October 8, 2015
BULL AND LAST OWNERS REVEAL PLANS FOR BED AND BREAKFAST ABOVE ACCLAIMED DINING ROOMS
THE owners of an award-winning Highgate pub have drawn up plans to convert the top floor into a bed and breakfast – while assuring loyal customers that the highly-acclaimed restaurant will remain unchanged.
Proposals to revamp the Bull and Last in Highgate Road were filed at the Town Hall last week, revealing details of the six bedrooms and two flats that they are hoping to build on the site.
Manager Joe Swiers said he and head chef Ollie Pudney, both co-owners, wanted to reassure neighbours and punters that they will be continuing to serve the high-end pub food, for which they have picked up plaudits from an array of restaurant critics.
He told the New Journal: “We are not giving up anything, the pub runs as normal, there is no different look of the pub, there’s nothing changing. We are trying to add to it. Ollie wouldn’t give up one chair of this place. That’s something that I hope our neighbours understand. We wanted people to understand that there’s no change to the restaurant.”
Two flats will be built in the space created by relocating the kitchen
The engine room of the pub – the compact kitchen that currently runs out of a single storey extension into a rear alleyway – will be relocated to the basement. A new building with two flats will be built where the kitchen once stood.
Explaining the motivation behind the move to offer overnight stays, Mr Swiers said: “It really has been listening to the customers, the amount of times that people who live on Woodsome Road said, ‘oh, my in-laws are in, I wish you did rooms, we’re just on top of each other’. It seems the right thing to do.”
He added: “I think it will be good for the area, the amount of people traveling half an hour on a Saturday night to go and stay in a West End hotel seems a bit silly, when they can be in Highgate for the weekend.”
The restaurant side of the business has grown accustomed to rave reviews, with Kentish Town-based critic Giles Coren calling it “the best food of any pub in London”.
Mr Swiers said: “We’ve got a bit of attention for the food and we want to show what we can do with rooms. We’re really pumped up for it.”
He said it was “too early to tell” if the pub would have to close for the works to be done, adding: “Maybe for a couple of days, but we want to do this on top of doing everything else. Just like any business we can’t afford to be shutting up shop, so we don’t really want to.”
Members of the public can comment on the plans until August 21, before Camden Council decide if the works can go ahead.
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