Shaun Rankin has been named executive chef at the new Grantley Hall Country House Hotel near Ripon. Quite a coup for owner Valeria Sykes who bought the neglected Palladian mansion in 2015 with a view to turning it into the best country house hotel in the north of England.
Having spent a large fortune on it – some £70 million, Grantley Hall will open in the spring with 47 bedrooms, four restaurants and a spa set to outdo all other spas. Why settle for a gym and a pool when you can have a snow room, an underwater treadmill, a cryotherapy chamber and a 3D body scanner.
Food and drink will be provided by three bars and four restaurants: Eighty Eight, the ‘playfully innovative’ Asian restaurant. Fletchers for casual dining, healthy eating in the spa and ‘Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall’.
Shaun Rankin in case you’ve forgotten, was born in County Durham, brought up in Yorkshire and while he’s spent the majority of his career at Ormer in Jersey winning a Michelin star in 2017, he did have a stint at the Black Bull at Moulton in the early 90’s and is currently executive chef at Ormer in Mayfair’s Flemings Hotel, making guest appearances on Masterchef, Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen.
His role at Grantley is as ‘chef consultant’ which by my understanding means he will establish the character, create the menus and supervise a team though day to day cooking will be by a head chef yet to be named with Rankin flitting between North Yorks and Mayfair.
As for what’s cooking, they’ve quoted the usual stuff about regional and seasonal. They’ve announced the creation of a kitchen garden and beehives, both de rigeurfor any high dining restaurant and they’ve announced a signature dish of rhubarb crumble soufflé with rosehip and iced clotted cream but nothing more. With a reputation to uphold and room rate starting at £350 a night rising to £5000 for the Presidential Suite, it’s a fair bet that portions will be small, exquisite and tweezered. We’ll be reporting back when it opens.