New owner and head chef at Isle of Wight hotel The George, Diane Thompson and Robert Thompson.
THE new owner and head chef at a top Isle of Wight hotel have said they hope to make it one of the best in the country.
Dianne Thompson, who is due to retire from her role as chief executive of lottery company Camelot, and former Hambrough chef Robert Thompson — unrelated — are set to open a new restaurant at the Yarmouth hotel this summer, Isla's.
Dianne, who will officially take possession of the hotel at 4pm today (Monday), said: "I want everything to be exceptional — the food, the rooms, the service. We will be refurbishing it over the next five years. My vision for The George is for it to become one of the top ten boutique hotels in the UK."
Robert, 31, left Ventnor's Hambrough Hotel — where, during his five years there, he gained a Michelin star and was credited with playing a lead role in transforming the Island into a foodie destination — almost a year ago.
He said: "It would be silly to say I didn't want a Michelin star, but that's not my main driver. What I want is a restaurant full of happy people."
Dianne, 63, owns a house in Yarmouth and has a portfolio of business interests, including a stake in acclaimed Buckinghamshire restaurant The Artichoke.
For more on this story, please see the Isle of Wight County Press, Friday, April 4.