Blanc cheque Pub in full gal­lop to re­open ahead of fes­ti­val

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Philip NOR­RIS philip.nor­[email protected]­

ACOMPANY founded by chef Ray­mond Blanc is trans­form­ing a closed down Glouces­ter­shire pub and is plan­ning ahead for Chel­tenham Gold Cup week 2020.

Res­i­dents in Prest­bury be­lieve the new-look Kings Arms could be open in time for Christ­mas af­ter old fur­ni­ture from the pub was taken out and put in skips as ren­o­va­tion work con­tin­ues.

An ap­pli­ca­tion has now been made to Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil for the High Street venue to open from 8am to 1am dur­ing next March’s Chel­tenham Na­tional Hunt Fes­ti­val from Tues­day, March 10 to Fri­day, March 13.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion has al­ready been ap­proved by plan­ners which sug­gests the Kings Arms would be mar­keted as a pub/brasserie.

The ap­pli­ca­tion from The White Brasserie Com­pany, Ted­ding­ton, Lon­don, sought per­mis­sion to re­place the side en­trance porch with French doors, re­place­ment of rooflights and in­ter­nal al­ter­ations.

Now, the com­pany wants to “pro­vide for a start time of 8am and a fin­ish time of 1am for the sup­ply of al­co­hol and late-night re­fresh­ment dur­ing Gold Cup week.”

Works cur­rently un­der way will see the rear lob­bied en­trance re­placed with French doors to cre­ate a more open feel be­tween the cus­tomer din­ing area and the paved ex­ter­nal court­yard gar­den. The pub and restau­rant had pre­vi­ously been a Crown Carvery, un­der the um­brella of Mitchells & But­lers, the com­pany be­hind the ren­o­va­tion of the Har­vester restau­rant in Chel­tenham’s The Brew­ery Quar­ter into a Son of Steak diner. The White Brasserie Com­pany de­scribes its pubs as “warm and wel­com­ing with a unique com­bi­na­tion of a tra­di­tional pub serv­ing French brasserie food with an Eng­lish twist. Some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, some­where re­as­sur­ingly fa­mil­iar.”

It has 19 other pubs, in­clud­ing The Black Horse in Thame, Ox­ford­shire, and The King’s Head in Ted­ding­ton, Lon­don.

The Kings Arms closed be­cause the build­ing needed ma­jor struc­tural works, per­mis­sion for which has al­ready been granted. Ac­cord­ing to Birm­ing­ham-based Mitchells & But­lers, the west wall of the tim­ber frame was at sig­nif­i­cant struc­tural risk, and needed to be sta­bilised, work which be­gan back in May.

Mo­torists had been able to use all of the pub’s car park free since its clo­sure but part of it will be un­avail­able dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion work.

Ray­mond Blanc, 69, has an OBE, and is the chef pa­tron at the Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons which is a dou­ble Miche­lin starred restau­rant and is a reg­u­lar on TV cook­ing shows.

Ray­mond Blanc (left) hopes to re­open The Kings Arms, Prest­bury, by Christ­mas, in good time for next year’s Gold Cup.

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