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Friday, 4 May 2012

Westover Hall to become The Beach House

It has been confirmed that Dorset brewer, Hall & Woodhouse is taking over Westover Hall Hotel in Milford on Sea.
Westover Hall will close for a week from Tuesday 8th May, before reopening as The Beach House restaurant with rooms. Hall & Woodhouse says the new name has been chosen to give the business a fresh start and to reflect fully the location and history of the property.
It appears to me that the big issue with Westover Hall has been getting people through the door. Added to this Trip Advisor has some really mixed reviews, so their plan of a new start could be right.
Perception was far from reality with Westover Hall. Many felt it was a formal venue and not somewhere you could just pop in. Personally, I never felt out of place wandering in casually dressed. Having said that, I am of course, (as my wife often tells me), oblivious to everything around me. I always loved dining there, popping in for a drink or enjoying their fabulous afternoon tea, so it will be intriguing to see how things change.
The Westover Hall staff were also friendly, and the kitchen created lovely food, so I hope they retain their jobs in these changes.
With a bit of luck the new guys will be sympathetic with the refurbishment of the 1897 built grade two listed Victorian mansion. I am not quite sure how the magnificent internal oak panelling, intricate plaster ceilings and stained glass windows fit in with a ‘Beach House’, and I hope lime-washing the walls isn’t seen as the answer!

One good sign is that Hall & Woodhouse were awarded the Publican Awards 'Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company' at an awards dinner and event held at Grosvenor House, Park Lane in March.

Comedian Jimmy Carr presented Matt Kearsey, Business Partnerships Director and Anthony Woodhouse, Hall & Woodhouse Managing Director, with this prestigious award in front of over 1,000 guests.

Hall & Woodhouse are better known for running some quality pubs, and brewing Badger Beer, rather than restaurants specifically, so how Westover Hall fits into their portfollio will be interesting to see.
However, it sounds like these guys are at the top of their game, and I for one am pretty excited to see what they do with the interior and menu options, - roll on the re-opening.

3 comments:

  1. Although my wife and I were not regular visitors to the Westover - Milford on Sea has so many good places to eat - the Westover was nice for us and the staff friendly, helpful and ideal. We only live just round the corner so we haven't needed to stay there, but we have eaten there recently and had coffee there. It was lovely.

    Hopefully there won't be too many changes under the new ownership and I hope it doesn't become more of a pub, there are already three in the village and another excellent one in Keyhaven nearby. Also, I hope this new venture doesn't undermine the viability of the many smaller excellent restaurants in the village. hopefully all will survive and hopefully there will be enough ravenous visitors to keep all of these ventures, new and old, in business

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  2. I was very disappointed to hear of the name change as it is hardly near a beach. Also, we have lost a 'fine dining' restaurant. We enjoyed the most exquisite desserts there once - a 'casino' with cards and dice; and an 'artist's palette'. Memorable. To have such a lovely hotel nearby was a real treat. We shall miss it.

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  3. I loved the Westover Hall Hotel, having been proposed to and married there on a very small scale, we were always used to the very personal touch. However, times change and things move on so we all hope in the village that the 'Beach House at Westover' doesn't lose site of it's origins. Being a very special Grade 2 listed building, we all hope that Hall and Woodhouse play up that aspect and that it doesn't become a 'pack in as many as you can for a fast turnover' establishment with tables galore. I understand that 'fine dIning' is not an option, but lets hope that the interior and ambience can be preserved and that all can now savour it's history in a still very stylish environment at a reasonable price. We wish them luck, but hope that Hall and Woodhouse take on board that the location is of very significant ecological significance.

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