Oakman Inns' Royal Foresters pub reopened with help of Royal Foresters

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Forest friends: The Royal Foresters helped its local pub in its reopening ceremony
Forest friends: The Royal Foresters helped its local pub in its reopening ceremony

Related tags Oakman inns Weather

A pub in Ascot was reopened with an arboreal ceremony by a group of Royal Foresters.

The ceremony, which took place last Friday (27 July), involved 14 Royal Foresters, members of the forestry team which looks after nearby Windsor Forests for the Crown Estate.

Putting a twist on the standard ribbon cutting ceremony, an eight-foot log was cut in half with a chainsaw. The ceremony was led by Royal Forester Russell Sturgess, with more than 44 years' experience as the longest-serving member of the Crown Estate team.

£10m investment

Pub group Oakman Inns​ has invested more than £10m in refurbishing the pub, which had been closed for three years.

Extreme weather conditions delayed the reopening earlier in the year, which came after local residents feared the pub could be sold off for housing development.

Redecorations have honoured the pub’s 140-year history, including a full restoration of an original bar with two log fires.

General pub manager, Malcolm Coulter, was presented with a special commemorative plaque made from local oak by the foresters.

Coulter said: “We consider it a huge privilege for us to have our reopening honoured by this team of professional and genuine Royal Foresters from the Crown Estate forestry team.

“The commemorative plaque will always be here to remind us of our close links to our pub’s heritage.”

'Proud of our team'

An 80-seat capacity function space for event hosting has been added to the pub, along with 24 guest rooms.

An open theatre-style kitchen means restaurant guests can watch the head chef and his team prepare traditional British and Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

At a reception attended by 450 guests to celebrate the reopening on the preceding evening, Peter Borg-Neal, chief exeuctive of Oakman Inns, said: “The delays caused by the extremes in weather throughout the build have been very frustrating for everyone concerned and I would like to thank all our neighbours and friends who have had to put up with the building works over the last few months.

“I’m very proud of our brilliant 100 strong-team lead by Malcolm Coulter who have worked so hard to be ready to welcome our first guests."

He added: “This has been Oakman Inns’ largest investment to date and it’s been very encouraging to hear so many positive comments from the local community who have waited to get their pub back.”

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