Squatters take over Princess Diana’s favourite restaurant in Knightsbridge

The restaurant that was once a popular haunt of Princess Di, The Rolling Stones and Jack Nicholson has fallen victim to squatters.

Updated on • Written By Ellie Donnell

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Squatters take over Princess Diana’s favourite restaurant in Knightsbridge

A group of squatters has taken over the San Lorenzo restaurant in Knightsbridge, a now shuttered restaurant that was once a favourite haunt of Princess Diana amongst other A-list celebrities.

How times have changed. The Beauchamp Place restaurant which served the rich and famous for six glamorous decades has recently fallen into the hands of squatters - a group of around 15 who describe themselves as a ‘musician’s collective’.


A letter outside the door reads: ‘We are a collective of individuals in a state of homelessness, and our intention is not to cause distress but to seek temporary haven.'

Residents and workers complained of ‘loud, banging’ music coming from the building, while many local businesses are concerned that more squatters may move into other abandoned premises in the area.

However, one of the squatters claimed they are in fact helping to maintain the premises. ‘We are all musicians and are actually looking after this building because it was in a really bad state,’ he said. He claimed that the group are making repairs on the building, although he did admit that he ‘didn’t know the history of the restaurant’.

They have been able to temporarily reside in the building because it is classed as commercial property, and squatting is only illegal if it involves residential property. Landlords of commercial property must go through pain-staking legal action to remove the group.

A restaurant manager of Maroush opposite San Lorenzo spotted the squatters three weeks ago. He told The Independent: ‘I called her [the owner] to tell her there were about 15 people inside and asked if she had found people to rent it but she said no. It’s completely wrong. They use the electricity and the building is worth millions.

‘It’s not good for business and the businesses along here are worried it could happen to them next.’

Princess Diana used to visit San Lorenzo regularly with her sons Prince Harry and Prince William. The restaurant was a popular haunt amidst an A-list clientele, with other frequenters including Kate Moss, Margaret Thatcher and Jack Nicholsen. The Rolling Stones apparently once rang the doorbell at 3am requesting dinner after a late-night recording session. And Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton chose it as the spot to celebrate after winning the 1966 World Cup. It’s fair to say the restaurant has had a pretty good innings.

San Lorenzo originally opened in 1963 and stayed open for nearly 60 years. However, it sadly fell victim to the pandemic and was forced to close its doors at the beginning of lockdown.

It is understood that the owners have begun legan action to have the squatters evicted. 

In other restaurant news, Taylor Swift and her A-list entourage were recently spotted leaving this glamorous Notting Hill restaurant.

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