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Michelin chef moves in; Acclaimed chef Michael Caines has been brought in to relaunch a historic Grade II listed Welsh country house.

AHISTORIC country house in North Wales is to reopen as a luxury destination hotel with a fine-dining restaurant under the guidance of chef Michael Caines, who has two Michelin stars to his name.

The new owners of Pale Hall near Bala, where Queen Victoria stayed during a visit to North Wales in 1889, have brought in the celebrity chef as part of a refurbishment of the Grade II listed building.

The hotel is now owned by Alan and Angela Harper. Telecoms entrepreneur Alan is a former director of Vodafone and Angela is a former head teacher, while chef Michael has appeared as a judge on TV's MasterChef: The Professionals and is a regular contributor to the BBC's Saturday Morning Kitchen.

Michael said of the Pale Hall project: "This represents an exciting development for us and I'm delighted to be working with Alan and Angie to realise their vision for Pale Hall to become a destination hotel and restaurant in a dramatically beautiful part of the world.

"Their ambitions are aligned with my own belief in creating a relaxed and friendly dining experience to delight our customers, offering a signature menu that makes the most of the finest locally sourced ingredients, delivered with absolute professionalism in preparation, presentation and service."

Michael gained two Michelin stars while head chef at Gidleigh Park hotel in Devon. He now oversees a number of restaurants bearing his name and provides trackside gourmet dining facilities to the Williams F1 team. In 2006 he was awarded an MBE.

While Michael has no investment in the new hotel, he will use his experience to advise the Harpers, who are new to the hospitality industry, on operational systems, accounts, marketing and human resources, as well as the restaurant. He will play an integral part in appointing the general manager and executive chef.

Pale Hall will be temporarily closed for refurbishment and is set to reopen in September 2016.

Angela Harper said she and her husband would restore the property to its "full splendour" while ensuring "the utmost sensitivity" is shown to its period features.

"While we'll be making a significant investment in refreshing the facilities, everything we'll be doing will preserve and gracefully enhance the property," she explained. "The last thing we'd want is for this to be an over-designed, formulaic hotel - we want Pale Hall's unique, individual character to be central to our guests' experience."


Pale Hall near Bala and, below, renowned chef Michael Caines

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 11, 2016
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