A hotel in the Malvern Hills, which was reputedly a favourite of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is to undergo a £2.5m refurbishment to introduce a contemporary take on the original Georgian property.
The 30-bedroom Cottage in the Wood in Malvern Wells, Worcestershire, was sold to Nick and Julia Davies in July 2015, off a guide price of £1.95m. Former owners John and Sue Pattin retired after running the business for 27 years.
Work will begin in January on the main house, which comprises the 1919 restaurant, bar, lounge and seven bedrooms. The refurbishment of the four-bedroom Beech Cottage and the Coach House, with 19 bedrooms, will follow at a later date. There will also be the addition of an orangery and a spa.
London-based interior design studio Nelson Design, which has previously worked on Philip Howard's new Elystan Street restaurant and the George hotel in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, will create the new look which will include "cosy, colourful and eclectic areas", with nature-themed aesthetics, deep blue bookcases stacked with literary classics, and Georgian green walls hung with old photographs of the local area.
The design is expected to reflect the literary heritage of the area, where authors CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien and composer Sir Edward Elgar all spent time.
The two AA Rosette restaurant 1919 will feature a Georgian grey scheme, classic modern chandeliers and mirrors to reflect the views over the Malvern Hills. New head chef Mark Redwood, who has just joined the hotel after nine years at the Old Passage in Arlingham, Gloucestershire, will oversee a modern British menu.
Nick and Julia Davies previously lived in Shoreditch for 20 years, working respectively as a management consultant and a market insight manager in the pharmaceuticals industry. They now intend to focus on employing their strategic and marketing skills in running the hotel.
Dating back to 1791, the Cottage in the Wood opened as tea rooms in 1919, before becoming a hotel in the 1920s.