Tom Ross is returning to his home town of Bath to become hotel director of the Pig – near Bath, which is expected to open at the end of the year.
The 30-bedroom hotel, which is currently closed for refurbishment, was bought by the Pig’s parent company, Home Grown Hotels in May, from Andrew Davis, the founder of the now defunct Von Essen Hotels.
It will become the third property in the enormouly successful Pig group, which originally launched in the New Forest in 2011, with a bed and breakfast outlet now also open in Southampton.
Ross was born into the hospitality industry with his parents Stephen and Penny Ross owning and running the award-winning Bath-based properties, Homewood Park hotel and the Queensberry hotel.
“I am delighted to be part of the opening team for this immensely exciting new project,” said Ross. “The Pig has already carved out a very special niche in the New Forest with its amazing home-grown fare and laid-back feel, we hope to create the same ambience here.”
He entered the industry at Hotel du Vin in Winchester, from where he moved to the USA to work at the five-star, Fearrington House Inn in North Carolina. Then came a move to Napa Valley, California, where he progressed to maître d’ at the French Laundry restaurant.
Ross returned to the UK in 2004 to re-join Hotel de Vin, initially in Brighton before becoming general manager of the Tunbridge Wells hotel, after which he opened the Cheltenham property in 2007.
In 2010 Ross was appointed operations director for Jeremy Mogford’s hotel business in Oxford, where he was responsible for the running of the Old Bank hotel and the Old Parsonage hotel.
Now Ross is to work again for Robin Hutson, the founder of the Pig, who he first worked for at Hotel du Vin.
Located in the Mendip Hills, seven miles from Bath and 12 miles from Bristol, the Pig-near Bath will stand in 77-acres of grounds, which includes a walled garden and a deer park with 100 fallow deer. It is housed in a Georgian property, previously known as Hunstrete House.
The feature, featuring Judy Hutson’s shabby chic style that has become the Pig’s signature look, will offer a restaurant that will draw heavily on produce grown in its own gardens and spa treatment rooms.
Meanwhile, the Pig – on the Beach in Studland bay, Dorset, is also currently under development and will launch in spring 2014.