A THATCHED 18th century pub has been given a £200,000 makeover.

Here's a sneak peek inside the newly refurbished White Bear on Canute Place in Knutsford.

Licensees Kelly Vickers and Jamie Whitaker have pulled out all the stops to preserve the pub's unique history and heritage.

Kelly, 42, said: "It is such an iconic pub, it is an honour to take this on.

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"People were concerned that we would get rid of the beams and make it into a modern bar but we felt we needed to be really sympathetic.

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"We wanted to cherish the characterful nature of this pub. We have preserved all the little nooks and crannies and just tried to make it more inviting and comfortable."

The response from regulars has been very positive.

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"The weekend was such a buzz, everyone said they loved it," said Kelly. "The reaction has been great. People say we have made it feel bigger and more spacious but kept its character.

"The building itself is listed so we have made no structural changes."

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Feature wallpaper has been fitted to blend in with soft furnishings including fabric covered and leather armchairs.

"We didn't want to throw anything away," said Kelly. "We have donated old pictures to Knutsford Heritage Centre so everyone can enjoy them."

Freshly cooked food is being served for the first time today, Thursday, December 2, after a new fully fitted kitchen has been installed.

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 Six new jobs have been created and more chefs are being recruited.

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 A brunch lunch menu will be available from 11.30am to 4pm and mains from 4pm to 8pm. Children will have their own selection.

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Head chef Henry Osman

 

Head chef Henry Osman has created traditional classic dishes with a twist.

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 Greek lamb gyros, shredded lamb and roasted vegetables in a wrap with tzatziki, and black pudding and ham hock hash are among the tempting delicacies as well as sea bream fillet, beef bourguignon and beef and mushroom pie.

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A new undercover heated courtyard has been create, providing seating for up to 55 customers.

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 "We've put a working gas fire in the middle so people who feel more comfortable outside in the current climate will be warm and comfortable," said Kelly.

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 "We absolutely love the community feel in Knutsford, all the indepedent shops and businesses who work together have made us so welcome.

"We are now looking for a rugby team for our eight-year-old son Charlie to join.

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"We are really enjoying getting to know people."

Singer Joey Matthews will performing hits from the 80s on Friday, December 3.

Children are invited to wear Christmas jumpers for a festive family fun day on December 12.

The refurbishment of the White Bear is part of a £38 million investment that Star Pubs & Bars is making in more than 700 pubs this year.