Surrey garden project from Ashley Palmer-Watts

Celebrated chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, the long-time right-hand man to Heston Blumenthal who launched Dinner by Heston at the Mandarin Oriental, is to make his comeback to restaurants with a launch in Surrey next year.

His new project is the transformation of what was The Garden in Cobham, a village on the southwestern edge of London best-known as the location of Chelsea Football Club’s training ground. It will incorporate an ambitious 35-cover restaurant with garden terrace, a 52-seat wine bar, cafe and bakery. The first phase is scheduled to open in the spring, with luxury accommodation to follow.

Ashley quit Dinner three years ago, 20 years after joining the Fat Duck operation, where he rose quickly to become executive head chef at the age of 25. Since leaving he has done consultancy work and founded the Artisan Coffee Co, an online coffee specialist.

He says of his new project: “I can’t wait to be back in the heart of the industry, drawing on all my experience of opening various restaurants at different levels within The Fat Duck Group. It’s an incredible location, and with food history being of such interest, particularly in recent years, to be able to bring life back into the walled garden and reimagine it with a collection of food experiences is a dream come true for me.

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