A few words from Chapters owners Mark McHugo and Charmaine Blatchford:
Opening a restaurant may have seemed the natural path for us to take after working together running a small independent in Hereford but in all honesty, it wasn’t where we saw ourselves after having only met 2 years ago. Both of us have had been working in hospitality for many years and in many different guises, Marks more natural progression up the ladder within the kitchen starting in Stratford upon Avon where he worked for Macdonald Hotels, moving to the Arden Hotel in a Junior Sous position then also as a Junior Sous to Brockencote Hall both part of the Eden Hotel Collection and then taking the bold move to work for the 5* award winning Sense on the Edge mountain top restaurant for the Six Senses Resort in Zighy Bay Oman where he was promoted from Sous to Head Chef. The Six Senses resorts are built on sustainability and social responsibility and this experience gives us an amazing basis for creating our own restaurant ethos.
Charmaine’s background has always been led by working with fantastic companies that put the produce at the forefront of what they do. Working front of house within the Rule of Tum team in Hereford, at the 4 rosette restaurant Old Downton Lodge near Ludlow and managing the large retail department at the award winning Ludlow Farm Shop, Charmaine has deliberately chosen a variety of positions all with seasonality, sustainability and quality at their centre.
An exert from our application for the restaurant sums up how we felt and still feel about Chapters and Hay-on-Wye and we hope that this is how our customers see us:
‘[Hay is] A small town with huge influence, we are looking to create a restaurant which supports the people of the town, to be somewhere people want to come to celebrate their important life events but also to feel a sense of comfort knowing that they can get a tasty meal, with local produce using interesting techniques. The key aspect for us is that everyone feels welcome, we want there to be a friendly and personal atmosphere to the restaurant which is a huge move away from what people have come to expect from fine dining restaurants and as a result we will refer to the food as modern British rather than fine dining…we are amazed by the produce we have available you don’t have to go to Italy or Spain now to get good wine or charcuterie when we can get it from Wales’
We look forward to seeing you at Chapters and hope you enjoy your visit.