Serial entrepreneur Jonathan Turner has acquired The Yorke Arms – one of Yorkshire’s six Michelin starred restaurants run by highly acclaimed chef, Frances Atkins – for an undisclosed sum.
Ms Atkins, the country’s first female chef to win a Michelin star in 2003, will stay on at the 18th century coaching house by the river Nidd in Ramsgill with her established team who include general manager, John Tullett, head chef, Roger Olive and Kirsty Beverley who looks after housekeeping.
Mr Turner, CEO of The Bayford Group and owner of leading hospitality venue, Bowcliffe Hall, will spearhead a high-end refurbishment programme at the historic The Yorke Arms – the former site of an 11th century monastic cheesery.
The purchase highly complements the entrepreneur’s stable of businesses which span the oil, gas, energy, property, hospitality and wedding sectors.
Mr Turner said:
I have always admired the drive and talent of Frances who is respected for her culinary creativity and is a champion of local, seasonal produce. We share a collective passion to further enrich and enhance Yorkshire’s rich heritage and I’m looking forward to working closely with her and her talented team.
Frances, a fellow of the Masterchefs of Great Britain, and one of only six female Michelin starred chefs in the UK, commented:
We were all set to embark for pastures new, but Jonathan’s deep rooted love of Yorkshire, his style and panache are very infectious and it really struck a chord with me. He has a genuine enthusiasm to create something even more special here and we hit it off straight away. I am thrilled to be part of his new team as we set out to deliver new, exciting plans for The Yorke Arms.
Specialist hotel consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), took the property to market and identified The Bayford Group as a potential buyer due to its portfolio of high-end restaurant, wedding and licensed businesses.
Alistair Greenhalgh, the director from LSH who headed up the sale, said:
Like The Bayford Group, there are a number of investors actively looking for opportunities for country house venues like The Yorke Arms, due to the increased appetite in the staycation market.
We wish Jonathan and Frances all the very best for the future and feel sure the business will go from strength to strength.