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About Us

Carl the chef proprietor was first inspired to become a Chef by his Uncle Karl who was Chef at the luxurious Hotel Sacher in Austria. Carl started his career at sixteen at the Lygon Arms Hotel in Broadway, Worcestershire and stayed there for four and a half years, this is where he met Julie his wife, who can now be found running the dining room. Carl then moved to the Savoy Hotel in London and was trained under the watchful eye of Master Chef Anton Edelman before moving on to the Michelin Star Chelsea Room at the Carlton Towers Hotel in Knightsbridge. In 1990 the opportunity presented itself for Carl and Julie to move to Sussex and buy their very own restaurant, The Willows in Ashington, a fifteenth century listed farm house.

Carl and Julie Illes moved to the Chardonnay Restaurant in 1996 and tastefully refurbished it to what you see today. The property has seen many uses from a Blacksmiths in the 18th Century to Tea Rooms in the 1960's when it was rumoured that the Rolling Stones stopped off on their way to gigs in Worthing. Bing Crosby ate here in 1976 on his way to the South Coast. The original building with it's beams and oldie world charm still exists today, but has been complimented with additional areas that blend in with the original features to give the Chardonnay a wealth of charm and character.

Websites relating to Bing Crosby: This is Findon Village and Bing Magazine .