Witney's Landmark Hotel To Re-Open
Shoppers and visitors in Witney during the festive season have a treat in store. They will be among the first to sample the exciting new offerings at The Blue Boar, formerly The Marlborough Hotel, which will open its doors early next month following an extensive and meticulous restoration programme to the Listed coaching Inn.
The site has been a landmark in Witney’s historic Market Square for hundreds of years. The 21 room boutique hotel will include a 64 seat restaurant, a refurbished bar with comfortable seating and an open fire, plus a brand new café/restaurant area overlooking the renovated courtyard where there will be additional outdoor seating.
Around 50 new jobs will be created and the company is in the process of recruiting for a wide range of roles including front of house staff such as waiters and waitresses, bar tenders, kitchen staff and chefs, housekeepers and receptionists – a Recruitment Day will be held at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 17th November.
This is the sixth project for the independent hospitality group, Oakman Inns & Restaurants, owned by entrepreneur Peter Borg-Neal, who has developed a new concept in the ‘modern public house’ which aims to offer a high standard of food, drink and service within a contemporary yet traditional environment. Oakman Inns has a good track record for their sensitive transformation of old buildings in market towns and their meticulous attention to detail. They won an award for their first property, The Akeman in Tring, from the Chiltern Conservation Society.
Some consternation has been expressed at the name change – but according to the property’s deeds, which the new owners discovered at Witney’s museum, the old coaching Inn was known as The Blue Boar until 1803 but by 1819 it had changed to The Marlborough Hotel.
Judging by the popularity of their other Oxfordshire restaurant, the Old Post Office in Wallingford, Blue Boar customers are in for an assortment of pleasurable experiences. The new bar in pewter/zinc with wooden panelling will return to its original position at the back of the room, while the adjoining lounge area will provide soft seating in front of an open fire.
Cocktails, coffee, fine wines and locally brewed beer and a bar menu will all be on offer in the bar and café; in the new restaurant, aged steaks, fresh fish and the best of local produce will feature in an innovative Mediterranean-inspired menu, where guests will be able to watch their food being freshly prepared to order in the open plan kitchen featuring a new, innovative Josper charcoal grill and oven.
The Function Room, renamed the Bosworth Suite, has also undergone a complete refurbishment, seating up to 50, and will be available for Christmas parties, weddings, family gatherings, business meetings and other local events.
Each of the 21 en suite rooms will be individually decorated and furnished in a mix of traditional and contemporary designs and will not only offer iPod docking stations, free Wi-Fi and flat TV screens but Peter has personally ensured that the showers will be high pressure.
Oakman’s CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “We’ve been working round the clock since the autumn to create what I really hope will re-establish The Blue Boar as the social heart of Witney. “
Visit www.blueboarwitney.co.uk; follow the Blue Boar on Twitter @blueboarwitney or join them on Facebook.
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