The iconic Grade II* Listed Kedleston Country House is being restored to its former glory by Derby Brewing Company.
The growing family firm gained ownership of the site in November 2014 prior to this the site lay closed and tinned up since September 2010, when the previous tenants vacated the property. The aim was to transform the aging structure into a Modern Country House including a relaxed drinking bar, restaurant, boutique hotel and wedding venue, complete with an exciting and imaginative food and extensive drinks offering.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Paul Harris, one of the Derby Brewing Company’s Directors, to find out more about the project. He commented:
“Kedleston Country House is a well known building in Derby and so we have always been aware of it. When the previous tenant vacated the site it was on the local news and so I approached the Estate Office at Kedleston Hall and expressed our interest and the scheme progressed from there.
“Works didn’t start on site until November 2014 because it took such a long time to finalise everything. We had to gain all of the permissions from numerous bodies English Heritage, the National Trust Covenant and get everything approved by local conservation officers, the Estate Trustees and the family.
“As a growing group we treat each of our sites individually, assessing each project on its surrounding area and building layout to create a retail offer to suit. At Kedleston it has been exciting for us to work with the building’s original features and reinstate Georgian character that had been removed over the years.
“We have tried to sympathetically restore original cornicing to show the building in its best light. We tried to create a modern country house feel combined with traditional features, whilst always using the grandeur of the building to do the talking.”
Working alongside Sheffield-based main contractors F Whitham Ltd, JDA Architects and Plum & Ashby who we worked with on the interior design, Derby Brewing Company are set to open the venue in summer this year. The company is run by father and son team Trevor and Paul Harris, an excited Paul told us:
“As guests arrive into the car park they will be wowed by the building’s grand Georgian sweeping staircase and classic entrance, sash windows and impressive pillars on either side of the door.
“The building’s porch leads into the relaxed bar area which has been finished with burnt oak floor boards and high ceilings.”
The bar is situated directly across from the entrance and will comprise a range of spirits, signature cocktails featuring the Kedleston’s own gin, Derby brewing Co ales, an extensive wine list and craft beer. Table service can be enjoyed in the bar as well as in the Hidden Study space which features the cocktail bar, high wood panelling, cornicing and an array of high wing-backed chairs.
The relaxed bar area also includes the snug, featuring an original open fire, high ceilings,wood panelling and oak floor boards perfect for diners and drinkers alike to enjoy a pre-meal tipple or relaxed drink. The ground floor also contains The Parlour which contains great for guests to unwind and enjoy the drinks menu or a feature cocktail.
The project has also involved the construction of The Orangery complete with natural stone flooring, a mix of furniture and plants to provide guests with the ideal additional restaurant space and wedding venue with a real outside feel.
The main restaurant boasts an array of stunning features including an oak parquet floor, sash windows, wooden panelling and natural wooden furniture giving the space a relaxed, inviting feel.
A private dining space has also been created which is ideal for larger group for private dining.
The onsite team are also in the process of transforming a former field into a picturesque Georgian garden space which will be home to the hotel’s chickens, a salad and herb garden, four small Georgian gardens, a croquet lawn and a marquee pitching site.
The hotel’s five bedrooms can be accessed via the central staircase and all boast Georgian period features including high ceilings, large windows as well as an individually designed colour scheme.
The bedrooms are made up of five boutique rooms all individually designed by our friends Plum & Ashby. The rooms include two suites, a honey moon suit and a second suite which feature grand Georgian high ceilings, cornicing and feature beds. In addition there are three smaller bedrooms all of of which benefit from fantastic natural light from the large Georgian sash windows and stunning views of the estate. Paul said the team encountered a number of challenges due to the discovery of dry rot and death watch beetles. After this discovery the team had to hire specialists to deal with the removal of infested sections of wood throughout the space.
“It is hugely exciting for the company and me personally to work on this iconic building and there has been so much excitement and interest in it from everyone. The huge amount of interest in this venue is testament to the nature of the building and its significance.
“The real satisfaction for me has been to see the building transformed back to life and seeing our plans turn into reality. . We hope the venue will be well received and people will enjoy the building again as they used to.”
Whitham Ltd are general contractors delivering a range of services including purpose made joinery fittings, bar fittings, shop fittings, laminating & post forming along with their main contractor works.
The business was founded in 1973 by Fred Whitham who remains one of the company directors and continues to take pride in providing quality workmanship and service.
All at F. Whitham Ltd are pleased to have been chosen by Paul Harris of the Derby Brewing Company to carry out the refurbishment and re-fitting of Kedleston Country House Hotel and would like to take the opportunity to wish Paul & Leanne success in their new venture after all their hard work.