The former executive chef of the Ritz, Giles Thompson, has purchased a lease on the Earl of March pub in Lavant, near Chichester, West Sussex, for an undisclosed sum.
Thompson is planning to use the Grade II-listed building, owned by Enterprise Inns, to create an upmarket dining pub with a strong bar trade.
He began his training under the guidance of Michel Bourdin at the Connaught before becoming executive chef of The Ritz in 1997. In 2003 he moved to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in Marylebone, to become head of school.
Keith Goodwin, associate director at property agent Christie & Co, which acted on behalf of both parties to broker the deal, said: "Enterprise Inns recently purchased The Earl of March as part of its expansion programme and then instructed us to find a suitable tenant.
"We quickly agreed a deal with Giles Thompson who plans to use his wealth of experience to create an upmarket dining atmosphere as well as maintaining the bar trade."
By Christopher Walton
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