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Restaurant to open in medieval pub

27 | 03 | 13

A new restaurant is set to open at the George Inn in Wraysbury, which is close to Windsor.

The 14th century grade II listed coaching inn has undergone a £350,000 refurbishment after being taken over by restaurateur Ben Smith, Caterer and Hotelkeeper reports.

This is the first solo project undertaken by Mr Smith, who spent 12 years with the Bel and Dragon restaurant chain and served as the company's general manager.

The restoration took seven weeks and the contributions of 15 people to complete. While working on the property the team uncovered original fireplaces, oak beams and 300-year-old wattle and daub walls.  

The 60-cover restaurant, which has been fitted with new kitchen equipment, will open this month. A bar for local drinkers has been maintained at the front of the building.

The inn, which has served the local community for hundreds of years, had appeared set to be closed down prior to being purchased by Mr Smith.

The 37-year-old commented: "I’ve been working in the pub and restaurant industry for the past 20 years and to finally have my name above the door is a dream come true. 

"To be able to take this old building and restore it to its former glory has certainly been challenging but overall an absolute joy."

A former gym at the rear of the building, in which the legendary boxer Henry Cooper is believed to have once trained, has been converted into a function space for 70 people. It displays a range of boxing memorabilia on its walls as a tribute to its sporting heritage. The room has been named the Boxers Bar and will have its own kitchen and bathroom facilities and opens directly onto an olive garden.

Mr Smith said: "The George has an incredible history and I’m proud to be able to continue to keep it alive."

Future plans for the building include turning the adjoining accommodation block into luxury bed and breakfast accommodation.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801563677-ADNFCR

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