The Dolphin in Newbury has opened following a £500k refurbishment by Buff & Bear Saloons1 and Star Pubs & Bars. It is the pub company’s second site with Star Pubs & Bars.
The listed building has been sympathetically restored transforming it into a top-quality public house with a series of uniquely designed spaces and five boutique bedrooms.
The Dolphin is made up of five reception rooms each with their own individual character, all of which are available to hire individually for private meetings or functions. The team at The Dolphin will also put on their own events, hosting a series of quizzes, drawing classes, food and drink classes and the occasional sporting event.
The rooms include:
The Bartholemew Bar with old pew seating where people can enjoy bar snacks and a tankard of ale, or an Espresso Martini.
The lively Saloon with a mix of lounging and dining will be the centre of the entertainment. The Snug is dedicated to chilled relaxation and games with fireside armchairs, card tables and a vintage ‘Jeu de La Grenouille’.
The Fish Tank is the breakfast room that transforms into a private room for meetings, dinners, cocktail making classes and wine and beer tastings.
The light and airy Garden Room seats up to forty diners. Large skylights, botanic fabric covered seats, palm-tree lighting and doors opening onto the garden combine to link the inside with the garden.
The garden has dining tables, bookable garden huts, a pagoda and greenery to bring a bit of the country into the heart of Newbury, with seating for up to sixty.
Upstairs, there are five comfy bedrooms with the most comfortable Mattison beds, rainfall showers, flat screen TVs, WiFi, boxes of Lego. Room number Five even has its own record player to allow guests to mellow out with some vinyl.
The drinks range has a strong artisan influence. Headlining the draught beers are Heineken, Moretti, Lagunitas, West Berks Renegade and Wild Bibble, and local cask ales from SIBA members. Accompanying the extensive wine list from family wine merchant Davys Wine Merchants are 20 gins, craft bottled beers and a Bloody Mary and cocktail list. A separate ‘Mindful drinking list’ includes mocktails, Turner Hardy and Co tomato juices and low and no alcohol beers. The artisan coffees are from Southampton roasters, Mozzo.
The menu includes fresh and healthy light meals such as buttered leeks & crab on toasted rye, Welsh Rarebit with Dorset Blue Vinney, Chalk stream trout, rosti and a hen’s egg. Mains include chicken, leek & tarragon pot pie, Moules Marinière, shorthorn cheeseburger, pickles, relish & fries, Spatchcockchicken, roast chickory, fennel & aubergine salad of course bone in rib eye, fat chips with béarnaise sauce from the grill. At the weekend there will be Bloody Mary brunches and fixed price Sunday lunches. Suppliers include Isle of Wight’s Tomato Stall, Honesty bakery, West Berks Brewery Brewery and Chalk Stream Foods.
Ed Turner said: “We’ve been blown away by the early reponses. We’re disrupting Newbury with a look that reflects our personalities and enjoyment of life. It’s unlike any of the pubs in the area. It’s more like coming to stay for the weekend at our house or going out for an evening in a modern-day members’ club.
“We’ve also taken this individual artisanal approach to our food and drink which includes fantastic local produce, be it cask ales, spirits or fresh crab and trout.”
Neil Convery, regional operations director of Star Pubs & Bars said: “Ed and Buffy have done it again. They’ve created another outstanding pub providing many reasons for people to visit and spend time eating, drinking and socialising in great comfort and style.”