Entrepreneur buys Michelin-starred restaurant in Nidderdale

The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill

12:05am 9th November 2017
(Updated 12:10am 9th November 2017)

A serial entrepreneur has bought one of Yorkshire's six Michelin-starred restaurants - run by highly-acclaimed chef Frances Atkins - for an undisclosed sum.

Ms Atkins, who is the country's first female chef to win a Michelin star in 2003, will stay on at The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill with her established team, who include general manager John Tullett, head chef Roger Olive and Kirsty Beverley who looks after housekeeping.

Jonathan Turner, Chief Executive of The Bayford Group and owner of leading hospitality venue Bowcliffe Hall, will spearhead a high-end refurbishment programme at the restaurant, which is the former site of an 11th century monastic cheesery.

The purchase complements his stable of businesses, which span the oil, gas, energy, property, hospitality and wedding sectors.

He 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 Master Chefs of Great Britain, and one of only six female Michelin-starred chefs in the UK, said: "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 straightaway. 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."

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