Marco Pierre White's former executive chef to open restaurant with partner in Old Portsmouth

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Old Portsmouth is set to welcome a brand new restaurant which will be opening its doors in time for Valentine's Day.

Caitlyn Odin, 22, and Jordan Thompson, 31, have made the decision to combine their skills to create a brand new venue in the city. Taking over the former site of Nell's Cafe, Smoke and Mirrors will offer 'luxury affordable dining' and the couple are very excited to open the restaurant's doors.

Jordan has been in the food industry for the past 14 years and he has worked with huge names including Marco Pierre White who he has a close connection with. Caitlyn is a dab hand in the hospitality business and she has previously worked as a supervisor in a pub near Goodwood. The couple are hoping that the their skills will pave the way for Smoke and Mirrors.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The venue will be a lounge by day, serving up breakfast, brunch and lunches, and by night, it will be transformed into an atmospheric restaurant perfect for a romantic date night. Currently, the pair are working on getting the restaurant ready to open and they are hoping to be up and running in time for Valentine's Day next month.

Jordan said: "I have been Marco Pierre White's executive chef for the last three years as his house in Wiltshire. I am from Portsmouth myself and it has always been my passion to come back and open a place and offer my talent and skill set to my home town.

"It is tough to see so many places that aren't around anymore so it is nice to bring the culinary skill back to Portsmouth and showcase what I can do.

"It is going to be affordable dining. I am trained in British, French and Italian cuisine so it is going to take the skill set I have and offer a combination of it all.

"We are really excited."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jordan and Caitlyn said that their new business venture has been welcomed by the local community and the response has been incredible. They said that their neighbours, The Barbers, have been 'amazing' as they have been promoting Smoke and Mirrors on social media.

The pair started looking for a venue back in September 2023 and they finally stumbled across the former Nell's site which closed down last year - and they have innovative ideas for the decor inside.

Caitlyn said: "It has been a process. We had to get the change of use for the premises because it was originally a cafe and then we had to get a premises licence and that has all taken a while.

"It is luxury, affordable dining - it is going to be nice dining but the price point isn't going to break the bank for anyone.

"It has been amazing."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.