AFTER only two years at Marco Pierre White At Wheelers at The Kings Arms in Fernhurst, the nationally acclaimed chef is moving on.
Marco is not only taking his name but many of the furnishings from the Kings Arms, such as the large palms and green A-tables that have given the pub its individual look over the short period.
The pub has been the Kings Arms for several hundred years but now it is to be renamed The Handsome Pig.
But it is a new name with a history. Around 100 years ago Percival, known to be a pig – whether handsome or not is not recorded – but he acted as a host welcoming guests in to the pub.
“It is time to move on,” said Arno Marsman, operations director of Powdertrain, which co-owns the pub.
So moving on from The King’s Arms, Percival has now been immortalised as The Handsome Pig and pigs are to be seen not only on the pub sign but also as towel holders and models.
Phil Cooper, who has been the chef at The Waterside Inn, Claridges and The Mirabelle and now co-runs The Vintage Teahouse with his wife, is taking over as consultant chef at the pub, with young talent Nick Robery also in the kitchens.
“It is a lovely pub,” said Phil. “We are starting over again. We hope to be opening this week, but we want everything to be right before we do.
“The new signs are being painted in Midhurst. We have a new bar, more room for drinkers, an area for sitting, pub food with an inexpensive menu and a restaurant in a separate room.