Rye hotel expands

THE George in Rye has converted an empty garage and shop into a smart new restaurant.

The expansion has also created ten new rooms for the hotel.

At the heart of the new kitchen is an impressive wood-fired charcoal oven and grill which has been affectionately named Gertie by the staff.

The Grill restaurant (above) is run by top Sussex chef Andy Billings (inset), who for more than a decade ran the Griffin Inn at Fletching one of the county’s best known gastro-pubs.

Andy has been sourcing local produce for the restaurant and taking advantage of local fisherman Paul Hodges to obtain fresh scallops and lobster. Romney Marsh lamb also features on the menu.

The restaurant interior is inspired by Parisian style and uses reclaimed materials which include a whole gym floor, transplanted plank by plank from a girls school in Wales and a huge fish wallpiece, which was originally commissioned for the reception of Barclay’s London office in the 1950’s.

The George is celebrating after being named as one of an exclusive group of only 30 UK hotels and inns to appear in the 1911 and 2011 edition of the Michelin Guide.

Alex Clarke, Director at the George in Rye said: “We are delighted with the hotel’s achievement and thrilled to be a part of the Michelin Guide’s centenary celebrations.

“The Michelin Guide was and still is one of the most respected guides to hotels and it is an honour that we appeared in both the original and centenary edition.”

Commenting on the new restaurant, Alex said: “It is proving to be very popular. We wanted to try something new and wanted to offer exceptional food at affordable prices.”