Following a stunning makeover, The Lickfold Inn on Highstead Lane has reopened, to the delight of West Sussex residents.
Overseen by Michelin star chef, Tom Sellers, the building has been restored to its former glory and has already proved a hit with punters.
The Grade II Listed building – which was built in the 15th Century – was once owned by broadcaster Chris Evans, but had been closed for almost four years prior to its transformation. During this time, local residents campaigned to save the pub, before Chef Sellers stepped in, signalling the site’s restoration.
Work on The Lickfold Inn began in April 2014, with Siobhan Dillon as the interior designer on the project. Tooley Developments was the main contractor.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality, Siobhan Dillon, said:
“The renovation of The Lickfold was really driven by the community. A couple of years ago, there was a huge campaign by local residents to save The Lickfold because they could see it was deteriorating over time. Residents were keen to buy and renovate the building themselves, but when that didn’t happen, Tom Sellers and his investor bought the site.”
“It is such a beautiful building with so much character, so it excited us greatly when we got to start on the renovation work.”
The Lickfold Inn comprises two floors, with a pub on the ground floor and a restaurant located on the first floor. Whilst the 40-cover restaurant provides a fine dining experience, the pub serves up a selection of pub snacks and drinks.
When approaching the design, Siobhan wanted to give the pub a real homely feel, whilst the restaurant’s design took inspiration from Chef Sellers and the food that he creates.
“When you walk into a building, it doesn’t matter if you know the square footing or have pre-conceived ideas of what it is, you suddenly get a vibe for something when you see it yourself. The Lickfold was crying out for a little love and attention and comfort. I wanted to create a real home-from-home, but again with a community spirit in mind, so that people don’t want to leave. Meanwhile, the restaurant has a more formal feel. The vibe leans a little more to a Michelin stared restaurant.”
“When you work with a chef like Tom Sellers you can’t help but take inspiration from his cooking. He has a love for cooking and is very big on invoking feelings and memories through food.”
The project has been a labour of love for Siobhan and this is evident through the attention to detail which has been included in the design.
“Prior to this project I’ve mostly been involved with residential projects, so to work on The Lickfold Inn was great. Design is a huge passion of mine and this project is something which I have spent a lot of time on. I have a performing arts background, so you can see some of the theatrical accents coming through in my designs and it was a pleasure to help reopen The Lickfold.”
Expelled at the age of 16, Nottingham-born Tom saw cooking as a much welcome alternative to academia and managed to bag his first job in a pub kitchen washing up dishes. Tom soon switched the sink for the stove, when he landed a position at Tom Aikens’ Chelsea restaurant.
Tom continued to develop his craft in some of the best restaurants in California, New York, London and Copenhagen, before returning to native waters in order to get his own restaurant off the ground. This latest venture from Tom has brought The Lickfold Inn back with a bang, whilst ensuring the building’s legacy continues.
Salix Commercial Kitchens
Salix Commercial Kitchens specialise in custom made bespoke industrial chefs kitchens and have been in operation for 25 years. Since their inception the firm have worked with a number of high profile clients including Tom Sellers Restaurant Story, Tom Kerridge on The Coach and Horses, Barrafina in Covent Garden, as well as working alongside Jason Atherton for all of his restaurant ventures.
Most recently the firm have worked with Tom Sellers on his second venue The Lickfold Inn. The Salix team, along with Tom, created a very chef led design in the 16th century venue meaning most of the venue focuses around the kitchen. The kitchen space has been trebled yet is still architecturally sensitive to the building. The venue comprises a traditional pub and lounge area on the ground floor and two dining rooms on the first floor.
We caught up with Rod Cullen of Salix, to find out more. He commented:
“It was important to be involved with Tom on this project, as he is constantly breaking new ground with food and kitchen design in his restaurants and therefore we needed to up our game to do the same with our fabrication and engineering and match his modern techniques.
We pride ourselves on delivering commercial kitchens to the exact specification of the chef, in line with their exacting demands and standards.