The Hovingham Inn's departing owners Richard and Lindsey Johns to take a break from the restaurant trade

A chef and his wife who ran a popular North Yorkshire gastropub have confirmed they are to take some time out from the hospitality trade.

Richard and Lindsey Johns announced earlier this year that they would be leaving The Hovingham Inn in May when their lease ended, having struggled with 'unviable conditions' including price increases and staffing.

In an interview with trade website The Caterer, they have said that they are not immediately moving onto a new venture and will take some time out before deciding on their next steps.

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They said the past eight years in the industry have been 'full-on' and that although they want to continue in the food and drink business, they need to find an opening that is right for them.

Richard and Lindsey Johns

They also expanded on their reasons for leaving The Hovingham Inn, which they took over in 2019, saying that recruiting staff in a rural area was a challenge.

They say their next venture is likely to be smaller and more bespoke, similar to Artisan in Hessle, near Hull, which they ran until 2013.

The couple have been in the restaurant trade since 2004 and have achieved numerous listings in top food guides, including Michelin, Harden's, Good Food and Estrella Damm Best Gastropubs.

After leaving Artisan they moved to The Falcon Inn in Withernwick and secured Holderness its first ever entry into the major food guides. Their next venture was a three-year stint at Rascills in Raskelf, but they took the decision to end their lease in 2019, citing difficulties in turning a profit due to the village's location off the main tourist trial.

The Hovingham Inn was previously called The Malt Shovel and was given a full renovation when Richard and Lindsey arrived.

They subsequently achieved a listing in the Michelin Guide, an entry in Estrella Damm's list of top 100 gastropubs and recognition from The Times.