Alan Murchison's 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group has merged with Nina and Gerard Basset's Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest.
The merger sees Nina Basset take on the role of group managing director and will see the development of the TerraVina brand as well as the creation of a cookery and wine school in the New Forest.
The partnership comes after the Bassets (pictured) announced last year that they were seeking investors to help them finance the opening of "several hotels" on the coast and in provincial towns as well as a London restaurant.
Commenting on the merger, 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group's chairman, Richard Pursey, said it would substantially strengthen the group's offer.
"Led by Alan Murchison, we already have a number of the country's leading chefs in our team, but now we have probably the most decorated sommelier in the world spearheading our fine wines business," he said.
"Perhaps as importantly, though, Gerard and Nina's experience in hotel management will give us great depth to our board and I am delighted to announce that with this merger, Nina Basset has been appointed as the group's managing director."
Nina Basset added: "This merger will enhance that strategy as we intend to develop the TerraVina concept wherever 10 in 8 has a fine-dining restaurant. We will also create a world-class cookery and wine school based in the New Forest that will further strengthen our already established Fine Dining Academy."
The Bassets opened the 11-bedroom TerraVina in 2007 after taking a break from the industry following the sale in 2004 of Hotel du Vin, which Gerard had founded with Robin Hutson 10 years earlier.
A Catey Special Award winner, Gerard is the only individual ever to have completed the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, and MBA (Wine) qualifications, and has represented Great Britain and won every major sommelier award.
The 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group's offer includes Michelin-starred restaurants L'Ortolan in Berkshire and Paris House in Woburn as well as La Bécasse in Ludlow and the Angel (formerly Angelique) in Dartmouth. The company also runs its Fine Dining Academy Cookery School in Berkshire and Les Caveaux wine, spirits and fine foods club.
By Kerstin Kühn
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