Brownsword Hotels to reposition Washbourne Court hotel as pub with rooms

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Public house, Inn

Nick Halliday, chief executive of Brownsword Hotels, which will relaunch one of its hotels as a pub with rooms this autumn
Nick Halliday, chief executive of Brownsword Hotels, which will relaunch one of its hotels as a pub with rooms this autumn
Brownsword Hotels is to reposition Washbourne Court in Gloucestershire, one of the former Von Essen country house hotels it bought out of administration last year, as a pub with rooms.

The 30-bedroom hotel, bought by the group in October 2011 along with neighbouring hotel Lower Slaughter Manor, Amberley Castle and Buckland Manor, is undergoing a transformation while it remains open before officially re-launching as Slaughters Inn in September. 

Scrubbed pine tables, traditional cask ales and a menu featuring ‘hearty pub grub’ will all feature in the new-look venue where the same menu will be served in the restaurant and pub areas, chief executive Nick Halliday told BigHospitality. 

Repositioning

Halliday said repositioning the venue as a traditional Cotswolds inn rather than keeping it as a country house hotel made sense for the property and the business as a whole. 

He said: “We felt it was more in-keeping with the property. We’ve been slowly refurbishing the bar area to make it more welcoming and we’ve heard back from the locals that it is doing as we hoped it would so we are confident it will work. 

“This way it can appeal to the locals, but having the rooms means we also attract guests from further afield. 

“We have also got Lower Slaughter Manor just across the road which will give us the opportunity to attract the guest who perhaps wants to stay at the hotel for a couple of nights and dine in the restaurant one night, but who wants a pint at the inn on another. Similarly, a guest might want to stay at Slaughter’s Inn, but will want a meal at Lower Slaughter Manor.” 

Country retreats​ 

Washbourne Court, Lower Slaughter Manor, Amberley Castle and Buckland Manor joined Gidleigh Park and The Bath Priory under Brownsword Hotel’s Country Retreats banner following their purchase with some refurbishment work still on-going in the new properties bring them to the same standard as the existing hotels. 

Halliday said it was still 'early days' in measuring the success of the hotels since Brownsword Hotels, the company set up by greetings card entrepreneur Andrew Brownsword and his wife Christina, bought them. 

He said the company was not 'actively looking' for more properties to add to the estate but always considered those that might fit with the company's values.

"It's partly down to location but also down to the strength of the individual properties - that's what matters most when we are looking for the opportunities to expand," he said. 

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