Published: 00:01, 05 February 2018
A grand country estate on the outskirts of Canterbury is to undergo a multi-million pound refurbishment so it can be transformed into an upmarket hotel.
Bridge Place Manor, a Grade I-listed Jacobean mansion in Bridge, has been bought by the Home Grown Hotels chain, which operates the popular Pig Hotels brand.
It has won planning permission to allow work to begin on what will become known as The Pig at Bridge Place.
The sale of the property, put on the market by long-time owner Peter Malkin for £2.5 million, was dependent on the planning permission being secured.
Now work on transforming the site is under way, with the hotel chain expecting to plough some £5.5 million into the project.
Among the major changes will be the creation of a new linked coach house boasting 10 bedrooms and seven ‘hop pickers’ huts, made from reclaimed material from an island within the grounds.
In addition, there will be a restored gate house offering another two bedrooms.
Together with seven newly refurbished bedrooms in the main house, it means there will be 26 rooms altogether.
Home Grown Hotels boss Robin Hutson said: “We are delighted to get permission and have started the soft strip-out of things like old bathrooms.
“We will give it the same personal love and attention we give all our hotels to create our unique brand of effortless, laid-back chic, which our customers love.”
Mr Hutson says he was attracted to Bridge Place because of its setting and wealth of historic interior features.
The project also fits in with the company’s ethos of restoring and converting historic buildings into hotels.
Together with a further two recent acquisitions in Cornwall and West Sussex, it will bring the company’s portfolio to eight hotels.
The new coach house will also feature a conservatory restaurant with open kitchen and views on to the kitchen gardens. An existing barn will be converted into a kitchen larder.
It is hoped the property’s gardens will grow much of the produce used in the kitchens, with the rest being sourced from producers within a 25-mile radius.
The interior look and feel of the accommodation will be overseen by Robin’s wife, Judy Hutson, an acclaimed interior designer.
Mr Hutson said: “We will give it the same love as our own home.”
Mr Hutson said he hoped to open The Pig at Bridge Place by the end of the year if everything went to plan.
The venue, owned by Peter Malkin for more than 50 years, had previously attracted interest from Queen guitarist Brian May, who was apparently interested in it as a family home.
During its heyday, the venue played host to a string of legendary music acts, among them Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Yardbirds and the Moody Blues.
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