Michael Wignall to launch new venture at the Angel at Hetton

The  Staff Canteen

Michael Wignall, who held two Michelin stars and five AA rosettes most recently at Gidleigh Park in Chagford, Devon, has announced his new venture in the Yorkshire Dales.

Michael and his wife Johanna, in partnership with James and Jo Wellock, have agreed a deal to take over the iconic Angel at Hetton in the Yorkshire Dales. The four partners plan to complete the purchase of the 15th-century, nine-bedroom property by early September.

Michael said: “There is so much affection for the Angel at Hetton and it's an absolute privilege to take over the reins of this building and play a part in its history and culinary heritage.

 “I can't wait to get back behind the stove and work on dishes for the fine-dining restaurant as well as creating something slightly different for the pub. My food has always been inspired by the fabulous produce that has surrounded me throughout my culinary journey and I couldn't be in a more stunning setting than Hetton."

 Made famous by the late chef Denis Watkins and his wife Juliet in the 1980s, and widely regarded as the original gastropub, the Angel is currently run by Juliet and the Watkins’ son, Pascal.

 Michael plans to bring his unique and contemporary cuisine to the landmark pub which is set in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Johanna is a hospitality management graduate and who worked at Gidleigh Park and Pennyhill Park following a period at Manor House in Castle Combe, Wiltshire.

Michael plans to run the Angel as it is until the end of the year before closing for an extensive refurbishment in the new year. Working closely with rural and agricultural planning consultants Rural Solutions, he will create a fine-dining space in the building that currently houses the pub’s Wine Cave, subject to the necessary consents, while the main building will serve refined pub food.

James Wellock said: “Michael and I have spoken about doing something together for many years and now the stars have aligned to enable us to do that. The opportunity to purchase the Angel - with all its history - and to work with Michael to create something magical is just so exciting.”

Michael added: “James and Jo have supported my career for many years and we have become good friends. In turn, I have admired them as business people and have often sought their advice, and I really look forward to working alongside them at the Angel.”


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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd August 2018

Michael Wignall to launch new venture at the Angel at Hetton