The renovation of The British is the latest example of Heron and Brearley’s programme to reinvigorate its managed estate.
Located on Douglas’s North Quay where another of the company’s houses, The Bridge, was also given a recent makeover, The British has been restored to what Heron and Brearley’s retail director Steven Taylor is calling ‘a classic British city bar with modern twists.’
Mr. Taylor explained: ‘The British and The Bridge, while individually very different, collectively are perfect examples of Heron and Brearley’s drive to raise hospitality standards across its managed estate, by offering class-leading food, great service and a whole raft of niche cask ales, beers and wines. The British represents elements of “the Best of British” concept – a traditional pub serving classic dishes – whereas with The Bridge we’ve introduced a softer, more sophisticated look to the décor married to a menu majoring on seafood.
Mr Taylor continued: ‘With its new impressive layout and design The British will offer a large range of cask ales from award-winning British brewers alongside our international award-winning Okells range, craft British lagers and ciders – an assortment that will set a new level on our island. Great classic British dishes will be prepared from fresh local produce to a top-class standard by our chefs. Our mouth-watering dishes are a must try for anyone who loves good British food. During July we will open the finest function room around, catering for corporate, private, seasonal events and hosted functions such as charity events, weddings and entertainment evenings, perhaps comedy nights and celebrity dinners. The overall impression of The British will be first class and I am sure it will be a popular choice.
‘These new-look houses represent how Heron and Brearley continues to respond to consumer habits and the challenges faced by the licensed trade in new and exciting ways, such as pioneering new brands across our managed estate.’
Its island location has not compromised Heron and Brearley’s position as an acknowledged industry pioneer setting the benchmark for the licensed trade at home and abroad. Mr. Taylor explained: ‘We look at trends across the world and have great industry intelligence about what’s happening not only in the UK market but also as far away as the US. And what’s been especially encouraging is that industry insiders and our peers in the UK are telling us that in many aspects, in particular our niche products such as craft lagers and cask ales, we’re very much on trend, not following but leading UK markets. All of which is good for our business and our people for whom we’re able to offer skilled positions and exciting career development opportunities. It’s also good news for the Island, in that by providing a wide choice of pubs, with bespoke ales, varied menus and environments ranging from the urban to the urbane we’re helping make the Isle of Man all the more appealing as a short-break destination, very much a tourism growth area.’ Mr. Taylor added that Heron and Brearley planned to introduce ‘boutique en-suite bedrooms’ into a number of its managed houses in the Island, with The British already identified as one such property.
He continued: ‘Over the past 12 months we have put in place a new and dynamic management structure that will see Heron and Brearley’s repositioning of its business distinguished by new-look premises and new concepts in food and drink products underpinned by great service, coupled with a landmark redevelopment project in Douglas. Alongside this we are continuing to identify new opportunities in the UK, following our acquisition in 2011 of Market Town Taverns’ 15 managed houses located across north and west Yorkshire. In short, we have developed a resilient yet flexible business model to ensure Heron and Brearley remains receptive to change, embraces technology and continues to deliver value-for-money innovative customer experiences.’