Passers-by may have noticed a few changes to The Wisteria Hotel in Oakham recently, starting with its name.
New owners Chris Newsham and Kristy Carey moved into The Old Wisteria in Catmos Street in April and have grand plans to restore and revive the hotel to make it more appealing to people living in and visiting the town, starting with the bar and restaurant areas.
The couple has brought in local chef Neil Hornsby, formerly of The Barn Restaurant in Burley Road, Oakham, to lead the kitchen and they have already rebranded the bar and restaurant as Hunters Bar and Kitchen.
Chris said: “The first time we saw the hotel, we knew there was so much potential, but it wasn’t open for Rutland residents to enjoy.
“In fact, the only entrance was around the side of the building, so later this Summer, after we’ve done a bit of work to the entrance, we will be opening the front doors to the bar for the first time in years.”
And the rebranding has not stopped there. Chris and Kristy have dropped the word “old” from the name of the hotel, instead branding it as The Wisteria Hotel.
Kristy explains: “We are keen to keep the traditional elements of the hotel and its beautiful wisteria which drapes around the building is one of the first things most people see when they drive into Oakham in the Summer.
“But we want to bring other elements up to date, so are creating a respectfully contemporary feel to the hotel.
“While we’re still determined to maintain its wonderful reputation and continue to welcome our regular guests to our 25-bedroom hotel, we also want the local community and new visitors to the area to see it as a place to eat, drink, stay and relax.”
The bar area dates back to the early 17th Century and part of the original locally quarried stone building can be seen among the low wooden beams and snug areas.
Chris and Kristy plan to put in new flooring and update the snug and bar, serving local products such as Grainstore Brewery ales and Two Chimps coffee.
Once the front door to Catmos street has been opened, they will be serving, in addition to dinner, morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.
Bookings are already being taken for Hunters Bar and Kitchen and the menu includes local wild boar and apple sausages as well as chicken, stilton and leek shortcrust pie and a venison burger. A sample menu is now available on the Facebook page.
Neil said: “I am excited about taking on the kitchen here at the Wisteria Hotel.
“Our menu will celebrate the best in local ingredients, supporting farmers, growers and independent suppliers.”
Later this year the team plan to start taking bookings for corporate and social events and intend to grow their team to meet demand, creating further jobs in the area.
For more information visit www.wisteriahotel.co.uk or call 01572 722844.
Notes to editors:
Photo caption: Chris and Kristy outside The Wisteria Hotel
More images are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9bwgne92qi0r461/AABq-ewdAj0V6-Cjuf4G9qisa?dl=0
About The Wisteria Hotel:
The Wisteria Hotel is in the beautiful county market town of Oakham in Rutland, just a few miles from the shores of Rutland Water.
An established business in the town, it was founded in 1979 at Boulton’s Hotel; and has hosted travellers and tourists ever since, renamed in 2000 after its stunning Wisteria which blooms throughout early Summer and greets visitors to Oakham coming from both the Uppingham and Stamford roads.
It has 25 ensuite bedrooms, a bar, dining room and two corporate function rooms which are due to open later in 2018.
It was bought in Spring 2018 by Kristy Carey and Chris Newsham who are active and engaged members of the community and local tourism scene.