One of London’s most historic pubs, The Rose & Crown in Blackfriars, has been given an £84,000 makeover.
The Shepherd Neame-owned pub dates back to the 16th century, and was among a small number of buildings to survive the Blitz bombings of the Second World War when much of the surrounding area was flattened.
Its traditional features have been accentuated by the recent two-week refurbishment carried out by the brewery, which included exposing historic wooden panels and removing carpets to reveal the original wooden floors. The downstairs bar has been reshaped to create more space and the customer toilets have been upgraded and decorated. The first floor lounge has also been completely refurbished, with the old bar removed and new carpet laid.
New furnishings and lighting, along with historic pictures of London and vintage street signs, have been added throughout the pub.
The exterior has also been completely repainted, with traditional hand painted signwriting added to highlight its long heritage, new external lighting and a gravelled standing area with rope fence created in a former car park at the front of the pub.
Manager Rory O’Dwyer has been at the pub since May last year. He said: “I wanted to manage the Rose & Crown as I could see it had amazing potential, and it is in an area of London which is booming. There are lots of new office buildings all round us, and we are right by the Southbank.”
The pub’s menu has also been revamped, with new sharing platters introduced in addition to the traditional pub classics and snacks. It will continue to build on its reputation for great real ale, serving classic Shepherd Neame beers such as Spitfire and Master Brew along with a regularly changing selection of guest ales.
The Rose & Crown is located in an area of London once known as the Paris Garden, as mentioned by Shakespeare in Henry VIII, and has a large garden which Shepherd Neame hopes to capitalise on during the summer.
Nigel Bunting, Shepherd Neame’s director of retail and tenanted operations said: “We are already reaping the rewards of the pub’s new look, with a huge upsurge in customers, but we want to continue improving our offer in every way we can. Our aim with the refurbishment was to make people feel as comfortable as possible at the pub and hopefully see it as their ‘local in a city’, as well as maximising the use of the wonderful large garden.”
Notes for editors: Shepherd Neame is an independent family brewery and pub operator, based in the market town of Faversham in Kent. Dating back at least 400 years, it is Britain’s oldest brewer and has 348 pubs and hotels across London and the South East. Our Kentish ales and award-winning lagers are brewed using traditional methods with 100% natural ingredients; chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well deep below our Faversham site, the finest malting barley and Kentish hops.
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