THE iconic White Hart restaurant and hotel at Lydgate and its sister business Dinnerstone in Uppermill have closed.

Charles Brierley took the decision on Thursday night declaring: “I’d like to wish everyone the very best of health and happiness during these challenging times.

“At present no member of our greatly valued team at both The White Hart and Dinnerstone are showing signs of infection.

‘However, I have today decided it is in the best interests of our employees and valued customers we should isolate the business for the next 14 days or longer if the government decides.

‘The reason for this decision is due to an employee having a person living in their home showing signs of infection. This employee went into self-isolation this morning after NHS advise. This employee is also not showing signs of infection.

“So I repeat, no one in our team is showing signs of infection. This is an entirely precautionary decision.

“ I apologise for any inconvenience this will cause to our valued customers especially as it is Mother’s Day on Sunday.

“Our team has been working hard over this period contacting as many of our customers as possible who have events planned in the coming months.

“ We have been putting in place an action plan in anticipation of a government directive to close. We have set up remote work stations so that we will be able to continue to communicate with all our customers. Please be patient, we will look after you all.”

He added: “All fresh food produce in both kitchens at the White Hart and Dinnerstone are being donated local Food Banks.

“When government finally tells us all to self-isolate, remember to telephone all your loved ones on a daily basis - stay happy and healthy.”