Property round-up

£121k revamp of Herts GK pub and boutique pub with rooms opens in Newbury

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Property latest: if you have any property news, email the address at the bottom of this article
Property latest: if you have any property news, email the address at the bottom of this article

Related tags: Property, Multi-site pub operators, Pubco + head office, Tenanted + leased, Beer, Accommodation

The latest property news includes Greene King Pub Partners’ renovation of a village pub in Hertfordshire, Red Lion Holdings’ restoration of a site with boutique pub and rooms in Berkshire, a new Punch Pubs site and London Fields Brewery site placed on market.

£121,000 investment transforms George & Dragon pub

The George & Dragon pub in Watton-at-Stone has been transformed following a £121,000 investment from pub owners Greene King Pub Partners and new partners Helen Price and Michael Rowe (pictured below). 

The Hertfordshire village local was meant to undergo its renovation over two years ago but was delayed due to lockdowns.

After the long wait, the pub is now ready to open once more following extensive restoration of the property, including to its wooden beams and an upgraded garden to maximise outdoor dining space.

The pub, which will offer a menu of traditional British pub classics and premium ‘gastro’ options, is both a village local with the community at its heart and a destination pub for those in nearby Stevenage and Hertford looking to escape to the countryside.

The dog-friendly pub serves food all day, screens Sky Sports and offers a range of beers from premium lagers to craft beer and real ale.

Helen and Michael said: “We cannot wait to get started and welcome people into our beautiful new pub. Locals in the village have their community pub back again. For those coming from further afield, whether you are out walking your dog or want a special pub to visit with friends and family, you are welcome here.”

Greene King Pub Partners business development manager Andy Turner said: “After a two-year wait, it is great to see our vision to restore this beautiful pub become reality. I’ve worked with Helen and Michael before and they are excellent partners. Their experience, passion and expertise in running a great local pub is unmatched.”

Greene King currently employs around 40,000 people across its five divisions: Local Pubs; Destination Food Brands; Premium, Urban and Venture Brands; Pub Partners; and Brewing & Brands. The Greene King Pub Partners division operates more than 1,000 leased, tenanted and franchise pubs across England, Scotland and Wales with independent business partners.

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Boutique pub with rooms opens in Berkshire village

After months of restoration work, the Hare & Hounds has opened and boasts a traditional pub, dining room and 30-bed coaching inn, as well as a covered garden terrace.

The 17th century Georgian building, which is operated by Red Lion Holdings under the leadership of sector entrepreneurs Jason Myers and David Ramsey, is set at the foot of Newbury in the village of Speen and is surrounded by the horse racing course and is close to Donnington and Highclere Castles.

The Barn Dining Room has enjoyed a complete overhaul and now shows off its exposed beams in an area that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with farm-to-table menus that change with the seasons and champion local suppliers and producers.

The accommodation comprises 30 bedrooms named after the equestrian world and historic dignitaries. Some of the rooms feature roll-top bathtubs and all have powerful showers, Roberts radios, Bramley bath products, The White Company bathrobes and slippers. There is also a selection of ground-floor dog-friendly rooms including dog bed, bowl and a ‘Bramley Dog Box’ on arrival. There are also two private dining rooms seating 12 guests.

The Hare & Hounds follows the recent launch of the Wild Thyme & Honey hotel, which also has its own pub called the Crown in Ampney Crucis in the Cotswolds. Both pubs are owned and managed by Myers and Ramsey and is the fourth property to join the group with the other two being the Cricketers on the Green, Pirbright, and the Kings Arms, Egham.

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Punch Pubs launches 25th ‘Fireside’ site 

The Ship in Elswick has reopened following a £400,000 investment by Punch Pubs & Co to become the 25th pub in the group’s Fireside concept within its Management Partnership portfolio.

The Ship has been transformed into a true countryside haven, fusing traditional charm with a modern finish throughout its interiors and garden.

Butcher Aubrey Allen, which was recently named in partnership with Fireside pubs, will be supplying ingredients for the pub’s menu that sees British classics rub shoulders with modern bistro dishes, and plenty of small plates perfect for nibbling on with drinks.

Operations Director Robin Belither said: “We are so proud to be reopening the Ship and unveiling its beautiful new look. It’s a magnificent country pub, the perfect place to mark the opening of our 25th Fireside pub. Achieving this alongside the nomination at the Publican Awards is fantastic for Fireside and we're very excited at the prospect of opening even more Fireside pubs across the country.”

Pictured below are management partner Jamie Beaumont, Punch Pubs senior operations manager Janine Leadbetter, head chef Charlie Layfield and operations manager Neil Gazzard.

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London Fields Brewery site placed on market

A property consultancy has been instructed to place Hackney-based site beer manufacturing site London Fields Brewery to the market.

In December last year, The Morning Advertiser​ reported the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) was looking to sell the site and brand​ after shutting the taproom and stopping brewing.

It was the first commercial brewery to open in Hackney in more than a century when it opened in 2011.

The east London-based brewery was sold to Carlsberg for a reported £4m in July 2017 and was relaunched in February 2018. It was again relaunched in August 2019​ after owner Carlsberg forked out £2.1m, including £1.5m on new brewing kit alone, to take on craft beer rivals.

In December last year, CMBC chief executive Paul Davies said: “We’ve taken the difficult decision to propose the closure of London Fields Brewery with a view to selling the site and brand.

“The team has been informed of this decision and we will now enter into a period of consultation with them while we also explore the market’s interest in the brewery. Our primary aim now is supporting the team through what will be a difficult time for them.”

To read the full story, click here​.

London field brewery
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