Meet the Team

Meet your Chef – Phil Thompson


I am an Essex boy from Dagenham and began my career washing pots for my Uncle Mick in his kitchen! I spent the earlier half of my career working in London, the last 14 years living and working in Hertfordshire, which has become my new home. Since I first became a chef, it has been my big dream to have my own restaurant and you could say it is in my blood. My Mum, Nan and Uncle Mick (who latterly worked for me in my Kitchen at Brocket Hall) were all chefs, my Dad was a butcher and my sister still works as a chef. I became a restaurateur for the very first time in early November 2013.

January this year THOMPSON St Albans, (formerly known as THOMPSON@Darcy’s) announced a name change, fulfilling the first step of our future plans for the restaurant. During our first two years we have gained 2 AA Rosettes and the St Albans Chamber of Commerce 2015/16 ‘Best Restaurant Award’. As an independent restaurant our success is measured by the enjoyment, pleasure and feedback of our guests. Not only vital to the longevity of our business but also the satisfaction of our team, moral and real value in what we do.

THOMPSON St Albans is a relaxed fine dining environment, with a team of chefs in the kitchen, expert and well-trained front of house, who are literally bursting with passion and pride. As a fine dining restaurant, the most important thing to the team as a whole is that our guests have a wonderful dining experience, leaving us looking forward to the their next visit. Our menus are ever changing with the seasons, providing wonderful flavour combinations along with wines to match and delicious cocktails.

A special mention to the team “Thank you for your loyalty, support and commitment in making THOMPSON St Albans an amazing place to work and for our guests to enjoy a fabulous fine dining experience. I could not have done this without you and those that have demonstrated their tremendous loyalty in these initial years – it really is an honour to work with you – thank you!” Phil Thompson – Owner, THOMPSON St Albans.

Photograph taken at the St Albans Food and Drink Festival

Sales, Marketing & Operations Director – Marianne Gearing

Marianne-Gearing-205Born in Brighton, I grew up on a small farm in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, where I learnt all about hard work!  I quickly became used to getting up very early to look after the animals, putting them first but also finding time to fit in school work.

I always wanted my own money and this started at the age of 14; cleaning out rabbits, selling manure, washing the cars of those who kept their horses on our farm, doing chores, working in the local shop (for £1.50 an hour), babysitting … basically anything that earned me money.

As an adult, I spent 20 years in telecommunication sales and met Phil in 2010, the year before he competed in the Great British Menu, London and South region, with Tom Kerridge and Tom Atkinson.  He was working long hours as a Chef in the first 3 years I was with him, so I boldly suggested he took on a restaurant of his own, so he could work the hours he wanted to… little did I know!

We now run THOMPSON St Albans together, which is the most demanding, fulfilling and enjoyable thing I have ever done.  With Phil in the kitchen, managing the team and the restaurant day to day, while I am behind the scenes running the business, I love the marketing element of my role, planning our special events and sharing them with our guests.

A big, personal ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has supported us on our journey so far.

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