Bluebird Inn – Re-inventing the country pub
Totally re-invented, re-designed and refurbished to stunning effect as a country pub and hotel with a classic yet contemporary feel, The Bluebird Inn has opened in Salmesbury near Preston, following a project which the client described as ‘the best refurbishment he has experienced’.
Formerly the Boddingtons Arms, The Bluebird Inn is named after jet-powered hydroplane used by Donald Campbell in a world record attempt in 1967.
The site is a new acquisition by brewers JW Lees, in keeping with their ambition to acquire more pubs with hotels attached.
Designers for the project were Fusion By Design, with Myriad Contracts as main contractors, who were praised for ‘doing an excellent job.
The pub was fully stripped out and structural alterations undertaken to open up the space, particularly in the original road-facing section of the building, which was formerly a row of cottages. This was necessary as the interior previously comprised a series of small, awkward spaces which did not lend themselves to eating and drinking areas.
The project also included the refurbishment of the inn’s 20 bed hotel.
According to JW Lees: “After careful consideration, and in discussion with Donald Campbell’s family, we are proud to open our latest inn as ‘The Bluebird Inn at Salmesbury’.
“The Bluebird K7 was the jet engine hydroplane with which Donald Campbell set seven world water speed records during the latter half of the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was built at Salmesbury by Salmesbury Engineering, now part of British Aerospace, opposite the pub and seemed to be the perfect opportunity to honour this iconic craft.”
The venue is approached via a garden area with covered seating area and oak pergola. Immediately on entering the building, there is a glass and steel wine and beer display and a traditional style bar with a bar seating area to the right.
Flooring in this area is in timber with interior design features including glass and metal, and tile screens and feature wallpaper. There is also a raised snug area with parquet flooring, a mixture of high and low seating and a log burning stove.
To the left of the entrance is a section of feature fixed seating with an artwork wall, and timber and tiled trellis flooring.
There is also a new garden room with a newly formed access via bifold doors leading to the external seating area (this space also is also used as a breakfast area for the hotel).
The former cottages where most of the structural works were carried out, comprise mainly dining areas with carpets and chevron boarded flooring, where the existing stone walls and an open fire have been retained. There is also a private dining/meeting room separated by steel and glass partitioning.
The bedrooms are accessed from the bar area, with the design for these complementing the pub interior and featuring a modern country style. These include four premium/family rooms, each with washed oak parquet bed headboard and comfortable seating area. The standard rooms have painted T&G boarded walls.
Key highlights of the interior design are the steel and glass screens -some with oak and tile bases; the traditional bar servery; oak panelled dado boarding; tile and timber trellis flooring; live planting, and numerous artworks themed on Donald Campbell and the Bluebird K7, as well as the local area and J W Lees. The overall colour palette is in light and neutral shades, with dark contrasting areas. External features include the new garden seating area with a glazed roofed oak pergola.
Christian Harvey of Fusion By Design said: “The client handed over the pub to the design team on the day of completing the purchase, and from that point on we had eight weeks to complete, finalise the design, cost and build – that was a big challenge, especially with the quality of both design and build expected by the client…But we did it!
“The scheme has transformed the venue massively. Myriad Contracts did an excellent job – we have worked with them many times before and a mutual understanding goes a long way.
“The project was very well received and meets the brief perfectly. We were told that this is the best refurbishment experienced by the client – so we can live with that one!
“As with all projects we always seek to deliver the best environment on time, on budget and to the brief. This is only the second scheme we have completed with J.W.Lees and it was a really interesting one, with an open brief for us to get stuck into. We know every refurbishment means a lot to them, being an independent family brewer, and we are proud to play a part in that.”
The English Cabinet Co
The English Cabinet Co – a division of contract furniture specialist J T Ellis – started its journey in 2016 when Founder, Suzi Ellis was redecorating her daughter’s bedroom. In search of a stylish, affordable and high quality dressing table that could become a timeless addition to her home, Suzi was struck by the lack of British-made goods and the attitude towards sustainability within the industry.
With a desire for beautiful design and a passion for Great British quality she had an idea. Sketching her design on a piece of paper and handing it to husband Richard – a fourth generation furniture maker at J T Ellis – Suzi trusted in J T Ellis’ heritage and values to manufacture a beautiful and functional dressing table for her home, kick-starting The English Cabinet Co in the process.
The English Cabinet Co works with many of the leading suppliers of boutique accommodation, as well as interior designers and architects, to produce stunning pieces for inclusion in hotels throughout the UK and Europe. In addition, the company can supply direct to the public via its dedicated website.
Recently, The English Cabinet Co was asked to supply all the freestanding furniture to the bedrooms of the Bluebird Inn. As the clients wanted a British product with short lead times for manufacture, The English Cabinet Co suggested The Old Manor Collection – a collection that provides a timeless durable look, available in a soft palette of colours.
Suzi Ellis, The English Cabinet Co, said:
“We have a long history within our parent company of working on a diverse portfolio of projects from small boutique hotels and inns to large hotel chains with multiple sites. We have a great reputation within the market, supplying over 80% of the universities in the UK with student accommodation, and we are passionate about sustainability within the industry and British manufacturing, and we are very honoured to be part of such a great team bringing this project to life.”
“At The English Cabinet Co, we pride ourselves in our heritage, our team and our products. We are so confident in our product’s durability that we offer a 5 year guarantee on all our cabinets.”
For more information, please visit: www.theenglishcabinetcompany.co.uk
Myriad Contracts Group Ltd
Myriad Contracts Group Ltd specialise in fast track refurbishment projects for the leisure industry. The company has been in operation since 2004 and is pleased to be partnering contractors to many UK blue chip clients, completing hundreds of refurbishment projects. Work locations stretch from The Isle of Wight off the south coast to Inverness in the far north of Scotland and everywhere in between including Northern Ireland.
Most recently, Myriad Contracts Group Ltd has been involved with the Bluebird Inn for JW Lees. Working on this project, Myriad Contracts Group Ltd was appointed as the Principal Contractor, undertaking the main contractor role and managing the many client and design direct trades.
Leighton Holden, Project’s Director for Myriad Contracts Group Ltd, said:
“This was our first project for JW Lees, so it has meant a lot to us and has allowed us to develop a great working relationship with a potential future client partner. The job took place in my hometown, so for me personally it was good to be involved with something so close to home and to help bring such a great development into that community.”
“At Myriad Contracts Group Ltd, we pride ourselves in delivering projects for our clients’ across four main areas, with projects completed safely, on time, within budget and to a high-level quality finish.
“Whilst it proved a great challenge with thanks to a fantastic effort from the office and site teams, this was no different at the Bluebird.”