THE NEW owners of a historic mansion house and luxury wedding venue have unveiled a £100,000 refurbishment as part of an ambitious investment programme.
A stylish makeover has taken place at Soughton Hall Hotel, near Northop, Flintshire, to ‘breathe new life’ into the striking building which was built as a Bishop’s Palace in 1714.
Manchester-based bar, restaurant and leisure experts Elle R Leisure took over the Grade II* listed venue in February.
They have just completed extensive improvements to update the main guest areas with a revamp of the library, entrance hall, reception and residents bar. They have also transformed the bridal suite, to include a new dressing room and luxury bathroom.
The hotel’s permanent marquee has been upgraded with new chandeliers, built-in fairy lights, new carpets and a remodel of the drinks terrace and bar area. Newly married couples will now access the marquee via a new connecting walkway from the hall.
The new owners have also invested in the ancient hall’s Wi-fi to ensure Soughton Hall is brought bang up-to-date with the latest technology.
The decision has also been made to move the main dining area from the former Stables restaurant next to the building to the hall’s impressive first floor rooms. The hall’s original stable block will in future be used for exclusive events and parties when a separate space is required.
The refurbishment was given the thumbs up by Delyn MP David Hanson who was taken on a tour of Soughton Hall by James Ramsbottom, owner of family firm Elle R Leisure.
Mr Hanson said: “I really welcome the commitment of Elle R Leisure to refurbishing and promoting the historic Soughton Hall.
“I am very familiar with the facilities here but I have seen again the great potential for the hall as a wedding and corporate venue and for business events and also local and regional leisure stays.
“I can see Elle R Leisure will be committed to looking after the history and fabric of the building but also ensuring it is a living building which will play its part in supporting the local economy.
“Soughton Hall has always been a high quality venue but it is clear that James and the team at Elle R Leisure are determined to make it even better.
“I hope the business goes from strength to strength.”
James Ramsbottom said: “Every little thing we are doing at Soughton Hall, from revamping the website to moving dining from the Stables restaurant back into the newly-refurbished main hall, is about getting more people in to appreciate this stunning building.
“We want to open the doors and breathe new life into the building to secure its future as an architectural treasure and as a successful business so more people can enjoy coming here for many generations to come.”
Elle R Leisure is well-known for its successful Dukes 92 and Albert’s restaurants in Manchester.
Their popular Dukes bar and restaurant has just celebrated its 25th anniversary with a £1m refurbishment and the company also owns a luxury boutique hotel called Woodlands in Leeds which specialises in weddings.
James added: “We see ourselves as custodians of Soughton Hall and we have developed successful wedding venues before so we are confident that this fabulous building has the expertise behind it that it deserves.
“We are a family-run firm and we have a track record of long-term investment rather than short-term profit.
“The latest work is the start of a programme of refurbishment we intend to carry out which will roll on to the other bedrooms at the hall.
“As spectacular as the building is, it still needs the wow factor throughout to attract the right sort of high-spend events which will ensure we can continually invest in and improve it as a luxury venue.
“By targeting key areas like the bridal suite, we are now able to show brides-to-be who we are and the very high standard we are seeking to achieve throughout the whole building.”
With 14 bedrooms, spectacular dining settings and ceremony rooms, couples can enjoy their special day all in one place at Soughton Hall.
The building can cater for wedding parties big and small, with the option of taking the venue over exclusively so the happy couple feel like Lord and Lady of the manor.
James explained: “Soughton Hall is grand enough to give you the stately home experience but small enough to be hired out exclusively which creates an extremely unique and intimate experience for those who choose us.”
For more information go to www.soughtonhall.co.uk