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Jones closing The Harrow to focus on wine

Published:  09 January, 2020

After 21 years at Michelin-starred wine oasis The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, proprietors Roger and Sue Jones have announced they will take final orders on 28 March 2020.

During that time, rugby-loving Welsh-born chef Roger has become a prominent figure on the UK wine scene, especially noted for his championing of Australian, New Zealand and South African wines (among others), adding a string of accolades to his name, including Decanter Restaurant of the Year and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Jones is one of a few chefs that have looked to bridge the divide between kitchen and the wine side of the business, working with generic wine associations and others on many wine and food initiatives, along with judging and writing about wine.

Speaking to Harpers, Jones said: “After 21 years it is time to seek a new challenge, I’m hitting 60 next year and 16 hours in the kitchen is not for OAPs”, while promising he would still “continue to liven up the wine trade”.

On the subject of wine and chefs, Jones said there is still much work to be done to bring the two closer together.

“There is still a huge gap in communication between chefs and sommeliers and you can name on one hand the people who have balanced this, notably Christine Parkinson (ex Hakkasan, former chef), Mel Brown (New Zealand Cellar) and of course Martin Lam (ex-Ransome’s Dock) - whom we partly based The Harrow on.”

He added: “There is so much more sommeliers can do to soften the bridge, and make wine more fun and not make things difficult.”

Jones said that he would be concentrating on his wine judging, consultancy and wine writing after the sale of The Harrow, while continuing his fundraising work with various charities, including Ty Hafan and Anna Victorious.

“I have recently been made a Panel Chair at IWSC, and am extending my work with Tom Stevenson at CSWWC and also at Decanter,” Jones added, saying he was looking forward to having more time to spend in and with the wine trade.