Harpenden pubs get a makeover

ONE was briefly connected to a French celebrity chef and the other has just raised �2,200 for Herts Air Ambulance – now two Harpenden pubs are celebrating changes which they hope will breathe fresh life into the establishments.

The future of The White Horse in Hatching Green is looking peachy after its recently announced acquisition by Peach Pubs, which is keen to strengthen the company’s presence in the Home Counties.

Meanwhile, The George in the town centre has just reopened after undergoing a makeover.

The High Street pub proved the sky was no limit when it came to fundraising for Herts Air Ambulance, with regulars contributing more than �2,200 to the life-saving service.

Manager of The George, Patrick Linn, said: “Being located close to the motorway, we often see the helicopter overhead attending to traffic collisions and we wanted to help them out.”

The pub, recently closed for a makeover, presented a cheque to the service at a VIP launch party last Thursday and officially reopened its doors to the public last Friday.

Peach co-founder Lee Cash described The White Horse, a Grade II listed building, as a, “fantastic pub in a fantastic place.”

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He said: “Harpenden is a great town, exactly the kind of place Peach does well in and we can’t wait to get started.

“We’re aware the pub’s had mixed fortunes of late but we think the location and the building – it’s a particularly beautiful pub in a cracking setting with a big garden and car park – make it perfectly suited to Peach.”

Peach has negotiated a free-of-tie rent from owners Enterprise Inns, which will continue to be the pub’s landlords when The White Horse reopens in early May with a full refurbishment and restored period features.

The White Horse is Peach’s 14th pub, and the company is keen to, “have a few more pubs in the Home Counties.”

Several years ago celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli was a shareholder and consultant to The White Horse before a new management company, Urban & Country Leisure (UCL) took it over.

In January The White Horse closed its doors unexpectedly with UCL saying it had been unsuccessful in buying the property from Enterprise Inns and developing it further.