Landmark restaurant for sale

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One of Whitby’s most famous establishments visited by Captain Cook, Charles Dickens, World Cup footballers, celebrity chefs and acting greats is up for sale.

Hotel and restaurant The White Horse and Griffin, which dates back to the 17th Century, has been placed on the market by current owners Stewart and June Perkins.

The couple have owned the business since 1982 and plan to retire and follow other interests after spending the past 18 years running the former coaching inn in the town’s Church Street.

Over the years it has received mentions in national newspapers, magazines such as Condé Nast and Vogue and eating out guidebooks, was nominated as a UK TV Food Hero 2007 and is an AA three star classified restaurant and hotel.

It has been placed on the market with Edward G Astin and Associates Ltd of Whitby and Savills of York with a view to finding a new owner who can take the business forward under new ownership.

The White Horse and Griffin has a long and interesting history.

It was built in 1691 by Sir Hugh Cholmley, who played many roles in an extraordinary life, transforming himself from a spendthrift play-boy into a successful estate manager, local militia officer and member of parliament for Scarborough.

He was also an engineer and constructed Whitby pier.

The White Horse and Griffin was the first coaching inn from Whitby to York and London, the terminus.

The most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens, stayed there and the building was later used as the set for the BBC Charles Dickens series which starred acting greats David Hemmings and Simon Callow.

It was also used as a meeting place for explorers Captain James Cook and William Scoresby who hired and fixed their crews from the building.

The White Horse and Griffin closed in 1939, the day of the Battle of the River Plate – the first major Naval Battle in the Second World War.

It was used as a fishermen’s store for the next 50 years and was left to dereliction until it was bought by the Perkins.

It took 11 years to restore, maintaining all its original features.

Diners who have visited the White Horse and Griffin over the years include acting legend Michael Caine, musician Bryan Ferry, the Queen’s cousin Viscount Linley and American actress Linda Gray, who is best known for her role as Sue Ellen Ewing on the television soap opera Dallas.

Other visitors include Hollywood film producers Gary Goldstein, Coronation Street stars including Reece Dinsdale (Gail Platt’s late husband) and Italian footballer Gianluca Festa.

Celebrity chefs including Gary Rhodes, the Two Fat Ladies, Brian Turner and more recently Ainsley Harriott have all cooked in the White Horse and Griffin’s kitchen.

The White Horse and Griffin is being sold on a freehold basis with the business and everything involved on a lock, stock and barrel basis.

Price is on application only.