Award-winning licensee and chef team up for new venture

By Fred A'Court

- Last updated on GMT

Flashback: Mark Higgs (centre) on the day he received his Licensee of the Year award
Flashback: Mark Higgs (centre) on the day he received his Licensee of the Year award

Related tags: Hook norton, Oxfordshire, Hook norton brewery

An award-winning licensee and chef are renewing their partnership for a new venture in the run-up to the key Christmas trading period.

British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Licensee of the Year 2017 Mark Higgs is to join executive chef and director Matthew Ayers at the Sun Inn at Hook Norton in Oxfordshire.

The pair worked together at the Castle in Edge Hill, near Banbury, when Higgs won his Licensee of the Year award. He retains his interest in the Castle and takes on the Sun Inn as a new venture.

A stone throw’s from the Hook Norton Brewery, the Sun has a restaurant and function room totalling some 50 covers, six en suite bedrooms, and a large rear beer garden and terrace.

Dream team

Hook Norton marketing manager Mark Graham said the renewed pairing represented a dream team for the Sun.

“Matthew brings years of experience and a strong passion for food and quality service, having learnt his trade in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants” Graham said. 

“He will be working towards producing a very strong kitchen that will focus on everything local and seasonal without too much fuss and a ‘keep it simple’ approach. 

“[Mark and Matthew] officially take over at the beginning of November but they’re already busy behind the scenes getting everything in place to hit the ground running for what is the key Christmas trading period.”

Hook Norton managing director James Clarke added “The Sun Inn is a very important site for us, being in the centre of Hook Norton, and we are excited to see what Mark, Matthew and the team can bring.”

Hook Norton Brewery run 37 pubs across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Related topics: Marketing

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