Priory restaurant lease up for sale

Priory Haywards Heath
Priory Haywards Heath

THE FORMER Priory Carvery restaurant in Haywards Heath is up for sale.

Christie and Co announced this week that the former bar, function room, restaurant and ancillary areas in Syresham Gardens has been put up for sale, either as a selection or as a whole depending on the purchaser’s requirements.

Robert Cockayne, the negotiator at Christie and Co who is handling the sale, said: “The opportunity to acquire a flexible lease in such a unique property is a rarity in the current market.

“I am very excited to be instructed on the sale of The Priory, due to the diverse range of businesses that it would suit, and especially its suitability as a wedding venue, which many existing operators are crying out for at the moment.”

In 2007 The Priory Carvery was featured in Gordon Ramsay’s Channel 4 show Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

The out-spoken chef installed a brand new kitchen and transformed it into a grill.

However, two years later the restaurant shut its doors and was re-invented as a Spanish Tapas bar and restaurant called La Capilla.

At the time owner Scott Aitchison said: “We tried to make the grill work but people in the town asked for the carvery back so we gave them what they wanted. The carvery lasted a year and we tried very hard to make it a success but at the end of the day we didn’t get the support and it didn’t work.”

La Capilla shut its doors over a year ago.

The Priory was founded by the English Convent at Bruges in 1896. The main chapel building, which houses the restaurant, was completed in 1897.

The restaurant space still retains many of its original features including stained-glass windows, wall murals and the choristers’ chancel. It also has ornate stonework beneath a high-vaulted roof with exposed timbers and carvings.

Christie and Co has been instructed to market The Priory for sale with offers invited for the leasehold interest.