Published: 06:00, 15 September 2019
A pub dating back to the 15th century is being given a £300,000 makeover to create a modern boutique feel.
The Woolpack in Tenterden High Street was purchased by Hush Heath Hospitality last November, following the departure of its colourful landlord Rob Cowan, who famously clashed with planners after painting the historic hostelry a shade of pink.
Refurbishment works have begun on the interior, which will see the bar extended across the width of pub to the High Street end, while carpets are being ripped out and wooden flooring laid throughout.
Canterbury Archaeology was consulted ahead of work on The Woolpack, the origins of which can be traced back to medieval times.
General manager George Wilkins said the emphasis of the work at all times would be "sympathetic to the building and leaving the charm and character of a 15th century inn intact".
Hotel rooms will have new furniture, with updated decor to reflect the "boutique look and feel" of the Hush Heath brand.
Former staff accommodation is being turned into a family suite, bringing the total number of hotels rooms to seven.
A reconfiguration of the pub’s restaurant will up the number of covers from 45 to 60.
Outside the garden has already been transformed with landscaping and the addition of a climbing frame to create a family-friendly space.
Major work on the Woolpack’s adjacent barn, will see extra glass fronted doors added and new windows, plus toilets including for disabled use.
Repairs are being made to the roof, while wood-burning stoves will be added for winter warmth.
An events kitchen is set to cater for more functions in the barn, where the emphasis will be on working in close co-operation with neighbours in Eastwell Barn Mews, who previously complained to Ashford Borough Council (ABC) about excessive noise coming from the building during live music shows.
George said: “We were be working with our neighbours and the licensing department with regards to the barn and the emphasis will be avoiding any disruption.”
London-based AMA Architects has drawn up the plans to upgrade The Woolpack, where work on the barn is expected to be completed by Christmas and the pub itself finished in January.