A project to renovate The Old Stocks Hotel in Gloucestershire is progressing well with works set to complete in March 2015.
The newly titled The Old Stocks Inn is situated within a Grade II Listed building and has been sensitively restored to create a boutique hotel that will appeal to the higher end of the hotel market.
Works began on site in October last year with Tekne Shopfitting acting as the main contractor on the scheme. Tekne became involved with the project after being referred to the client by the architect, Jordan Littler, with whom they had worked with previously.
Works have been undertaken to update the building’s services whilst maintaining the character and charm of the structure. Many of the 17th Century building’s features and original materials have been retained and replicated in order to ensure the property did not lose its charm during this process.
A complete refit of the venue has also been carried out including the installation of new floors, new ceilings, a modern water and heating system, as well as the electrical system being reconfigured. Almost all of the property’s timber floors have been replaced and a new kitchen has been installed. New public areas have also been constructed.
Due to the nature of the building, works were carried out under the watchful eye of the local Conservation Officer.
The venue’s new 38 cover restaurant has been revamped and now also boasts a 16 cover Private Dining area for smaller gatherings. The venue’s 16 bedrooms have also been redecorated and fitted out in line with individual themes.
The hotel, when completed, will be a boutique-styled venue comprising olde-worlde character furnishings and fittings. Inlaid tile and timber floors have been fitted and many of the Cotswold stone walls have been retained and exposed.
The onsite team has encountered a few challenges during the project. These challenges included the renovation of the roof and floors, which were in a particularly poor condition and reinstating lathe and plaster ceilings to the restaurant and reception areas in order to make the space useable.
The Drawing Office and Production teams were also challenged during the manufacture of the built-in furniture as some floors were sloped and the walls were not straight because of the age of the building.
Programming and planning were key to getting sanitary ware and furniture in place due to the narrow corridors not all of which could be navigated through these passages. So as work progressed baths had to be lifted on to the first floor through the gaps in the floor where the timber was to be replaced. The beds and wardrobes had to be delivered to site in flat-packs and be reconstructed insitu.
A spokesperson from Tekne commented:
“This was a very interesting project for us. It is extremely satisfying to be involved in the renovation and preservation of such a characterful building. The whole project team has been full of enthusiasm for the revival of the hotel and it has been a privilege to work with the clients and their staff. We wish them every success in the future.”
Structural works in the bedrooms and the partition walls for the bathrooms were completed by December 2014, as was the first stage of the plumbing. This meant that the team could then fit the basins, toilets, showers and baths.
Some workers stayed on site over the festive period in a bid to ensure works remained on track.
During this time the bedroom walls were boarded and skimmed, and all of the electrical cables were fitted. The door linings were also fitted along with the new lining for the floors and the buildings original wooden beams were sandblasted and treated, so as to restore them to their original colour.
On the ground floor, the kitchen floor is nearly fully boarded, and the extractor hood has been fitted. Other appliances and work counters are also soon to be fitted providing the ideal work environment for The Old Stocks Head Chef Chris White.
Chris began his career in the fine dining industry and has since travelled all over the world discovering many different techniques and flavours. Chris commented:
“For The Old Stocks’ new menu, we’ve really considered what makes British dishes great, and our guests will be able to experience truly modern British cooking when they come to visit us – we’ve taken classic dishes and put our own unique twist on them. Although my cooking is a lot simpler these days, I’ve stuck with the traditions of elegant presentation.
“I want food to look great, but I don’t want it to be over complicated. However, it is true that you eat with your eyes first of all, so if the food looks good, you’re already excited. Then our flavours will deliver and live up to the presentation. I’ve already started working with local suppliers of quality ingredients and meeting farmers and butchers. The Cotswolds is one of the best parts of the country for produce, and it’s what The Old Stocks is all about.
“I want to use as many local ingredients as possible and build good partnerships with our suppliers. Our ingredients need to have been well looked after and well cared for, without that the cooking will struggle. Once the team is on board, all of my chefs will go out to visit our suppliers. They need to understand the thought that goes into growing the produce we use. It will help them to care more about the ingredients they’re dealing with and ultimately make them better chefs.”
Moordown Contractors Ltd
Established in 1997, Moordown Contractors Ltd is a family run business specialising in mechanical and electrical building services. The company carries out a range of services, including gas, electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, fire alarms, data cabling and cellar cooling.
Moordown Contractors Ltd provides a full design service – taking projects through to installation, maintenance and repairs – along with a reactive call out service.
Recent projects for Moordown Contractors Ltd have included the Old Stocks hotel at Stow on the Wold, Milk Churn, Melksham, Rising Sun Brewhouse and Kitchen Poole, and Mason Arms at Branscombe.
Working on the Old Stocks project, Moordown Contractors Ltd installed and commissioned the mechanical services including heating hot and cold water and ventilation.
When asked what the company prides itself on, Christine Edwards of Moordown Contractors Ltd, said:
“We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service.”
Beam & Clean Restore
Beam & Clean Restore specialises in the gentle cleaning of delicate surfaces such as beams, woodwork, floors and brickwork and has been in operation for three years. Since their inception the firm have undertaken projects for mostly private clients as well as high profile customers such as Morrison’s, The Box Moor Trust Visitors Centre in Hemel Hempstead, Robert Welch, Angmering School in West Sussex, Euro Windows and the Greensville Trust Felicity House Restoration Project in Liverpool.
We caught up with Julie Barnes, Director of Beam & Clean Restore, to find out more about the firm’s involvement in The Old Stocks. Julie commented:
“We were initially approached by Tekne to tender for the project at The Old Stocks. We were then invited to work with them to clean the beams in the hotel, which included those in the bedrooms, all of the bar areas, the landings and the coffee rooms.
“It was great to work with a company like Tekne as they were extremely professional and we hope to work with them again. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers, as well as our cleanliness and thoroughness on the job and our response times to all of our enquiries.”