Not so long ago, staying overnight in a pub wasn’t necessarily a great experience but it offered a budget option.
In a blog on the Pub 19 website the industry pub show which takes place in London in February, David Hancock, founder of Inn Places, says: “Gone are the days of cheaply furnished rooms with their accompanying smell of stale tobacco, food and beer, while basic shared bathrooms await at the end of dimly let corridors.”
Now, as many pubs are looking for ways of increasing profits, there is a move for them to introduce rooms – and in many cases rather nice ones. This is giving the public a wider variety of choice when getting away for a weekend or looking for somewhere to stop enroute or while attending a function, such as a wedding. David Hancock adds:
“Rural pubs are rapidly becoming our new breed of country hotels and restaurants. Classy furnishings and fabrics, contemporary bathrooms and cossetting. Eye-for-detail extras – once the preserve of five-star hotels – are now the norm in many of our country pubs and inns.”
Many of our clients, including Young’s, Shepherd Neame, St Austell Brewery and Hall & Woodhouse, to name but a few, are undertaking projects to provide such accommodation.
According to a recent article in The Caterer, Fuller’s Inns – another of our clients – has seen a dramatic growth in its room stock, up from 200 or so a decade ago to 781, following its recent acquisition of six Bel & The Dragon pubs with rooms.
Jonathon Swaine, Managing Director of Fullers’ Inns, is quoted in the article as hoping to see that figure rise to 1,000 rooms in the next five years.
Many traditional old pubs started life as inns, so may already boast space which can be turned back into accommodation. In addition, some pubs don’t necessarily have managers living onsite anymore, which could see their accommodation transforming into rooms for guests.
Other pubs, particularly those with outside space, are being more creative. Some are altering outbuildings into accommodation or are building brand new lodges on site.
For people who enjoy staying in a pub, there’s a website – Stay in a Pub – which suggests pubs with accommodation across the UK. David Hancock concludes:
“Britain’s pubs offer an informal atmosphere, good food, real ales, fine wines and footpaths from the front door – the perfect recipe for a great weekend away.”
PSE Associates provides traditional professional Quantity Surveying and Project Management services to many brand leaders in the leisure, retail and commercial sectors.