New owners’ refurbishment of historic hostelry gives a nod to its grand past

October 7, 2021

An 18th century pub has reopened after being given a complete makeover by its new owners.

The King’s Arms in Melksham, pictured, was among 21 hostelries bought by Butcombe last December from Wiltshire brewery and pub chain Wadworth. 

Butcombe, which already owned 39 pubs in Bath, Bristol, Somerset and the Mendips, including The Broad Street Townhouse and The Pig & Fiddle in Bath, The Old Crown Inn in Kelston and The Charlton Inn in Shepton Mallet, has since extensively refurbished the King’s Arms inside and out. 

The pub, in one of the town’s most iconic and historic buildings, now boasts 13 stylish bedrooms and new menus.

In a nod to its grand past, its wood-panelled walls have been painted in hues of heritage blue and there is plenty of greenery while Arts and Crafts-inspired wallpapers now feature alongside leather banquette seating, upholstered floral lounge chairs, tartan carpets and statement wall and pendant lighting, creating a variety of cosy and elegant drinking and dining areas to choose from.

Outside is a cobbled beer garden, perfect for alfresco dining and drinking along with two private dining rooms ideal for weddings, meetings and parties. 

The new menu focuses on locally sourced produce, seasonal ingredients and elevated hearty pub classics. 

The menus and daily specials also feature Butcombe ales where possible – such as Butcombe Gold beer-battered fish and chips. 

Butcombe Pubs & Inns operations manager Toni Morris-Ditty said: “We’re incredibly proud of the new look King’s Arms and we’re delighted to be able to welcome visitors old and new once again. 

“It’s quite a transformation and we’re sure our guests will enjoy the changes we’ve made to the décor and our fresh new food and drink offering.”

Butcombe was founded in 1978 by former managing director of Courage Western Simon Whitmore.

As well as its much-expanded brewery in Wrington, near Bristol, it operates a distribution and packaging facility in Polden, near Bridgwater.

Last month it said it had enjoyed a 52% increase in food sales and an 83% rise in income from its rooms over the previous quarter while it also benefitted from a boost from its free trade business. 

The pubs acquired from Wadworth had performed ahead of expectations since reopening, it said.

In total the 21 pubs extended Butcombe’s portfolio across the South of England and into the West Midlands for the first time, adding 140 rooms and over 800 new covers to its estate.


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