The name might escape many readers, but her face and persona won’t to anyone who ate at Joe Allen in these past 20 years. Rachel was first a waiter, then moved to the bar and became Head Barman. Here she met another barman, Brad, and fell in love. Like one Martini follows another, along came son Louis.
Time then next door, through what’s known as ‘the Hobbit Hole’, for a stint at JA’s ‘other’ place, the Italian ‘Orso’ and back came Rachel to Joe Allen in ’96 as one of the front of house team working with Cathy - the friendly, everything’s possible faces at the desk and voice on the ‘phone. Joe Allen set a reception standard that many, many other London restaurants could well choose to follow.
I called a few days ago for some information and learned that Rachel had passed on in April. Shocking. Another good soul lost to cancer.
Rachel spent her early life in Africa where her father, as a water engineer, figured that fresh water and decent sanitation was better than gifts to the locals. He put this into action and became a founder member of Oxfam (the family came from, Ox-ford).
Thank you for sharing all you shared with us Rachel Howard RIP. We miss you.