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Hadden sells Priory House

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The one-Michelin-starred Priory House restaurant in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, near Yeovil, Somerset, served its last meal under the ownership of former Roux scholar Martin Hadden on 7 June.

Hadden and his wife, Michele, who ran front of house, have sold the business as a going concern to Peter Brooks, a Wokingham-based businessman for close to their asking price of £275,000. The sale was handled by agents Robert Barry & Co.

The Haddens said their reason for selling was not because of poor trading, but due to the fact that they had found the business “all-consuming”.

“We have two young children [aged seven and four] and their lives have been very regimented. They have to be in bed by 7pm every night so that Michele can come downstairs and run the restaurant,” said Hadden.

He added that he also found life in the kitchen of a 30-cover restaurant “rather boring and lonely. I’m used to working in a larger, involved environment. We’ve had a ball here over the past two-and-a-half years and received great accolades – a star, three AA rosettes and 7/10 in the Good Food Guide. It has been a tough decision [to leave] but it’s the right one for the family.”

Hadden will return to his former employer, Historic Sussex Hotels, to take up the post of group executive head chef for its three properties, Ockenden Manor in Cuckfield, the Spread Eagle hotel in Midhurst and Bailiffscourt hotel in Climping, all in Sussex, on 24 June.

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