Rosemary Shrager’s Tunbridge Wells cookery school came close to closing

Lee Colyer

Celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager revealed this week how her Tunbridge Wells cookery school turned into a ‘disaster’ and came close to going under before she teamed up with the Hadlow Group and turned it all around.
When she’s not running her school in the Corn Exchange she’s filming the BBC2 series The Big Family Cooking Showdown or travelling to Thailand for the next instalment of the BBC 2 reality TV show The Real Marigold Hotel.
Talking to the Times about the school she said: “It was really just a bit too big to take up on by myself. I had a lot of people sponsoring and supporting me because I’ve been around a long time but I had the wrong people in place advising me financially at the time and it was a disaster.”
“My naivety and lack of experience and business acumen was one of the key things that led to the financial troubles.”
With all the monetary strains of her cookery school mounting up she soon found herself in a very bleak place.
“That day when I met Mark Lumsdon-Taylor from the Hadlow Group in March 2016 I knew I couldn’t carry on any longer. It had taken everything from me – my energy, my sleep. I was looking ghastly and I felt ghastly. We were counting the days . . .”
She told Mark that he had approximately one week to save her school. “I was totally honest with him.”

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