Washford Pub Closes for £200k Refurbishment and Reopening of Somerset’s Longest Skittle Alley

Washford Pub Closes for £200k Refurbishment and Reopening of Somerset’s Longest Skittle Alley

The Washford Inn will be closed for five weeks whilst work is carried out and is expected to reopen in mid August.

The investment will restore the run down pub to its former glory as an outstanding pub serving great food and meeting the needs of the community, users of the adjacent West Somerset steam railway and other visitors to the area.

Inside, the pub and its eight-bed hotel will be redecorated and refitted throughout to a high standard. Barista quality coffee will be added and the kitchen upgraded to enable the pub to offer great quality food. Outside, the tired pub will be carefully renovated and repainted to make it an attractive focal point of Washford once again. The large garden will be relandscaped and replanted and a petanque course laid.

The work will encompass the Washford Inn’s famously long skittle alley. Cyril and Vanessa hope it will become a village feature and are recruiting players to form a Washford team and compete in the Minehead league. The alley will also be open for general use and parties.

The couple aim to rebuild the Washford Inn’s reputation for food with a new menu focusing on pub favourites during the day and offering restaurant-quality meals in the evening. Cream teas and cakes will be served in the afternoon. The food will be home cooked and freshly prepared using local ingredients wherever possible. “The cream for the teas and ice cream will come from the cows grazing behind the pub, you can’t get much more local than that,” says Cyril.

Cyril and Vanessa want to make the Washford Inn a hub for the village and the pub will be open throughout the day for coffee and refreshments and will provide a meal delivery service to those who are housebound.

Cyril, a former manager of pubs and hotels, has been working as a building site supervisor in recent years and Vanessa as a care home manager in Minehead, but throughout the pair still dreamt of having their own pub. “We fell in love with the Washford Inn as soon as we saw it but it needed a lot of investment and TLC. It has got the investment now and we’ll certainly be giving it plenty of TLC. We want to make the Washford Inn an asset for the village and a pub they can be proud of.”

Chris Jowsey, Star Pubs & Bars trading director, comments, “it’s tough running a pub with increasing competition for customers' disposable income.  Heineken is a passionate supporter of the great British pub and has invested in pubs like the Washford Inn to help them deliver excellent quality, attract customers and thrive at the heart of their communities for years to come.”