Lavenham: Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White buys Angel Hotel and five others in region

CELEBRITY chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White has completed the buy-out of a hotel chain after months of speculation.

Administrators for the Maypole Group announced yesterday that the chef had bought all six businesses in the group which went into administration last October.

The group owns hotels and restaurants in Suffolk and Norfolk – including the Angel Hotel, in Lavenham – and employs more than 200 people.

It went into administration after being unable to repay loans to Clydesdale Bank.

Simon Bower, a partner at Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery, said Marco Pierre White was one of 20 parties who had expressed an interest in buying the group.

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He said: “This is a fantastic outcome which secures the continuity of the group.

“Throughout this process, the continuous support and encouragement of the loyal staff and customers has ensured we have been able to keep trading.”

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He wished the Maypole team all the best for the future.

Maypole’s properties include the Lifeboat Inn and Old Coach House, both in Thornham, north Norfolk, the 15-bed Wayford Bridge Hotel, near Stalham, the Bridge Inn at Acle and the Angel Hotel.

Marco Pierre White began training as a chef after leaving Allerton High School, in Leeds, without any qualifications.

According to the chef’s website, he arrived in London as a 16-year-old with “�7.36, a box of books and a bag of clothes” and began work under Albert Roux and Michel Roux, at Le Gavroche.

At 24, he became head chef and joint owner of Harveys, with a kitchen staff who included the young Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal.

At the age of 33, he was awarded three Michelin stars.

His record was beaten in 2002 by the Italian Massimiliano Alajmo who won three stars aged 28.

He handed his stars back in 1999 when he became a restaurateur and in 2007 he became head chef of ITV’s Hells Kitchen.

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