Katie Exton

2019 profile

Co-owner and wine buyer – Lorne

Katie Exton began her career helping at English winery Breaky Bottom, followed by a stint at Majestic Wines. For more than 10 years she has worked as a sommelier in London, as head sommelier at Chez Bruce and The River Café. In 2017 she opened her own restaurant, Lorne, with chef Peter Hall, formerly of The Square.

Described as a “consummate professional with a sense of fun, contagious love for wine and an ability to explain it to almost anyone” by Wine List Confidential content editor Douglas Blyde, at Lorne, Exton offers a list that is fresh, balanced, affordable and highly drinkable. More than 50 of the bottles on offer cost £40 or less. Exton didn’t so much fall as dive head-first into the wine industry.

While a staffer at Majestic, the rising star met Terry Threlfall, then-head sommelier of chef Bruce Pool’s Michelin-starred Chez Bruce, in Wandsworth. It was Threlfall, she says, “who is really responsible for my early career as a sommelier”. She went on to work for Chez Bruce for seven years, until moving on to work for The River Cafe, and later The Square, where she met her current business partner, Peter Hall. The first bottle she fell in love with was a 1999 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Pucelles – which can fetch upwards of £300 per bottle – that she “could’ve smelled for days”.

For Exton, the true joy of being a sommelier comes from “visiting producers, seeing the vineyards, hearing their stories and then coming back to Lorne and sharing all that I’ve learned with our guests.” With such a need to travel and explore, she said that the most important thing she has learned on the job is to always take photos, as “your memory isn’t as good as you think”.

Nevertheless, Exton describes Lorne’s wine list as “quite personal”, shedding some light on the bond she has forged, not only with co-owner Hall and manager Gianluca Bono, but also the winemakers and people behind the bottles she serves.


Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Outlander star Sam Heughan gets first UK listing for whisky brand

Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser in hit TV show Outlander, has joined forces with chef Tom Kitchin whose quartet of Scottish venues will be the first in the UK to house the actor's single malt whisky brand.

More people brewing beer at home as the cost of a pint rises

Online searches for “home brew” and “home brew shop” have risen by 77% over the year, new research has revealed, with pubs at risk of closure amid rising costs.

Château d'Yquem and Hedonism Wines to host £7,500 dinner

The world-famous Sauternes producer and boutique wine retailer will be co-hosting an intimate dinner at the Michelin-starred Above at Hide on 21 December, pairing a decadent menu with rare wines, including a 211-year-old vintage.

World Cup offers critical sales uplift for UK hospitality venues

A fifth of consumers intend to visit their local pub specifically to tune in to the Fifa World Cup this year, providing a necessary boost to hospitality venues across the UK.

WLC recommends: Askham Hall, Cumbria

Douglas Blyde visits the medieval family home of the Earls of Lonsdale in Cumbria. There he explores the country houses and its "incredible cellar", containing the likes of Cos d’Estournel 1893 and Lafite 1994, and samples head chef Richard Swale's locally-sourced menu, including red deer tartare with truffle egg yolk. Taken from this year's Wine List Confidential guide, available to buy now.

Most Recent Stories

Outlander star Sam Heughan gets first UK listing for whisky brand

Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser in hit TV show Outlander, has joined forces with chef Tom Kitchin whose quartet of Scottish venues will be the first in the UK to house the actor's single malt whisky brand.

More people brewing beer at home as the cost of a pint rises

Online searches for “home brew” and “home brew shop” have risen by 77% over the year, new research has revealed, with pubs at risk of closure amid rising costs.

Château d'Yquem and Hedonism Wines to host £7,500 dinner

The world-famous Sauternes producer and boutique wine retailer will be co-hosting an intimate dinner at the Michelin-starred Above at Hide on 21 December, pairing a decadent menu with rare wines, including a 211-year-old vintage.

World Cup offers critical sales uplift for UK hospitality venues

A fifth of consumers intend to visit their local pub specifically to tune in to the Fifa World Cup this year, providing a necessary boost to hospitality venues across the UK.

WLC recommends: Askham Hall, Cumbria

Douglas Blyde visits the medieval family home of the Earls of Lonsdale in Cumbria. There he explores the country houses and its "incredible cellar", containing the likes of Cos d’Estournel 1893 and Lafite 1994, and samples head chef Richard Swale's locally-sourced menu, including red deer tartare with truffle egg yolk. Taken from this year's Wine List Confidential guide, available to buy now.