Chef Claude Bosi and his wife Claire have decided to hoist the for-sale sign above their two-Michelin-starred Hibiscus restaurant in the popular foodie town of Ludlow in Shropshire.
Speaking exclusively to Caterer, the couple confirmed that they would be looking to move further south-east, either into London or just outside the capital.
"We've been thinking about moving for the last couple of years in order to progress the business, but we haven't even had a valuation back yet. We're only at the beginning of the process and it could take over a year to find the right property to move on to," said Claude.
The Bosis opened the 36-seat Hibiscus in 2000 and within a year their adventurous, classically based cooking had won the restaurant its first Michelin star. A second star followed in 2004. Last year the couple bought a pub, the Bell Inn in Yarpole, Herefordshire, currently managed by Claude's brother Cedric, which they do not intend to sell.
The couple confirmed that they would be considering franchises in boutique hotels as well as looking at stand-alone restaurant sites and restaurants with rooms outside London.
"We wanted to be honest with everybody," said Claude. "We've informed Michelin and we're telling our regulars. The hardest part of moving out of Ludlow will be leaving our loyal customers."
The sale of Hibiscus will follow the 2005 closure of Shaun Hill's Merchant House restaurant in Ludlow.
If the Bosis complete the sale, Mr Underhill's at Dinham Weir will be the only remaining Michelin-starred restaurant in a town that could once boast three-Michelin starred restaurants at the same time.
Ludlow's Michelin starred past
Two Michelin stars
One Michelin star
- Merchant House (closed last year)
- Overton Grange (lost star in 2001)
- Mr Underhill's
By Joanna Wood
Published by: The Caterer