A NEW head chef is to take over at Saundersfoot's acclaimed Coast Restaurant in March.

Fred Clapperton, previously at the Clock House in Surrey - for which he won his first Michelin star - is to succeed Tom Hine who is returning to his native Cornwall for family reasons.

Fred’s arrival comes as further investment is planned for the restaurant overlooking Coppet Hall beach, with its refurbishment by acclaimed UK designer, Martin Hulbert.

Coast is part of the Welsh hospitality group The Seren Collection, which also includes the Grove hotel near Narberth.

Said Seren managing director, Neil Kedward: “Fred is the perfect fit for us for many reasons, but his cooking style is what really stood out for us.

"His creative modern approach and lightness of touch fits our aspirations for Coast Restaurant. He is a confident and intelligent young chef who clearly knows his own mind and cooking style and we can’t wait to welcome him to Pembrokeshire.

"It’s a very exciting new chapter for Coast.”

Said Fred: "“I am thrilled to be joining the Seren Collection, and heading up Coast. It is a stunning and inspiring location and I look forward to being a part of its evolution as we drive to create a memorable experience to accompany the location.”

Raised in Nottinghamshire, Fred spent his younger years working in a local village pub, pot-washing while he watched and learned how a kitchen was run.

Quickly realising he wanted to unearth his creativity, he took every opportunity to learn more about the cooking side before he became responsible for running the kitchen.

He then started to branch out and spent time in his early career at the 2 AA Rosette Bibury Court Hotel.

In 2012, he moved to the Michelin-starred Drakes in Surrey, where he worked his way up through the ranks. The restaurant was rebranded as The Clock House in 2016, at which point Fred took over the kitchen as head chef. One year later, Fred won his first Michelin star.