Winchester has succeeded in luring another TV celebrity chef and campaigner for ‘real food’ to the British city. A lease has been signed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in a move to take control of the historical Abbey Mill, off Colebrook Street, which is owned by the council.
River Cottage Canteen & Deli is expected to open in around 12 months time. The city council has confirmed that it has agreed to lease terms with River Cottage Canteen & Deli with regards to Abbey Mill in the city’s Abbey Gardens. The Canteen & Deli will also offer food-oriented courses, as is the case with the two other River Cottage restaurants elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Fearnley-Whittingstall has presented a number of television series on Channel 4 and is the author of several best selling books that champion locally produced food in addition to being an ardent campaigner on issues such as factory farming and fishing. The listed building is owned by the city council and has been searching for a new tenant since the decision was made to move the council’s own engineering department from the space several years ago.
“River Cottage is pleased to have agreed terms with Winchester City Council on the Abbey Mill building, subject to planning and licensing approvals,” says the managing director of River Cottage, Rob Love. “Our first priority is to create a dialogue with residents and the local community to share our ambitions and intentions, and we look forward to meeting with them soon.”