Now open, Warrington based DV8 Designs have put the finishing touches to a £2 million refurbishment of the much-loved Guinness Arms at Icklingham in Suffolk – owned by Lord Iveagh, head of the famous Guinness empire.
DV8 Designs spoke to PREMIER HOSPITALITY about what took place on the project. They said:
“We wanted to create something that was bespoke to the family as well an eye-catching design to suit the area and clientele they wanted to attract, whilst remaining sympathetic to the grade I listed thatched roof cottage the Guinness Arms is situated in.”
When DV8 came to it, the Grade 1 listed pub needed lots of repairs and attention, as well as a new design. Out of this came an extensive re-configuration internally and the building received a new extension to house a state-of-the-art kitchen. There was also a new modern extension to the rear of the pub to house Guinness Arms’ new restaurant for family dining, which leads out on to their newly landscaped outdoor drinking area.
Opposite the thatched pub, there were two original barn structures. One of these was demolished and one was reconfigured to a two-storey structure to house four bedrooms. Two barns were then re-built to match the existing flint wall barn feature to house a further two rooms to each barn, which brought the total of barn rooms up to eight.
They said: “For the pub/restaurant design, we took the route of industrial feel with a hint of steampunk, by introducing worn metal finishes through joinery items and furniture. We retained some of the original timber beams, which aided the industrial feel of the building for the design and helped maintain the character of the building.
“The reception area was to have a warm and welcoming feeling with cosy seating and original brick fireplace, paired with a rich colour scheme to bring the space to life. The restaurant (which is the new modern extension with three pitched roofs) was to become more of a ‘potting shed’ area where we had pammet stone flooring throughout, and artwork and 3D items to reflect the potting shed inspiration.
“The pub received new timber flooring and the original feature fireplaces were re-purposed to fit operations to add a focal point to both parts of the room; and with large comfy lounge seating and a traditional new bar formed, it finished off the scheme perfectly.”
The bedrooms had more of a specific design brief, to reflect and be connected with each member of the Guinness family. There was a deluxe room for Lulu Guinness, and one for Bunny Guinness. Then the rest of the smaller rooms were assigned to a specific family member and these rooms were in the two barns. The team carefully selected the elements of each barn- for example actor Sir Alec Guinness’ room has an eclectic mix of film memorabilia, meanwhile framed trowels and botanical books are displayed beautifully in the room of gardening guru Bunny Guinness, to bring her passion for horticulture to life.
They commented: “Overall, each room has a boutique feel with an industrial, yet eclectic scheme as we’ve gone quite bold with patterns and wallpaper. We also kept the carpet simple as we didn’t want to detract from the design of the rooms as a whole.
“It was a very different scheme for DV8 as we had quite a lot of freedom with the design which the client put their trust in us to do so. The pub and barns were essentially a blank canvas which is always exciting to work on, as you can start from scratch and not come up with solutions that may affect the design or budget.”
Book your stay here: www.guinnessarms.com.
Contract Furniture UK Ltd
Contract Furniture UK Ltd (CFUK) manufacture and supply all aspects of contract furniture for the leisure industry, encompassing bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, social lounges, leisure centres and hotels.
Our furniture includes tables, chairs, sofas, and stools, specialist banquette seating and bars, as well as everything required for a hotel bedroom and more.
The company has been in operation for more than 20 years and has worked with all of the leading pub & leisure companies, supplying to David Lloyd Leisure, De Vere Hotels, Swissport Aspire Lounges, Stonegate Pub Company, Greene King, Star Pubs & Bars, Young & Co.’s Brewery, LW Lees and Wadworth Brewery, to name but a few, as well as many independent businesses.
Most recently, CFUK has been involved with the work on a stunning 16th century Guinness Arms Inn in the heart of the Suffolk village of Icklingham supplying furniture for its two bars, the restaurant and 8 bespoke Guinness family themed rooms.
Kevin Tobin, CFUK Managing Director, said:
“It is very satisfying to see the culmination of such an exceptional and challenging project like the Guinness Arms. We endeavoured to bring to life the brilliant ideas of DV8 Design again, especially after our previous successful collaborations like the Liverpool Gin Distillery, The Engine Rooms, The Woodlands or recently completed Swissport Aspire Lounge. I hope we’ll have even more opportunities to work together on such remarkable projects in the future.”
“At CFUK we pride ourselves on our manufacturing skills with everything being made here in Britain. We are committed to excellence in quality, service and product.”