Crowds flock for first glimpse at revamped Ludlow hotel
An historic hotel threw open its doors for the first time in more than a year for an open evening ahead of its grand re-launch.
People flocked to the Feathers in Ludlow for a first look at the new restaurant, which opens next month.
It is the second phase of the gradual re-opening of the hotel, following a major refurbishment by new owners Crest Hotels which has already exceeded £1.5 million.
Group sales manager Sarah Tunnadine welcomed guests and talked them through some of the work that has been completed.
Two smaller rooms at the front of the building have been brightened up and will become lounge bar areas, while walls have been pulled down to create an open plan bar and reception area.
The restaurant has been re-decorated and will have new flooring and specially-made furniture brought over from overseas in time for the opening on October 18.
Sarah said: "Some of these areas were rather run down and tired. We have restored the fireplaces and kept the antiques and historical features but we have worked to enhance them.
"We told the designer we wanted to use colours that would have been used at the time."
Sarah also announced the name of the new restaurant – Plume @ Feathers – which was chosen after a competition for local people to put forward their own suggestions.
The name was thought up by Trudy Mills. She said: "It just came to me. A plume is a group of feathers, and you would come to the restaurant in a group."
Group executive chef Wayne Nell said: "We want to be part of the Ludlow community, that's why we are having this event tonight for people to come and see the progress that has been made and the amount of work that has been put in."
He hopes to see Plume achieve two AA Rosettes within six months of opening.
"If we can take it further in the future that would be great, but we are aiming for two Rosettes for now," said Wayne.
"We are going to be doing classic French food with a British twist. The menu is all ready so now it is just a matter of recruiting a training the team."
Built in 1619 for local lawyer Rees Jones, the Feathers this year marks 400 years as one of Ludlow's most iconic buildings and its milestone year will certainly be one to remember.
The first phase, a new tea room, opened in May, and around 25 rooms are set to open at the end of November, while it is hoped all 40 will be completed early next year.
It closed in August 2018 after going into administration, and its future looked uncertain until it was bought by Crest in December.
Marj Cook, who owns Tiger Lily a few doors down from the Feathers, said: "Everyone in the town is very excited that the hotel is going be open again.
"There has been a noticeable dip in footfall since it closed so we are anticipating that going back up. There is a lot of local excitement."
For Jim and Kathleen Jolly, the hotel will always hold a special place in their hearts.
Kathleen said: "Our daughter was married here. We used to come here a lot and we have seen a lot of changes over the years. We used to sit here by the log fire and have a coffee."
Jim said: "We stayed here for a couple of weeks 47 years ago then bought our house in Ludlow. It was only supposed to be for a few years but we are still here."
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