The time has come! We have made the extremely difficult decision to leave The George, our home.
We have been unable to purchase the freehold of The George with the asking price significantly beyond our professional valuations, and without this option we are left with no alternative but to say our goodbyes.
As leaseholders with business tenure, we are very secure in many respects but without compromise or support our rent remains prohibitive, and in combination with soaring overheads, the state of our wider economy and significant changes in our habits and lifestyles, absurd fuel increases and continued staffing shortages we simply cannot sustain the business anymore. Whatever way we look at addressing this, it comes with further challenge, and we simply have nowhere left to turn without further detriment to our own wellbeing.
Our interest and love for The George has always had a long-term lens, and sometimes this has meant short term sacrifice to secure its future. Our intention has always been to scale back up once robust enough to maintain. In current economic circumstances we cannot yet open other revenue streams without increased staff costs or further expense and despite some misguided perspectives the footfall and spend per head to the levels required is simply not here. (Backed with oodles of robust research and evidence). Unfortunately, the powers at work including our own myopic parish council have added further unpleasant pressures that will ultimately affect the long-term integrity of The George.
Our hospitality industry is in crisis and this year has sadly seen the closure of many businesses. Looks are deceptive and those left are really up against it and many barely breaking even so really need our continued support…
Almost as many pubs shut across the UK in the first six months of 2023 as did throughout all of last year combined.
We do not fully yet know the fate of The George. We have invested a huge amount financially and emotionally to The George and really hope the right pair of philanthropic hands take on this beautiful, historic building and love it as much as we do.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom!!!
To quote Dickens, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times but overall have met some amazing people, made enduring friendships, enjoyed many a belly laugh, and worked with some incredibly talented superstars including our own wonderful young, vibrant and positive team who will all go on, without doubt, to do incredible things. The kitchen team are astounding led by our head chef Jordan who has been a ray of light (post 11am), a constant, never-failing support and is gifted beyond belief. You saw him here first! We love them and will miss them all enormously, but we do hope this isn’t an ending, only a new beginning and with any luck we will see some of you again over the coming months and years.
Thank you to all of you that have supported us over the last 6 years – its been hugely appreciated and it has been our complete pleasure to welcome you, your families and friends to share this incredible story. We cannot thank you enough.
Graham and Shiv xxx
Sitting pretty on the village green, The George at Alstonefield is definitely worth a visit. A popular dining destination, our food is recognised by Michelin, The Good Food Guide, and Sawdays, credited by some of our best food critics and most importantly loved by our customers – its relaxed fine dining done magically well. Enjoy a warm welcome and join us for lunch, dinner or Sunday lunch – its a bit of an institution!
“Ultra-local and seasonal menus” THE WEEK REVIEW Nov 2022
…The George has had a growing reputation since The Good Food Guide recognised it in 2009 and you can now add the likes of Sawday’s, Harden’s and, indeed, the Michelin Guide to that list. They’re not starred – yet – but earlier this year they installed a young man named Jordan Hemsil, formerly of Adam Reid at The French, as their head chef and, well, we’ll see. Based on a recent dinner, the potential for their frequently ultra-local (within 15 miles) and seasonal menu to get the big nod is certainly there…