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Meet the people behind the crabtree

We have been very fortunate in having some great people to work with us at The Crabtree.
Our policy is to attract bright, motivated, professionals who have a passion and knowledge for food, drink and service.

Simon Hope


The Head Honcho

Originally from Kent, he studied Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University before moving to London to run the legendary Food for Thought restaurant in Covent Garden.
In 1981 he opened Food for friends restaurants in Brighton followed by Food For Friends Patisserie in 1986 and is the author of 3 cookery books. Since 2004 he has pursued a career in event catering with Food Solutions Partnership, consultancy and journalism.

Jon Gilham-Hills


The Architect

Quite simply Jon is probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet!
He's also a perfectionist with an attention to detail that means we will have not only the best kept cellar in Sussex but also a fine selection of English, Organic, Vegetarian and Vegan wines.
Jon is a highly skilled carpenter and if you are joining us for dinner the chances are you'll be sitting at a table built by him!

Helen Totton

General Manager

The GM

Helen first started out her hospitality career in Cape Town then moved to London at the age of 19. She gained experience from nights clubs in Camden to Gastro Pubs in Soho, moving onto discover her passion of fine dining running 1 & 2 rosette restaurants in West Sussex. She brings with her a wealth of experience & an eye for detail.