So in recent weeks there have been several stories floating around the ether, the one of the main stories that caught our eye has been about Charlton House near Shepton Mallet, Bath.
Sometime ago former GBM chef Elisha Carter stirred attention with his FaceBook status update “ R.I.P. Charlton House”, subsequently through the comments being made it was obvious that Von Essen were clearly interested in buying the stricken hotel which had just entered into administration. With a rumoured original asking price of £6.5 million & an alleged £1million structural debt, a sale started to prove difficult for the administrators.
Now some considerable time on BDO LLP administrators have invited sealed bids, we’ve been lead to believe that there were 10 bids from the likes of Von Essen, the former Handpicked Hotels Ops man – Gregor Richie and surprisingly BBC Dragons Den star Duncan Bannatyne. Prespective investors have started to be whittled down in one form or another with Mr Richie withdrawing leaving only 4.
The amusing thing that came out of this episode was that, Bath resident & former 2 Michelin star chef Martin Blunos was recognised by some of the kitchen staff whilst on a show round, who informed a chefs site. Within moments an unfounded rumour was out and about that Blunos was to be the next Head chef. During the course of the day we’ve been lead to believe that people connected with that website got in touch with Blunos, one of his clients & some of the people that work with him in an attempt to perpetuate the rumour. But were sadly disappointed when they were given very little to go on.
Whilst Von Essen appear to be favourites to complete the purchase, they seem to be constantly dogged by rumours about their financial standing, so maybe Mr Bannatyne maybe the ideal future owner. He is a regular at the hotel and has seen it in it’s hey day, now it is need of some serious TLC ( & we’re not talking about some yoghurt that Martine McCutcheon is selling) he could bring it back online or he could mould it to fit into his portfolio of Bannatyne Hotels & Spas.
Either way we’re expecting this to be concluded within the next 6weeks or so.