Marco Pierre White looks set to sell The Angel in Lavenham

Angel Hotel in Lavenham

Angel Hotel in Lavenham - Credit: Archant

Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White looks set to leave The Angel Hotel in Lavenham after a turbulent three years at the helm.

Marco Pierre White in Lavenham.

Marco Pierre White in Lavenham. - Credit: Archant

It is understood Cozy Pubs Ltd, which already owns three historic pubs in Essex, are just two weeks away from completing the purchase of the lease from the fiery cook.

The impending sale comes just months after Mr White decided to sell his gastro pub in Wiltshire amid reports that locals had become frustrated by prices and a lack of traditional beers.

Mr White, who has appeared on Hell’s Kitchen and was one of the youngest chefs to earn three Michelin stars at the age of 33, has not proved entirely popular with Lavenham’s locals since he arrived in the village in 2011.

Almost immediately after taking over the 15th Century market square pub he pulled the plug on a number of popular draught drinks including lager and cider, claiming it attracted the “wrong kind of clientele”.

Speaking at the time Mr White said: “When I take over an establishment I see myself as the caretaker. I accept not everyone will agree with my decisions. But I object to swearing, tattoos and dogs sitting on chairs. I am not trying to be difficult – I am thinking of the 98% not the 2%.

“I don’t like Fosters and Strongbow – I like traditional ales and ciders. If they don’t like that then I am sorry. I am putting my money where my mouth is. Had I not taken the Angel over, the reality is that it would have closed.”

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One former regular, Rod Benson, who described Mr White’s changes as a “great shame” even went on to open his own successful bar and restaurant Number 10, on the corner of Lady Street and Water Street, just a few hundred feet from The Angel.

Last year the fiery chef was also forced to repaint the pub after his attempt to give it a traditional “Suffolk pink” makeover was described as “blancmange-like” and not suitable for a mediaeval Grade II Listed building.

A spokesman for Cozy Pubs Ltd, who run The Eight Bells in Saffron Walden, The Cricketers Arms in Rickling Green and The Saracens Head Hotel said the sale was coming “fairly close to completion” but said it would be unfair on the current owners to comment further.

However he added: “We are in negotiations and hope to complete the transaction in the next two weeks. But obviously until the paperwork is signed, sealed and delivered, nothing is definite.”

The spokesman said that all staff currently employed at The Angel would be kept on and more would be recruited.

Yesterday a spokesman for The Angel said he was unable to comment on the story or any reasons behind a potential sale.