New appointment underlines reputation for food and drink

By 30th August 2014Awards

Askham Hall have recently appointed Nicolas Chièze as their new ‘Maître de Maison’ Front of House Manager, following a long career working in Michelin-starred restaurants in both France and England.

Nicolas, otherwise known as ‘Nico’, joins Askham from his previous role as Wine Director and Duty Manager at the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel Lake Ullswater (Michelin 1*), where he worked for 14 years. Earlier in his career, he served as a Sommelier at the famous Waterside Inn at Bray-on-Thames (at the time the only Michelin 3* restaurant in the country), which is owned and run by Michel Roux, as well as three years as a Junior Sommelier at the Relais & Chateaux Cordeillan-Bages (Michelin 2*) in Bordeaux. Nico is also a former two times winner of the Scotland and North of England sommelier of the year completion.

At Askham Hall, Nico is responsible for the smooth running of the recently-opened restaurant, which is located inside the grade I listed property near Penrith. He will be working alongside two internationally acclaimed chefs, who have also joined the team in recent months; Head Chef Richard Swale hails from NOMA in Copenhagen, voted the best restaurant in the world, while Executive Chef Steven Doherty was the former Head Chef at Le Gavroche and the UK’s first ever chef to head up a Michelin 3* restaurant.

Nico says, “I developed my life-long passion for wine and gastronomy growing up in Orléans in the Loire Valley and Askham’s ethos of working with the seasons and using produce locally sourced from the 800 year old Lowther Estate is very close to my heart. This new role is the start of an exciting new chapter in my career, and it’s a pleasure to be working along such highly esteemed colleagues including Leigh-Ann Simpson Potter who has been involved with Askham Hall since the very beginning, and general manager Chris Curry, in these historic surroundings.”

In his free time Nico enjoys country pursuits such as game shooting and is also an accomplished angler with an excellent knowledge of the local rivers.

Owner of Askham Hall, Charles Lowther, adds, “This is an exciting new appointment for Askham Hall. Nicolas has a wealth of experience and really does know everything there is to know about wine in particular. Crucially, he is also very personable and understands the importance of top-notch customer service.”

Askham Hall’s restaurant is open to non-residents, 7pm-9.30pm, Tuesday-Saturday.

A three course meal (including canapés and coffee/petit fours) in the restaurant costs £45 per person, or there is a gourmet menu including nibbles, five courses, coffee and after dinner treats for £60 each. Special set menus are also available for larger parties of six or more.

To book a table, call 01931 712350. For sample menus,