Bonwick, who ran Michelin-starred Berkshire pub The Crown with his family for almost a decade, will join Noble Inns from the end of this month. He will take over the kitchen from the much-lauded and influential chef Ruth Hansom who, along with the team, has helped it win 3 AA rosettes and be named the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award in the 2022 Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs.
He is following in the footsteps of fellow chef Tony Parkin who this summer moved to the Noble Inn-owned The Brickmakers Arms in Windlesham, Surrey, from The Tudor Room at Great Fosters Hotel.
Noble Inns runs a handful of successful London gastropubs, including The Albion, Smokehouse and The Pig and Butcher, all of which are located in Islington.
Announcing the move, Noble Inns described Bonwick as a ‘true legend’.
“Barry [Weller, Noble Inns director] and I go back twenty years and is both a good family friend and passionate operator who understands pubs," says Bonwick.
"We will continue to keep the ‘Bonwick standard’ in the new menu and be running through honest and unfussy dishes that will feature classic combinations, which focus firmly on the main ingredient. Sitting in the Princess, I already feel comfortable, and my family is excited for this new chapter.”
Hansom will be stepping away from Noble Inns for some time to undertake a series of stages at top restaurants in the UK but is expected to return to the group at some point. “I want to use this valuable time to learn new things and open my eyes to fresh ways of working that will help to keep my style of food relevant today and tomorrow, and benefit me and everyone I work with," she says.
“We fully support Ruth, and she is going with our blessing, and look forward to a new project with her in the coming months," says Weller.
Bonwick won a number of accolades while at The Crown, with the restaurant a regular on the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants List. Bonwick is known for his classic French cooking.
In May this year he sold it to The Beehive chef Dominic Chapman at the time saying he wanted to move on to a larger ‘more ambitious’ restaurant.