The Morris Dancer
The village of Kelsall had a recent cause for celebration following the re-opening of its oldest surviving public house. The Morris Dancer began welcoming customers once again on Thursday 3rd May, under the ownership of Brunning and Price.
The illustrious history of The Morris Dancer can be traced back to the 17th century – when it was known as The Globe – but this latest iteration is very much a 21st century experience. The stylish and airy interiors designed by Spatialized are complemented by a modern out patio perfect warm summer evenings.
Adam Clayton, Associate Director at Spatialized, said:
“The original Brief here was to take an unloved building and turn it into a classic Brunning and Price Country Pub. This involved substantial structural alterations, including the removal of two bars, the relocation of a kitchen and the formation of two new sets of (now) beautiful toilets. Not to mention the formation of the gorgeous terrace and removal of a rather unsightly staircase to the front elevation. We worked with what little character the building had, and enhanced the less interesting spaces with new fireplaces, oak panelling, and beautiful timber floors. The end result is true to the ethics of what a Bunning and Price should be – a comfortable, beautiful and friendly place to be.
“We retained the existing access point to the building, but enhanced with a new oak framed porch extension, on this same elevation we removed a concrete fire escape to give onlookers a beautiful façade to approach. Upon entering you find yourself in the heart of the pub – the bar. The wide board timber floors and smell of oak panelling are immediately apparent. The reclaimed bar front adds character where once stood the original non-descript- bar. A soft colour palette was purposefully chosen to accentuate the bar and its ‘sweet shop’ array of spirits.
“Opposite the bar there is the ‘Fire room’- here you will find painted panelling, a characterful fireplace and walls adorned with interesting artwork. This is a soft but connected retreat from the bar space to which it sits adjacent.”
The ‘Locals Bar’ includes a large poseur table and two reinstated windows that help flood the space with warm natural light. Yet again, a roaring open fire is the centrepiece and sits beside the original supporting timber posts and joists.
Other new standout design elements include the ‘Garden Room’, which overlooks the terrace garden and fields beyond. Formerly the trade kitchen, the stunning transformation of this space has been added by the restoration of an original fireplace and the introduction of large, elegant chandeliers.
The terrace garden itself is split over two levels. The first sits beneath a pergola which is adorned with the original wisteria and grape vines that have been carefully protected. The lower terrace has seating for groups of all sizes with a swing and tractor to keep families entertained.
Throughout its long history the pub has had many landlords, but of the many, probably the most colourful and still well remembered is Brian ‘Rusty’ Williams, the licensee from 1977-89, who renamed the pub The Morris Dancer in 1980. In 1979, he brought the annual Cheshire Folk Festival to Kelsall, reverting back to the classic traditions that once surrounded Inns and we are thrilled that we will be open just in time for the festival in 2018.
The newly revamped Morris Dancer will be headed up by Ryan Martinez, who will move to Kelsall from another Brunning and Price pub, the Fox Revived in Norwood Hill. Ryan is no stranger to the area having worked for Brunning and Price for many years in the roll of Deputy at the Architect, which is nestled next to Chester race course.
The Morris Dancer is open seven days a week. For more information, please visit www.brunningandprice.co.uk/morrisdancer.
Brunning and Price
Established in 1989, Brunning and Price is a collection of 61 pub restaurants originally founded in the north west of England. As the popularity of the brand has grown, Brunning and Price has steadily expanded its operation south. Each Brunning and Price pub has its own style and flavour but they all have good cask beers, freshly cooked food, high quality yet affordable wine and a shelf of malt whiskies.
Morgan Signs and Design
Morgan Signs and Design specialise in the provision of complete signage solutions, taking projects from the initial client brief through planning, installation and aftercare support. The company has been in operation for 13 years, working within the hospitality sector, but with a specific focus on providing signage for pubs and restaurants.
Past projects have included Balls Brothers, The Old Courthouse and various O’Neill’s pubs working alongside Spatialized. Clients include Mitchells & Butlers, Greene King, Marston’s, Punch, Hall & Woodhouse, Hook Norton, Heartstone Inns, Brewhouse & Kitchen and The Peach Pub Company, amongst others.
Most recently, Morgan Signs and Design worked alongside Spatialized on The Morris Dancer. The company manufactured and installed signage, which included applying for the Consent for Advertisement.
Gareth Morgan, Morgan Signs and Design, said:
“The Morris Dancer was an exciting project and we enjoyed working with the client, designer and contractor. I often frequent the local Brunning & Price pub to where I live – The Physician, Edgbaston – and I hope this will be the beginning of a long and successful working relationship.”
“At Morgan Signs and Design, we pride ourselves on our creativity and our design flair, which is something we are continually striving to improve, together with our customer service which is paramount. We are a small company but very passionate in what we do and have great enthusiasm and a can-do attitude.”