One of the Lake District’s oldest inns has reopened following a full-scale refurbishment.
The Pheasant Inn, Bassenthwaite has opened its doors once again following a major restoration project to breathe new life into the 17th century coaching inn.
The redevelopment has seen the inn’s dining and bar areas undergo a careful restoration, along with the transformation of its 20 bedrooms by owners, multi-award winning pubco, The Inn Collection Group.
The inn’s original listed bar, with its red velvet banquettes, oak-panelled walls and eclectic collection of curios remains the same, preserving The Pheasant’s venerable heritage as one of the Lake District’s oldest inns.
The new Pheasant inn has 78 covers inside a series of dining areas while outside seating and terraces provides a further 80 covers throughout the inn’s grounds.
In line with The Inn Collection Group’s pubs with rooms model, home-cooked pub fare is at the heart of the inn’s offering with food served daily from 7.30am through to 9pm. A wide range of beverages includes local real ales from Cumbrian Ales and the inn’s bespoke house Pheasant Ale brewed by Tirril Brewery.
Cutting the ribbon to officially reopen The Pheasant was head housekeeper and grandmother-of-four Gillian Gaston, who has worked at the inn for 25 years.
Gillian, 66, of Great Clifton, said: “It was such an honour to be asked to do this. The whole inn is just beautiful. They have done such a good job. I think we were all a little apprehensive as it is such an institution, but it looks really wonderful. It’s lovely to be back and I can’t wait to welcome people again – the regulars who have been coming for years and to seeing new faces after the pandemic.”
She added: “The Pheasant is unique. There’s nowhere else quite like it. I’ve made such good friends here over the years – there are customers who still send me Christmas cards each year – I don’t think you would get that in many places. It’s a lovely team here. We all enjoy working together and take so much pride in the place – it is a very special inn that has been made even more so.”
General managers husband and wife team Chris and Debra Adamson say the new refurbishment has been given the thumbs up by locals.
Said Chris: “One of our customers has been coming here every day for 40 years – he even kayaked across the A66 when it was flooded to have his drink. He was one of the first regulars to come back inside. He was welling up because he was so pleased with how it looked. It touches us and the company that it meant so much and the refurbishment has been done well. That, to me, says it’s a job well done.
“The Pheasant has evolved to meet the needs of travellers over the centuries. Now, it’s been The Inn Collection Group’s turn to contribute to its development as the hospitality beacon it is known and loved for being in the Lakes.
“It’s great to see friendly faces – people who have been here previously and new faces who are stepping inside for first time and seeing their reaction. Understandably there was some apprehension about the place being changed, but the way it has been so sympathetically renovated and refurbished makes it look as if it has been like this the entire time.”
Debra added: “It’s lovely to be open again to get all the team back in and all our regulars – they love the place. We are so happy to be getting back to business and seeing this amazing place as it should be – full of people enjoying their food, their drink and enjoying the company and seeing our team happy in our lovely new inn. It’s The Pheasant everyone knows and loves – just even better.
“We have our sights set on a magical Christmas and we’re going all out with some wonderful festive celebrations to celebrate the new Pheasant Inn’s first Christmas with our customers and team.”
The Pheasant was closed for six-months during the refurbishment, which combined sensitivity to the inn’s historic origins with thoughtful enhancements creating a beautiful and comfortable environment for customers to eat, sleep, drink and explore from.
A second phase of redevelopment is underway to repurpose a cottage within the grounds to provide a further seven rooms including new family-friendly accommodation.
Alongside The Pheasant, the Alchemy-backed The Inn Collection Group’s Lake District family of inns includes seven further sites in Ambleside, Grasmere, Coniston and Bowness-on-Windermere as well as pubs with rooms in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Lancashire.
The Pheasant is open daily from 7.30am and is walkers, cyclists, family and dog friendly.