and it’s safe to say that D&D Chairman & CEO Des Gunewardena is your man when it comes to all things hospitality. Lucky for us he’s dished all, on his favourite restaurants, the biggest challenges of his career and even offered his most important piece of advice for budding restaurateurs…
STIRRED, NEVER SHAKEN
Susanne comes to South Place Hotel from the Royal Exchange, where as Operations Manager she oversaw all-day dining in the Grand Café, fine dining in Sauterelle restaurant, and corporate events for up to 800 people. Prior to that, Susanne worked at the Connaught Hotel, having arrived in London from her native Germany in 2006. At South Place, Susanne oversees all of the operations in the hotel, restaurants and bars, including room service, private dining and events.
DIRECTOR OF SALES
MORE MEET THAN SLEEP
Sarah spent three years working at Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, most recently as Director of Marketing & Sales, before joining South Place Hotel in April 2012. As an independent sales consultant, Sarah’s clients included the Levant Group, Toptable, the Walbrook Club and Ladurée. Sarah’s appointment as Director of Sales is something of a homecoming: she was Director of Sales at Conran Restaurants (now D&D London) from 2002 to 2005.
Gary has 12 years’ experience of cooking and working in some of the UK’s most highly-acclaimed establishments. Beginning his career under the guidance of Richard Neat and Gary Rhodes, he has also held positions at The Vineyard at Stockcross and William Drabble’s Aubergine. Gary then progressed to head chef at The Square, the two Michelin-starred Anglo-French restaurant in Mayfair, prior to taking the helm of Angler in April 2016.
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
Penny is driven by commercial success while being passionate about maintaining positioning and building long term brand equity. Having moved to London over ten years ago, initially to study at University of the Arts, London, she has established a career within luxury marketing working within fashion, retail and most recently, the travel industry. From De Beers Diamond Jewellers she joined Café Royal as Head of Marketing in 2012, opening the hotel and launching a international communication campaign for the group, before joining D&D in January 2016 as Director of Marketing for South Place Hotel.
SOCIAL EVENTS MANAGER
Our dedicated wedding planner, Amy, will be your right hand woman. Making sure no detail is missed.