The wife of Robert Cook, former chief executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin and later De Vere Hotels, is to open an 11-bedroom boutique hotel overlooking Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
Debbie Cook will launch the Cookie Jar on 22 September in a building that once housed the Grade II-listed Convent of Mercy.
It will be the first solo venture for Debbie, who last worked in hotels 15 years ago. After meeting her future husband 29 years ago, when they both worked at the Moat House International in Glasgow, she went on to work at One Devonshire Gardens and later at the Royal County hotel in Durham.
“With our son now away at boarding school, I wanted to do something creative to fill a gap in the market for a hotel that is both funky and quirky,” she said.
“Northumberland is an increasingly popular tourism destination, but it does not offer a hotel within this specific market.”
Matt Hulme of Dynargh Design, who created the interiors of many Hotel du Vins, including Newcastle, Cambridge and Edinburgh, has designed the interiors of the Cookie Jar under the guidance of Debbie.
A jar of freshly baked cookies will be delivered, along with fresh milk, to all guests on arrival in their bedrooms.
The hotel will initially open as a bed and breakfast operation, serving coffees, teas and sharing plates from the bar between 12 noon and 8pm. The Bailiffgate Bistro, with an as-yet undecided menu, will open in spring 2018. Food will be served at a 40-seat, two-tier terrace with a fire pit overlooking the garden, and shooting parties will benefit from a gun room and drying room.
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