Historic pub reopens after major facelift

Ian Dowling on the steps outside the historic Talbot Inn.
Ian Dowling on the steps outside the historic Talbot Inn.

The 19th century Talbot Inn, at Newnham Bridge near Tenbury Wells, has been transformed into a modern 90-seat gastro pub with seven en-suite bedrooms, private dining and meeting facilities.

The reopening of the former coaching inn, which closed in 2009, has also boosted the local economy with the creation of ten jobs and the new owner pledging to use locally-sourced fresh produce, ales and ciders as part of a new seasonally-changing menu.

The 8,000 square foot country inn is owned by local property investor, Ian Dowling. Mr Dowling has overseen the ambitious project which has breathed a new lease of life into the Victorian red-brick building after a 10-month restoration programme.

He said: “We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved with the refurbishment of the Talbot. It has been a long and detailed project but our aim was to get every feature as perfect as possible. This has been achieved with a contemporary interior whilst also managing to retain the building’s rustic and historical charm.

“Most of all, I think we’ve created somewhere stylish for people to relax and enjoy quality home-made food.

“I have lived in the area for a number of years and regularly thought how sad it was to watch such an iconic building decaying. So when the opportunity came up to buy the Talbot I jumped at the chance to transform it back to its former glory.

“The feedback from our first customers has been exceptional and we’ll continue to try and impress everyone who visits in the future.”

Mr Dowling added: “We have a creative and widely-respected head chef in Ben Sparrow. So with a professional team, affordable food, great accommodation and a family-friendly atmosphere, we want to tempt customers from across Shropshire back to the Talbot time and time again.”

Mr Dowling said that throughout the project, which was delayed due to flood damage, he has recognised the role the building has played in the area’s local history and hoped now it would be seen as a landmark to be proud of for many years to come.