Future of historic Dunmow pub safeguarded with the arrival of new owners

LIFE is to be breathed into a historic town centre pub and hotel following the arrival of new owners.

The Saracen’s Head Hotel, in Dunmow’s High Street, was last week bought by independently-owned pub company Cozy Pubs, which is now planning to return the Grade II listed coaching inn to its former glory.

The project will also create around 30 new job opportunities in the town.

Work will begin in earnest on a sympathetic refurbishment of the 31-bedroom hotel in the next fortnight.

Cozy Pubs, which has similarly transformed the fortunes of two other watering-holes – The Cricketers Arms in Rickling Green and The Eight Bells in Saffron Walden – is investing a total of �1.75million in the purchase and restoration of the building.

Director Timothy Doyle said: “Having worked in the area for some time we were well aware of The Saracen’s Head Hotel and its significance in the town.

“It’s a superb site that’s steeped in history. We know the property has had something of a chequered history of late and has suffered from under-investment over the years. Right now it’s in dire need of some TLC and a safe pair of hands to ensure its future.”

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The establishment will remain open for the forthcoming fortnight, before closing for a four-week refurbishment in mid-May.

The new owners will be giving the inn a fresh new look throughout – soft, neutral shades and plenty of natural materials – to create a stylish but welcoming interior that’s in tune with the history of the building.

There will be a more spacious bar, function rooms, comfortable en-suite bedrooms and free Wi-Fi. There will also be new food and drink on offer, with home-cooked, fresh seasonal dishes and real local ales.

“We’ll be carefully restoring the building, preserving its original features and character, to create a relaxed place to come for a drink or a bite to eat,” explained Mr Doyle.

“We want to bring out the best of the place and create somewhere that’s very much the hub of the town – we think pubs should be at the heart of their communities and give locals what they want. We’re very excited at the prospect of restoring this grand old coaching inn and giving it back to the people of Great Dunmow.

“We know it’s a big task and one that has stumped several in the past but we’re in it for the long-haul and know we can make a success of it.”

New jobs will be created as a result of the restoration, with opportunities to work as chefs, in the bar and restaurant and in managing the hotel accommodation.

To join the team, or for information, pop into the pub or e-mail Timothy Doyle on tjd@cozypubs.co.uk