Grouse still on menu at The Ritz, despite various claims
Grouse is being offered on multiple menus at The Ritz London, despite claims published in the Observer that the hotel had dropped it, reports Matt Cross
The claim that The Ritz had abandoned grouse originated with anti-shooting campaign group Wild Moors, who stated online that grouse had been dropped from the famous hotel’s menu. Wild Moors has a long standing record for spreading unfounded claims around grouse shooting and within a few hours of it being circulated the story had already been widely debunked. (Find our tips for cooking grouse here.)
Respect wildlife and the environment?
Then don’t serve grouse.
Behind every shot grouse on a restaurant menu is a moor where foxes, stoats and weasels have suffered in traps and snares, and carbon-rich peatlands set ablaze.https://t.co/ZQcu0brqna
— Wild Moors (@wildmoorsuk) August 21, 2022
Key to proving it was wrong was a recording of a telephone call in which the caller received confirmation from the hotel that they were just waiting for the first birds of the season to arrive. This did not stop it being welcomed by Green Party Peer Natalie Bennett who spread the story via Twitter claiming it was “#goodnews”. Extraordinarily, the Observer chose to report the Wild Moors assertions under the headline: “Game over – The Ritz takes grouse off the menu in victory for environment campaigners.”
The newspaper apparently contacted The Ritz and when they did not receive a formal denial of the story they chose to run it. Despite serious questions over the story’s veracity Lady Bennett doubled on her praise saying: “Driven grouse shooting so clearly on the way out – we can end the year-round slaughter on the uplands”
However the shooting community was vigorously at work fact checking the claims. Enterprising shooting fans, dug through the hotel’s current menus and rapidly found that the Weekday a La Carte menu featured ‘Yorkshire Grouse Blackberry and Walnut’. Others scoured The Ritz’s social media feeds and spotted an Instagram post announcing: “Today it is the Glorious 12th, the first day of the grouse shooting season. Each year our Executive Chef, John Williams MBE, creates a seasonal dish showcasing British grouse at its very best,” along with a picture of a grouse breast.
View this post on Instagram
With the hotel’s press team stonewalling all enquiries, individual shooting enthusiasts emailed the restaurant managers to find out what the situation was and were assured that grouse was definitely on the menu. Final confirmation came from Ritz Communications Director Jackie McDevitt who said: “Yorkshire grouse is on the menu in The Ritz restaurant and has been since the 12th of August.”
Wild Moors have deleted their claim, however at time of going to press the Observer have not made any changes to their story.