The new owners of a Victorian property on Folkestone’s iconic Leas are sparing no effort in their renovation project.
Determined to return the building to its heyday beauty, brother and sister team Dave Mellish and Ann Grundy have employed traditional stonemasons to give the property some much-needed tender loving care.
Formerly known as the Salisbury Hotel, the five-storey property in Clifton Road will relaunch in July 2016 as The View Hotel Folkestone and The Cliffe Restaurant and Bar. But creating the four-star boutique accommodation and stylish dining venue has been no easy task – the building has been somewhat unloved in recent years, resulting in the need for significant renovation and restoration work, both on the exterior and internally.
“Anyone walking past the building could see that the stonework on the outside was crumbling and in desperate need of repair,” Dave said. “Attention to detail is at the heart of everything we do, so we’ve invested a lot of time and money in bringing this delightful building back to life. Ledges, window frames, balustrades and exterior surfaces are all being carefully rebuilt by expert craftsmen, to give this building the crisp and elegant finish it deserves. Wherever possible, we’re retaining and restoring original features throughout the property.”
The project has already attracted a great deal of interest and praise from Folkestone residents, who are keen to see the previously rundown building given a new lease of life.
“Almost every day, passersby will stop to tell us how pleased they are to see the hotel being given some love and attention,” Ann said. “The locals seem to be very excited about the new venues and we hope they will come and visit us often. I think they can see how much care we’re putting into the renovation, which means a lot to a town that is currently investing a lot of energy and passion into its own regeneration.”
The extensive work continues inside the building, where Dave and Ann are coming up with creative solutions to problems posed by the stunning interior architecture.
For example, the original cornicing in the Cliffe Restaurant has been uncovered, but it needed a lot of repair work. Unwillingly to cover up the charming feature, Dave and Ann have commissioned a ceiling that is set back from the wall slightly – giving guests the chance to admire the cornicing, while still allowing for high quality sound proofing to be installed.
“This technique has also enabled us to maintain the acoustic values of the room, while still protecting the hotel accommodation above from unwelcome noise,” Dave explained.
Original stone fireplaces and attractive wrought iron balustrades are among the other features being revealed as the work continues. You can follow the project’s progress on [email protected] and @TheCliffeFolkes