An historic drovers’ inn in one of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque villages has appointed a new front of house and general manager.

Lee Webb has joined The Owl at Hawnby, a hidden gem near Helmsley in the heart of the North York Moors National Park.

Lee joins a talented team, headed by Yorkshire-born chef Sam Varley.
He commented: “This is a tremendously exciting opportunity for me. Hawnby is one of the most beautiful places I have ever worked in and it’s a dream come true to be able to live in the midst of such a majestic landscape.
“The Owl is the heartbeat of the village and, with the recent arrival of a brilliant chef like Sam, it is set to become one of the finest inns, with rooms, in the whole of North Yorkshire. It is a privilege to work here.
“News of the Owl’s renaissance is spreading fast and I expect to be very busy over the Christmas period and into the New Year. But that’s the way I like it.”

Lee’s past experience includes two years with Anglian Country Inns, together with stints at The Rockmount and La Reunion in Guernsey, as well as many years with Fullers working on refurbishments and new openings.

Sam who is the co-owner of Bantam, the Michelin-acclaimed restaurant in Helmsley, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lee to the Owl. His enthusiasm, expertise and experience will prove invaluable here and his appointment is crucial to making the Owl a warm and welcoming place to eat and stay.”
He added: “The food and drink we are serving at the Owl will help to maintain and enhance one of the loveliest pubs in Yorkshire. It will be covering all bases, from walkers coming in for a pint and a snack, to guests staying for dinner and bed and breakfast. Everyone will be treated to the warmest of welcomes and tremendous food.

“There will be a clear distinction between the bar snacks and the full restaurant menu, but all our food will be created in house and served with the same attention to detail & care we take at Bantam. I am very proud of what we have achieved at Bantam in a short space of time and I am determined to extend this success at the Owl. The potential here is amazing. Lee is a very important part of our journey.”

Lee’s hobbies include cooking, running, photography and sports.