Two new appointments have been announced at The Northumberland Arms at Felton, Adam Westgarth steps into the role of head chef, while Clair Potts has joined the hotel as its new general manager.
With a background in fine dining, Westgarth has been in the hospitality industry for more than two decades and has worked at many of the region’s top hotels including Wynyard Hall, Otterburn Castle and Matfen Hall, along with Northcote near Blackburn.
Having worked within Michelin star and four rosette venues, Westgarth is keen to bring these fine dining skills and flavours to The Northumberland Arms, while staying true to the pub environment.
And the chef has wasted no time in building relationships with game keepers and suppliers in the region, to support North East businesses and place emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in his menus.
“I’ve worked in a corporate environment in a hotel group for the last five years and while I gained some fantastic experience, I missed being hands on with the food and couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen,” said Westgarth.
“The Northumberland Arms has huge potential and seemed like a great fit and I’m currently playing around with ingredients for upcoming special occasions and working on building the team.”
General manager Clair Potts has brought more than 25 years of experience to her new position, having started her career in hospitality when she was just 16.
With an extensive knowledge in all areas of the industry – having worked her way up from kitchen staff to managerial roles – she is looking forward to a new challenge at The Northumberland Arms.
And having been with the Sir John Fitzgerald Group for almost her whole career, it was the chance to gain experience in a property with accommodation which encouraged her to take a leap into a new role.
“It seemed like a good time in my career to make a change and when the role at The Northumberland Arms came up, I couldn’t say no,” said Potts.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting stuck into work at the venue and we have some really fantastic plans in the pipeline for the coming months.”
Stuart Young of the Northumberland Pub Company, which operates The Northumberland Arms, is delighted to welcome the pair to the team saying: “Adam and Clair have a huge wealth of knowledge in their respective areas and I am confident they will be invaluable additions to The Northumberland Arms.
“We have a really exciting year ahead of us and I have no doubt that both Adam and Clair will pull out all of the stops to deliver an amazing experience for our guests.”