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Former Simpson's in the Strand head chef joins Monkey Island Estate

30 April 2018 by
Former Simpson's in the Strand head chef joins Monkey Island Estate

Monkey Island Estate in Bray-on-Thames, which is due to open this summer, has named Will Hemming as its executive chef.

YTL Hotels owns and manages a collection of hotels across the world, including the Glasshouse hotel in Edinburgh and the Academy hotel in London's Bloomsbury, which is due to open in July.

Hemming, who is from Wales and was previously head chef of Simpson's in the Strand, will head up the Monkey Island Brasserie.

He has has also previously worked at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, as well as the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin and Sky Garden in London as executive sous chef.

He will work with British produce from British farmers and local Berkshire and Bray suppliers to produce the menu at the brasserie.

Typical dishes are set to include smoked salmon (smoked on the grounds of the estate in a custom-built hickory smokehouse), slow-cooked Welsh lamb rump and ‘Monkey Shoulder cranachan'.

The restaurant will have 60 covers inside and further 40 outside.

Hemming said: "I am thrilled to be joining the YTL Hotels team at this point in the much-anticipated Monkey Island Estate launch, and am eager to put the Monkey Island Brassiere on the culinary map of Bray-on-Thames for both local residents and guests to experience.

"Bray is already famed for its impressive array of gourmet offerings, but we plan to offer sophisticated yet informal dining, an experience that Bray currently doesn't have."

Following renovation, the island's white-bricked pavilion and temple buildings will make up the main hotel areas of the estate.

The restored island estate will consist of 38 bedrooms and three deluxe suites, all designed by New York-based Champalimaud Design, which designed YTL's first British property, the Gainsborough Bath Spa.

Monkey Island has been the haunt of monarchs, aristocrats, writers and artists in its intriguing 800-year history. Its name stems from the monks that lived on the island until the 16th century, and it became known for the ‘grotesque' monkey paintings added to the pavilion while under the ownership of the 3rd Duke of Marlborough in the 18th century. The estate had been operated as a hotel since 1840.

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