THE renovation of The British is being described as the latest example of Heron and Brearley’s programme to reinvigorate its managed estate of 43 Manx pubs.
Located on Douglas’s North Quay, where another of the company’s houses, The Bridge, was also given a recent makeover, The British has been restored to what retail director Steven Taylor is calling ‘a classic British city bar with modern twists’.
He said: ‘‘These new-look houses represent how Heron and Brearley continues to respond to consumer habits and the challenges faced by the licensed trade in new and exciting ways, such as pioneering new brands across our managed estate.’
The pub, which re-opened at the beginning of this month, will also unveil a new function room and is set to have boutique en-suite bedrooms.
Design consultant Rumana Swinton is the woman behind the pub’s new look.
She also worked on the Swiss House, Bradda Glen Cafe and Restaurant, The Courthouse and The Mailbox.
She explained: ‘The bar itself had not undertaken a refurbishment for more than 10 years and over the years additional layers had been placed on top of existing designs, creating three different floor levels, mixed ceilings heights, varying lighting and a mixed interior colour palette of greens, reds and dark wood panelling.
‘The design I formulated focused on enhancing the building’s existing interior architecture. I wanted to focus on opening up the window areas and enabling the natural light to flow uninterrupted into the space and in doing so enable the clientele to benefit from the stunning quayside location.
‘I also felt the key to this was to create a single floor level which would open up the space and really show off the scale of the building.
‘We took back the wall and created a 6.7m bar which I designed to run from one side of the building to the other and keeping to the principles of an open social space.
‘The back of bar design combines a quirky “British” flag and incorporates vintage dressing items from the past 100 years.’
She added: ‘I wanted to achieve a truly unique bar for the island and really felt The British deserved to recapture some of its former glory times as a true destination pub.
‘Keeping with the twist on the British theme I recreated vintage Chesterfield sofa bench seating and a mixture of British traditional tweed seating. A reclaimed floor was installed using boards sourced from a demolished building from London.
‘We reproduced the panelling and by using a muted pallette were able to create a back drop for a combination of quirky, iconic, eye-catching photographs and curious dressing items such as the 1950s bus scrolls.
‘I hope the bar will be as popular when visited not only at night but throughout the day for coffees, lunches and dinners.’
She added: ‘None of this renovation would of been possible within the tight deadline without the hard work of the fantastic teams involved, a special thanks goes to Nick Ingham and team, Nicky Bell decorators, Arden & Druggan, Pinewood Studios and David Glover Upholstery.’