ROBERT THOMPSON has wasted no time in his new role as executive chef at The George Hotel, Yarmouth, with the appointment of a head chef.

Robert took up the role last week, working alongside Howard Spooner who has taken on the hotel on a three-year lease, and he has brought on board Tom Axford, who runs the Kynges Well gastro pub in Brading with his brother Matthew.

Tom has run the Kynges Well for nearly four years and has 16 years experience in the business having previously worked at The New Inn, Shalfleet, Bargeman's Rest, Newport and Fighting Cocks, Arreton.

He said: "I've known Robert for a few years and we have dined at each other's places although we're never worked together.

"It's a great project and something new for me and I'm really looking forward to working with him. The Kynges Well will stay open and continue to trade."

Robert is recruiting and training kitchen staff at The George, as well as working on new menus there, on top of running his successful restaurant Thompson's in Newport.

He said: "The rest of the kitchen team is coming together. They will be from the Island and are all young and enthusiastic.

"I'm working on a new menu which should be ready in early April along with all the other improvements we have in store."

Howard said: "We are currently working on the outside area which will have 120 external covers.

"There will be a lot of planting of lavender and rosemary beds and olive trees to create six different areas in the garden, rather than one open space.

"It will be in an Italian style so that each area feels like a special place on its own.

"We will also have a children's play area with a boat and sandpit for them to enjoy.

"The other main changes will be to Isla's Restaurant, which will become a snooker room and cinema. We will see how that is received. We're also working on the bedrooms.

"We should have everything complete for early April and the new season."