A young chef at Lime Wood country house hotel near Lyndhurst, Hampshire, has died following a suspected heroin overdose.
Philip Alford, who had worked at the 29-bedroom hotel since it opened in November 2009, was taken to hospital in Southampton during the weekend of 19-20 June. He had apparently been out with friends on his day off when he fell into a coma. His life support machine was switched off on Wednesday 23 June.
Robin Hutson, chairman of Lime Wood, said that his friends and colleagues at the hotel were deeply shocked when news emerged about what had happened to Alford, who had previously worked at Le Poussin at Whitley Ridge, Hampshire, with chef-proprietor Alex Aitken.
"Phil was a popular member of the team, worked hard and was rising steadily through the ranks of the kitchen," he said.
Alford's funeral, attended by many of the hotel's staff, took place on Monday, with a wake held afterwards at Lime Wood.
The hotel is working closely with Ark for Business, the dedicated consultancy that helps hospitality employers prevent alcohol and drug misuse from becoming a problem.
* If any businesses require further information regarding the work of Ark for Business, they should contact Hospitality Action on 020 3004 5500.
By Janet Harmer
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