The new Furnace Kitchen restaurant, at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums site in Coalbrookdale, has been officially opened by HRH Princess Alexandra on Friday, 19 July.

During the visit, Her Royal Highness toured the Museum of Iron and Enginuity before unveiling a plaque at the entrance to The Furnace Kitchen. She was presented with a bouquet by Georgina Brown, a local school child, and meet with Marcus Bean, Executive Chef at The Furnace Kitchen as well as local dignitaries.

Delighted HRH Princess Alexandra opened the new Furnace Kitchen, Rory Hunter, Director of Commercial at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said; “It’s an honour to welcome Princess Alexandra at the official opening of our new destination restaurant. We are very excited to be able to offer visitors to our Museums, and all of the local community a new and relaxing dining experience.”

Bringing fantastic fresh and locally sourced food to Coalbrookdale, the Furnace Kitchen will open its doors to the public from Monday 22 July serving brunch, lunch, coffee and tea, cakes and main meals, between 8.30am and 5pm (9.30am-5pm Sundays) as well as selected evenings.

Returning to Shropshire where he first started his cookery career by opening a pub back in 2005, celebrity chef Marcus Bean’s passion for cooking has driven him to win Channel 4’s Iron Chef UK as well as making numerous TV appearances including ITV’s ‘This Morning’ and taking on a cookery school, bed and breakfast and a bespoke catering company.

The menu features an exciting mix of modern British cuisine and European classics, all hand-made in the state-of-the-art kitchen by a hand-picked team of chefs overseen by Marcus Bean. Daytime options will include barista-made coffee, home-made cakes and tasty light bites such as salads, sandwiches and slow cooked dishes, making the best of local and national produce. The Furnace Kitchen also has an on-site pizza oven, so they’ll be serving fresh, oven roasted pizzas, and a great selection of other dishes to suit all dietary requirements. There’s also a special children’s menu.

The new restaurant is located within the former Long Warehouse of the historic Coalbrookdale Company, where railway wagons would have once been loaded with their products. Taking its name from Abraham Darby’s Old Furnace, it has been designed to blend sympathetically with the historic site with open brick work, exposed concrete and wood. It also features tiles from nearby Jackfield Tile Museum.

To read What's On's interview with Executive Chef Marcus Bean, click here.