Breaking the chain

HUNTSBRIDGE, the Huntingdon-based hotel and restaurant business, is set to disappear as a gastro-pub chain with the imminent disposal of its three restaurants at Keyston, Madingley and Fotheringhay. The move leaves managing director John Hoskins, the coun

HUNTSBRIDGE, the Huntingdon-based hotel and restaurant business, is set to disappear as a gastro-pub chain with the imminent disposal of its three restaurants at Keyston, Madingley and Fotheringhay.

The move leaves managing director John Hoskins, the country's only hotel-owning Master of Wine, to concentrate on the flagship 24-bedroom Old Bridge Hotel in Huntingdon.

Mr Hoskins has trained many of the most successful chefs in the district and neighbouring areas, including the new owners of the restaurant businesses at the Three Horseshoes at Madingley and the Pheasant at Keyston that he disposed of last week. The Falcon at Fotheringhay was sold on Monday.

He has unveiled major refurbishment plans for its landmark 18th century building on the banks of the Great Ouse. Later this year a new courtyard garden will be created at the entrance to the building. The final stage of the bedroom refurbishment will also be finished.


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He said: "This is the most exciting time of my career. I am looking forward to seeing our development plans at the Old Bridge come to fruition. We are also working on the idea of a wine shop at the Old Bridge next year - something that I believe we can do really well."

Richard Stokes, chef patron of the Three Horseshoes at Madingley for the past 14 years, now owns the business on the edge of Cambridge. Jay and Taffeta Scrimshaw will be taking over The Pheasant Inn at Keyston, near Thrapston, which they currently run.

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"I am also extremely enthusiastic about the future for the Three Horseshoes and The Pheasant, where regular guests will see no change to the high standards of food, drink and service," Mr Hoskins said. "I am confident the guys will do an even better job with the extra incentive that only ownership can provide.

"Richard Stokes has been the most successful restaurateur in Cambridge for a long time. It is no more than he deserves to be his own boss.

"Jay Scrimshaw, who actually trained under Richard before working in London for five years at Bibendum and Chez Bruce, is equally talented and has taken The Pheasant back to its best.

"I am proud to have had them in my team and even more proud to be able to help them establish their own businesses.

"Sadly the owner of the freehold of the Pheasant, Norman Spiller, passed away very recently.

"The transfer of the lease therefore awaits the settling of his will. But our arrangement with Jay and Taffeta is fully agreed."

INFORMATION: Huntsbridge is on 01480 458410 or www.huntsbridge.co.uk

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