Friends mourn loss of St Albans restaurateur

PUBLISHED: 12:58 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 08:46 21 June 2010

Kate D'Arcy

Kate D'Arcy

Archant

A RESTAURANT entrepreneur who founded an award-winning establishment in St Albans lost her fight with cancer this week.

Katherine Rose D’Arcy, known to friends and family as Kate, passed away on Tuesday after struggling with the disease for seven years.

Kate, 37, and her business partner Ruth Hurren, both from Australia, set up Darcy’s in 2002 and since then the Hatfield Road restaurant has won praise from both the Which? Good Food Guide and Harden’s Restaurant Guide, as well as the title of Best Restaurant at last year’s St Albans Food and Drink Awards.

Passionate

Food and wine in the hospitality industry was Kate’s passion and Ruth, who also worked alongside Kate in Australia, said that she was the perfect front-of-house host: “Kate worked incredibly hard to create a welcoming space for people to celebrate life in beautiful surroundings, and she was always ready with a smile and a joke for anyone who walked through the door.”

She added: “Kate created a family at Darcy’s and inspired her staff to find the best in themselves and to continually move forward and push boundaries every day.

“For Kate, laughter was the best medicine and her positive outlook on life became a part of everyone she knew.”

Larger-than-life

Kate, whom Ruth also described as a “larger-than-life Aussie blonde”, died with family by her side including her mother Barbara D’Arcy and sister Alexandra D’Arcy.

“The unconditional care given by Alexandra and brother-in-law John Wilson made it possible for Kate to be at home during her last months,” Ruth said.

“For that we will always be grateful.”

Ruth, who hopes that Kate’s strength and determination will continue to permeate Darcy’s restaurant for many years to come, also expressed her thanks to Grove House Hospice, Macmillan nurses and district nurses for their care over the years.

The funeral will take place at midday next Thursday, June 24, at West Herts Crematorium in Garston.

White or lavender flowers may be sent through Phillips Funeral Directors in St Albans, and donations to Grove House Hospice are welcome.

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