A fire which reduced one of the best-known restaurants in the north of England to “ashes” is being treated as arson.
The thatched, 14th-century Star Inn at Harome, a Michelin-starred restaurant near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, was devastated by a blaze which started on Wednesday evening.
More than 40 firefighters tackled the fire and specialist investigators were called in to carry out inquiries on Thursday.
North Yorkshire Police said: “Following an examination of the scene by police crime scene investigators and fire investigation officers, it is now believed that the fire was started deliberately.
“A number of groups of people were in the area around the time of the fire, and police are urging anyone with information about the incident to contact them.”
No-one was injured in the fire.
On Thursday, chef Andrew Pern tweeted that the business had been “reduced to ashes”.
The Star Inn at Harome has regularly featured in lists of the best restaurants and gastropubs since the arrival of chef and patron Mr Pern 25 years ago.
North Yorkshire Police thanked the local community for their understanding while emergency services were on the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.