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Rose and Crown – A jewel in the crown

Rose and Crown

Restoring a local landmark pub to its former glory, a project involving the extension and extensive upgrade of the Rose and Crown in Farnborough has just been completed, with the new look venue being described as ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the group who have taken over the lease.

The wide-ranging improvements followed the acquisition of the pub by award-winning gastropub group Whiting and Hammond, who secured the lease of the former Young’s managed venue.

It will be Whiting & Hammond’s ninth site, following their opening of the Blue Ball in Walton on the Hill in Surrey.

Whiting and Hammond Director Brian Whiting acted as main contractor for the project and personally oversaw the work of the sub contractors, who he says did a good job.

Brian Whiting said: “I think this venue is going to be the jewel in the crown of the Whiting and Hammond Group. This is a landmark pub which has been restored to its former glory. I think it will be our busiest site and it ticks all the boxes.

“We took the pub back to its bare bones, including carrying out demolition of old parts of the building which didn’t work any more, and carried out a fair amount of re-build. In fact we removed 18 lorry loads of soil and rubble, with each lorry carrying between 15 and 18 tonnes of soil and gravel. The project includes the re-location of the toilets and bar, the expansion of the kitchen and the construction of a new oak framed extension.”

The new oak framed extension is quite spectacular and features exposed beams and roof lights, making the interior light and airy. The extension, constructed in brick, will contain a new dining area with a feature fireplace.

The kitchen has also been extended and completely re-modelled, with all new equipment being installed, including Garland ovens, a charcoal grill for cooking steaks and a walk-in fridge (another back-up walk-in fridge had been installed within the cellar). “The cost of replacing the kitchen alone was £150,000 – so there are certainly no excuses for the chefs,” said Brian Whiting.

The bar area has also been expended by two metres and a new, longer bar with a dining facility at one end has been installed. Lemon coloured tiling has been laid where the old bar used to be, creating yet another new, attractive feature.

Other works include the re-location of the toilets which were previously situated at either side of the building. Brian Whiting said: “We have re-modelled the toilets completely and re-located them all to the left hand side of the building. The toilets are luxuriously finished and fitted, as this is a feature of our pubs that we never hold back on.

“Decor throughout will have a ‘Whiting and Hammond’ feel to it with artwork on the walls, candles and other features which reflect what our customers have frequently described as a ‘homely cosy, relaxed’ feel. We want the venue to appeal equally to customers, who want to dine or simply come in for a drink.”

Extensive external works have also been carried out, including the construction of four ‘Tiki’ style thatched huts where customers can drink and dine. The huts will be heated in winter. Two of the huts seat between eight and 10, one seats between 10 and 12 and one seats up to 20. Each of the huts has an on-call waiter service available at the touch of a button.

An original outdoor children’s’ play area has been completely refurbished to look all-new, with these works including the replacement of a bouncy castle with a new ball pit.

The story of the Whiting and Hammond Group began in 2003, when friends Brian Whiting and Darren Somerton opened The Chaser Inn. The pub was a success and the group was subsequently formed, before being expanded to nine pubs.

Brian is the driving force behind this family run company. He started out as a chef at the Savoy Hotel in London, before moving on to other London restaurants.

His career then took a slightly different path when he became a director at Brunning and Price (another well-known pub company), after which he opened the Chaser Inn – Whiting and Hammond’s first pub.

Chris Hammond is the silent financial partner within the group and enjoys paying the odd visit to the group’s pubs with his family – just to keep an eye on his investment!

One Stop Kitchens

One Stop Kitchens specialises in the design, supply and fitting of commercial kitchens, from concept to completion providing a turnkey solution to their clients. The company looks after everything from the floors, walls, ventilation systems, mechanical and electrical services, and of course the actual kitchen equipment, as well as reactive and preventative maintenance after installation.

One Stop Kitchens starts with initial concept ideas before working with the client to determine their ideas.  They then utilise their consultancy service, which includes a full in house design team, to specify and supply the right equipment for the client’s needs. Their network of installers also allows them to service the entire country.

One Stop Kitchens also has a national network of reactive engineers allowing them to look after the kitchen equipment after it has been installed.

With over 80 years combined experience in the design and installation of commercial kitchens, clients of One Stop Kitchens include Whiting & Hammond, G&M Leisure, Star Pubs, Abbeyfield Kent Society, Age UK, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Co-Operative Group, Dobbies Garden Centres, National Trust, Childcare UK, Italian Way Group of restaurants, Perfetto Restaurants, Square Pie group of restaurants and the YMCA, as well as various church groups and schools around the country, and multiple independent operators around the UK from cafes to restaurants.

One Stop Kitchens recently worked alongside Rose and Crown on their latest project. They were involved at the concept stage, adding valuable input into the building design, as the kitchen is an integral part of the business.  They were also actively involved with the design from the start, followed by supplying and fitting the ventilation systems, wall cladding and all of the equipment.

Daraius Master from One Stop Kitchens said: “Whiting & Hammond are a long term customer of ours and they value our opinions when it comes to kitchen design.  We understand their business model and what they want to ultimately achieve and work with them to achieve this.  We are proud to service all their gastro-pubs within their entire estate and are honored to have been part of the Rose and Crown project.  We pride ourselves on value for money, quality of service, building long term relationships and keeping the customer happy, completing on time and on budget.”

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