Chesterfield couple transform former run-down Bolsover pub into new bistro, bar, B&B and beauty spa
Restoration work is almost complete on a former run-down Bolsover pub, after a Chesterfield couple decided to transform the premises into a new bistro, bar, B&B and beauty spa.
Paul and Claire Gratton, from Walton, first started work on the old Anchor Inn in Market Place when they bought the pub in 2019 but repairs and renovations were firmly put on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Now, most major structural work has been completed on the premises which has been renamed Sanctuary Garden – with just plastering and decoration left to be finished with before a planned opening in August later this year.
Claire’s already established holistic and wellbeing clinic Sanctuary Rituals will be based upstairs in the restored building’s two large treatment rooms, along with a shop for customers to buy beauty therapy products and three bedrooms for guests to stay overnight.
The 44-year-old plans to use the pamper rooms for massages, as well as providing waxing and nail treatments.
While a rustic, botanical themed gastro-pub and bar will be open to customers downstairs, offering seasonal food and craft ales, complete with an outdoor dining space.
Sanctuary Garden is 200 yards away from Bolsover Castle and Paul and Claire hope their proximity to the English Heritage site will draw in customers when they open their doors for the first time this summer.
"We'll have got customers coming to enjoy Claire's part of the business and the pamper rooms and we've got something that can keep them there, with a spot of lunch, drinks, and coffee”, he said.
The pair, who have self-funded the restoration project, resumed renovation work on the site four months ago – hiring workers but also pitching in to do as much of the manual labour as they could themselves.
Paul, who works part-time as a waste broker while working on the premises, and Claire, who is a holistic therapist, restored the pub’s original Sash Windows and are keen the building’s heritage is maintained.
The 48-year-old added: "We fell in love with the place a couple of years ago when we purchased it because it had such a large amount of potential.
"It was quite run down, the pub company that we had bought it from had allowed it to go into a state of disrepair but we were interested in the challenge and it is a lovely, old building.
"We really wanted to put something back into Bolsover town and we wanted to get into the hospitality trade anyway.”
The couple explained how the pandemic has made it difficult to fund repairs, carry out construction work and source supplies.
"It's been a battle, it has fought us every step of the way but we have remained determined to do what we want to and piece the place back together and make it as nice and as appealing as we possibly can”, Paul added.
"We are also sympathetic to our surroundings, we are in a conservation area, we want the place to have a nice level of finish and showcase as many of the old features of the old building as possible.
"It's really exciting, we have done most of the heavier work and we are now just piecing it all back together and want to get it open.”