North West, Premier Hospitality

Refurbishing The White Hart

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Located in Lydgate, Oldham, The White Hart overlooks Manchester and the Cheshire plain, producing exceptional views.

On a good day guests can even take a peek at the Welsh Mountains and Snowdonia, whilst on an overcast day, guests can simply enjoy their immediate surroundings, whilst The White Hart serves up hospitality in abundance.

Charles Brierley – the pub’s owner – bought what was a derelict building in 1994 in order to implement a series of refurbishment works to create a fantastic pub for the local community. An extension was built in 1999, followed by a new function room in 2005 and at present, work has been undertaken to update the restaurant and create a new pavilion.

Keen to find out about the refurbishment works to the restaurant and beyond, Premier Hospitality recently sat down with owner, Charles Brierley and his team, including designer Pam Hines.

 

Charles said:

“I wanted the restaurant to be special, because it isn’t huge, it only has 40 covers. So with the help of our General Manager Ian, Mike the Head Chef and of course, Pam – we had the design side and the operational side covered, to get the right facilities for us.

“This room we are sat in – know known as The Dining Room – has operated as a restaurant and also as a reception/function space. With it operating under two different guises it has been challenging to create a real identity for the space.”

Discussing the design of the restaurant, designer, Pam Hines commented:

“We are maintaining a simple brief: ‘sexy’ with lots of intimate lighting – but at the same time it has to provide a daytime function too.”

 

General Manager, Ian, said:

“My input has been more to do with the bar design than anything else. The old bar was difficult to work with so the creation of a new bar allows us to create something that suits people who stand at the bar as well as those sitting in the restaurant.”

The White Hart hosts many events and celebrations, including weddings. In fact the venue provides the perfect setting for a wedding, allowing brides and grooms the opportunity to transform their dreams into a reality with a dedicated team on hand to prepare something truly special.

To ensure the pub continues to offer the best service possible, especially for very special occasions, a pavilion is being created in order to set out a dedicated function space within the pub. This pavilion will free up the restaurant – where many of the functions currently take place – allowing the restaurant to keep its own distinct identity.

 

Charles said:

“The idea of creating the pavilion is to remove 90% of the restaurant’s use as a function room, so that we will gain roughly 70 trading days back. We have high demand for a function room, so the pavilion will be ideal for this. We want to create a space from the existing site which has the wow factor – our designer Pam Hines is helping us to do this.”

To complement the changes at The White Hart, the pub’s menu has had a few tweaks and includes delectable starters such as pork shoulder pate, white bean soup with grain mustard and tarragon, and beautiful sea scallops. Main dishes include pan roast wild sea bass, Cumberland sausage and fillet of beef accompanied by snails, girolles and parsley. Irresistible desserts include passionfruit cheesecake, hot raspberry soufflé and chocolate tart with poached cherries and cardamom ice cream.

 

Head Chef of The White Hart, Mike Shaw, said:

“The menu has been revamped but not completely – the old restaurant didn’t quite fit the food, so we changed the name of the restaurant, from The Restaurant to The Dining Room. This may seem petty but a small change like this makes a big difference.”

In addition to food and functions, 12 en-suite rooms are housed within the pub, all named after local dignitaries and situated in the original building which was built in 1788. Designer Pam has also been involved in the refurbishment works on all 12 rooms – three of which are incomplete, but are due to be finished in January.

All rooms are individually appointed to the highest standards, include en-suite facilities with luxurious bathrooms and meet the high levels of comfort expected in ones own home. Additional facilities include room service and Wi-Fi.

 

Although the refurbished restaurant, spruced up rooms and the pavilion are a huge focus of the work at The White Hart, they are not the only works going on in the Oldham pub. According to Charles, another project may be on the horizon.

“We may even be converting two cottages which aren’t actually joined to the building – to make them into additional bedrooms,” he said.

It seems like only yesterday that Dawnvale completed the Oak Room function room Bar for the White Hart Lydgate. Some 10 years on they have just completed the design and installation for the new ‘Dining Room’ fine dining restaurant and cocktail bar.

Working with existing customers and maintaining strong relationships is a big part of Dawnvale’s philosophy and this new project is a classic case in point.

Neil Guest, Managing Director of Dawnvale, said:

“It’s a great pleasure and honour to be working alongside The White Hart again. Ten years has flown by and it is great to see the continued success of Charles and his team.”

For more information about The White Hart, please visit: www.thewhitehart.co.uk.

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