The owner of two hotels in the north west of England has added a third property to his portfolio with the acquisition of the 21-bedroom Forest Side hotel in Grasmere, Cumbria.
Andrew Wildsmith, who already owns the 10-bedroom Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire, and the 26-bedroom Ryebeck hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, is currently overseeing the renovation of Forest Side, which is due to reopen in July.
As head chef, he has appointed Kevin Tickle, who previously worked for Simon Rogan as sous chef and head forager at L'Enclume and head chef at Rogan & Co.
Forest Side is set in 42 acres of grounds and boasts a Victorian kitchen garden, where produce will be grown for Tickle's menus. Tickle will also use his foraging experience to make use of ingredients found within and beyond the estate.
Work is also being undertaken to extend and improve Wildsmith's two other hotels. The Grade II-listed Hipping Hall, which holds three AA rosettes, will open an additional five bedrooms in stables adjacent to the hotel later this year. Meanwhile, the Ryebeck is to undergo a refurbishment, with the aim of taking the hotel to a four-red-AA-star, three-rosette property over the next two years.
Wildsmith achieved a doctorate in chemistry from Cambridge University before switching career to hospitality, with the purchase of Hipping Hall 10 years ago.