Stunning Lyme Regis pub sets the bar for refurbishment
The Pilot Boat has won the CAMRA Pub Design Award for refurbishment
Lyme Regis’ Pilot Boat has won the highly acclaimed Pub Design Award, organised by the Campaign for Real Ale, for a refurbishment project described as a ‘labour of love’.
The project kicked off in 2015 when Palmers Brewery decided that the tired and dated Pilot Boat Inn needed a total rethink to bring it into the modern era. At the time, the Inn was comprised of a modest pub with a large function room and skittles alley, which was very underused and disconnected from the pub area.
Working with design agency Concorde BGW, Palmers put together a plan to retain the charms of the old pub as ‘a refuge for patrons of all ages on a cold wintery night’, whilst creating a fresh and modernised space for warm summer evenings and pub lunches.
A newly built restaurant and open kitchen were created which was tastefully connected to the pub area by utilising reclaimed ship timber and a new bi-folding glass wall to create an ‘inside-outside’ feel. With views out to sea and a nautical theme, the Pilot Boat has become the perfect place to retreat after a long walk on the beach or a meal in the bar.
CAMRA will be celebrating the achievement with a presentation event today, just days before the launch of its Summer of Pub campaign, which aims to promote pub-going over the warmer months and celebrate the contribution of the great British pub to our heritage.
Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s judging panel said: “Palmers brewery has transformed a small, rather run-down pub into a modern, exciting place for the twenty-first century. Their architects have gone all out to maximise the use of the site, including an external, first-floor terrace from which you have views of the sea.
“What really impresses is the use of good quality finishes such as the lovely dark blue tiles in the gents’, the oak casing of the piers in the front bar, the rustic character of the bar counter, and - especially - the restrained, non-cliché look of the references to things maritime (when it would have been all too easy to overdo it here). No doubt this will long be a thriving watering hole for visitors to the magnificent Jurassic Coast.”
Jim Jones Palmers Tenanted Trade Director said: "The refurbishment of the Pilot Boat has been Palmers' largest project to date, breathing new life into the pub and evolving into an iconic landmark destination pub on the Jurassic Coast. We are delighted that under the excellent leadership of licensees Angela and Robyn Collyns the Pilot Boat has set sail as a vibrant focal point for locals and a draw for visitors to the area.
"With so much history to the building, we are immensely proud of the way that together with designers Concorde BGW, we managed to capture the character and heritage of the old pub which now leads through to a large contemporary open plan kitchen & restaurant with sun trap roof terrace and three beautifully appointed bedrooms."
A presentation event for the pub will be taking place at the Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent, which won the Historic England Conservation Award and will host the ceremony this year. The event is open to the press and will take place on 23 May at 12 noon.
Images of the Pilot Boat are available here
The Pub Design Awards, run in conjunction with Historic England, recognise the very best in British pub architecture and design. This year’s winners include:
The Pilot Boat in Lyme Regis for a refurbishment project described as a ‘labour of love’ by Palmers Brewery which brought the tired and dated seaside inn into the modern era
The Royal Pavilion in Ramsgate for the conversion of a dilapidated pavilion to a bustling seaside pub by Wetherspoons
The Slaughterhouse in Guernsey for the inspired conversion of a historic slaughterhouse into a unique and distinctive pub in the hub of St Peter’s Port by R W Randall
The Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent for Joules’ Brewery’s tasteful conservation of the historic tap house dating back to the 1800s
The Cardigan Arms in Leeds which was saved from closure by Kirstall Brewery, which turned around the pub’s fortunes
Pubs that were highly commended include:
The Sekforde Arms, London for its restoration after nearly 200 years of serving pints
The Butcher’s Hook, Thornbury which was left empty and derelict before significant investment brought the former butcher shop back to life
The Draughtsman Alehouse, Doncaster which was transformed from a disused storage area into a bustling micropub on platform 3b of Doncaster rail station