Breathing new life into a Grade II listed building
This project is the conservation and refurbishment of a restaurant within a Grade II listed building on the historic High Street Buntingford, located within the town’s Conservation Area. Probably built in the 16th century, Bourne cottage (as this building was previously known) ,due to its location on the High Street, has been tenanted by several different businesses including a shoemaker, a watchmaker and a boot repairer. It became a single residence in 1960 (Bourne Cottage), but since 1991 it returned to use as a business with a restaurant downstairs and living accommodation upstairs.
The new owners, Swan London Ltd, took over the premises with the aim of creating a high quality restaurant on the High Street to the standards that they have set at their Swan Restaurants at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, London and in West Malling, Kent.
The building had already lost much of its character due to past inappropriate alterations, so a sympathetic reinstatement of historic features was proposed . We proposed to re-fit and upgrade the kitchen to a commercial standard, convert the first-floor accommodation to private dining areas, upgrade WC facilities, address sloping floors, correct deficiencies and carry out a sympathetic improvement to the historic features. These changes improved its character and appearance by reinstating historic features and decorative schemes, while providing a significant setting to the restaurant.