A POPULAR New Forest eatery has been sold a year after the death of its world famous owner, French sommelier Gerrard Basset.
He and his wife Nina founded TerraVina in 2007 as a restaurant with rooms at the former Busketts Lawn Hotel. It was relaunched in 2018 as the 11-bedroom boutique B&B Spot in the Woods.
The business in Netley Marsh quickly became well known for its good food paired by Gerard with excellent wines.
During his lifetime he won virtually every prize in the sommelier world and was named the best in the world in 2010. He was awarded an OBE for his services to the hospitality industry in 2011.
He died aged 61 in January 2019 after a two-year battle with cancer. His widow Nina carried on the business but has now decided that she would rather step down and hand it over to someone new.
It has been bought by Hillbrooke Hotels which already own the Master Builders at Buckler’s Hard.
Nina said she was delighted that the company would continue to use the team of staff she and Gerard employed.
She said “Gerard and I worked together for many years and it was his final wish that a suitable buyer could be found to enable the business to flourish after his death
“I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a rich career in hospitality from my days at Chewton Glen – where Gerard and I first met – to becoming the youngest ever hotel and restaurant inspector before helping to create the phenomenon that was Hotel du Vin.
“I am grateful to the numerous people whom I have met along the way and who supported us as a family during two difficult years leading up to Gerard’s death. The time is now right to hand over the business to others and I look forward to the end of one era and the start of a new chapter.”
Hillbrooke Hotels director Christoph Brooke said: “We’re thrilled to have added Spot in the Woods to the Hillbrooke Hotels portfolio which is just 30 minutes from one of its sister properties, the Master Builder’s Hotel at Buckler’s Hard.
“The beautifully located kitchen cafe, boutique bed and breakfast, and dedicated, friendly team will remain the same, as will our visitor’s experience which was lovingly created by Nina and Gerard.”