A collaboration between property owners and good friends at Coach House, has seen a traditional pub in the heart of Lancashire’s rolling countryside be transformed into something quite unique.
The family and directors at Coach House have for years been imagining a space whereby they could host networking events for their clients, as well as for family and friends, that epitomises the Coach House culture of seeking to offer a different experience in terms of interiors. Working very closely with the hospitality sector, Coach House is extremely inspired by its customers and indeed by the team’s travels sourcing product, so when the opportunity arose for them to invest and help create a family friend’s venture, they jumped at the chance.
The Ribble Valley in Lancashire already has so many amazing country pubs, offering traditional faire and The Rum Fox had to stand out against this established offering. When discussing the aesthetic for space, two main themes kept being repeated: the unexpected and familiar. Together with Charlotte from Tannery Interiors, Coach House wanted to help Bob Geldeard, owner and chef at The Rum Fox, to create a pub with a difference. Fundamentally, it helps that the space is naturally divided by the bar in the centre helping to draw a distinction between the two spaces, offering both a local space to enjoy a drink as well as a more considered and formal aspect whereby patrons could come to dine in a more refined environment.
As soon as you enter the premises, you are greeted with the perfect balance of a pub and a more refined, adventurous take on the traditional formula we are all familiar with. Alongside classic elements such as the oak beams, fabricated in fact from plaster of Paris, slate floors and open fires, are surprise additions such as the kiln-fired ceramic tiles in sage and beer tones adorning the pass and the bar. The bar top is a work of art in itself, a unique slab of Quartzite, streaked with auburn and chocolate tones to create a focal point in the middle of the bar area.
Moving through the space, we created a private dining room ‘The Den’, whereby panelling was added to create interest as well as statement lighting and the addition of antique pieces of furniture, carefully sourced to add depth to the space.
The restrooms are another area where the design team played with the space, adding more panelling and dramatic lighting so that even a trip to the loo wouldn’t be forgotten. The Coach House natural stone sinks are a firm favourite and help add an organic edge to the scheme. The colour scheme, directed by Charlotte, is thoughtfully curated to immerse the diner in a more holistic experience of the space. Ela cosmetics add another layer to the experience as the senses are intrigued by the organic scents created by the hand soap, carefully chosen for the project in order to ground the client in nature.
The main, formal dining area is a deliberate step away from the traditional pub element. The space is open and the focal point is, of course, the incredible food served by Bob and his team. This is the core of the entire project. Again, playful and experimental, there are dishes on the menu that reflect the daring nature of the interiors. All of this is served in beautiful, hand-thrown stoneware, sourced from local maker, Dave Green Ceramics, in the nearby town of Nelson. Each element has been chosen to elevate the diners’ experience, from the natural wishbone Coach House chairs that offer comfort and the perfect posture support to best enjoy the culinary delights being served, to the over-sized lighting that was installed to create interest and intrigue.
The addition of the back-to-back fireplace that connects the large dining space to the outside courtyard is an absolute showstopper, adding heat to both spaces as well as a natural divide between the two that allows for patrons to choose between a total of three separate dining and social experiences in one location. Coach House created the outdoor space with the incredible views in mind as well as the desire to offer customers the opportunity to enjoy the fresh Lancashire air. The beautiful herringbone stone floor has been styled with Coach House orangery furniture as well as teak benches and soft furnishings. The thoughtfully designed and commissioned louvered ceiling makes it possible to enjoy the space in every season, the addition of faux Coach House foliage softens the space and the clever lighting mixed with the botany creates a dappled light in the evening that transforms the area.