The opening of Heckfield Place, a luxury country house hotel in Hampshire which has constantly been beset by delays, has been postponed again.
It is now expected that the hotel will open in late 2014.
All efforts are now to be focused on the development of an 80-seat restaurant in London, headed by Skye Gyngell, culinary director at Heckfield Place. Sites are currently being sought in Notting Hill, Holland Park, Ladbroke Grove, Chelsea, Fulham or Kensington, with the aim of opening the restaurant by the end of the year.
Miles Nicholson, the hotel's director of marketing, said the decision to delay the opening of the property demonstrates Heckfield Place's commitment to delivering a product of the very highest standard without compromise.
"When it launches, I am convinced that Heckfield Place will offer its guests a truly exceptional experience," he explained.
Previously a training centre and wedding venue, Heckfield Place was originally due to open in April 2012. The exacting standards involved in creating a "world-beating" luxury hotel within the 18th century property has led to on-going delays, while the project has been further hampered by the loss of its original head chef and director of food and beverage Chris Staines, who is now heading up the kitchen and food and beverage operation at the Abbey hotel in Bath, and general manager Charles Oaks.
A replacement for Oaks is yet to be found. "The process of finding someone that can deliver the world-class level of service that we are striving to achieve has started, but has yet to reach a conclusion," said Nicholson. "This is a global search, so it is taking time."