By Angela Green
Heartwood Collection has completed on the acquisition of The White Horse, Dorking, a 56-bedroom Grade II listed inn which will open in early 2024.
Located in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The White Horse will mark the Group’s first pub with rooms site.
Dating back to the 13th Century and regarded as one of England’s oldest coaching inns, The White Horse has a strong literary tradition with Jane Austen and Charles Dickens both referencing the inn in their works. It is believed that Dickens wrote The Pickwick Papers whilst in residence.
A multi-million pound investment will see The White Horse undergo a sensitive refurbishment over the coming months that will preserve the historic features of the Grade II listed building whilst also injecting Heartwood Inns’ signature cosy and characterful style.
In addition to a complete refurbishment of the 56 bedrooms, the design scheme, led by award-winning designers Concorde BGW Group, will include a characterful bar. It will have a traditional stone fireplace and retain many original features. This will include a cosy snug area, a charming dining room and a garden room serving the Group’s signature fresh, seasonal menu. The inn will also have a large courtyard terrace with outdoor seating.
This completion follows the recently announced news that Heartwood Collection has secured an additional £100m of funding from its owner Alchemy Partners and its banking partner OakNorth. This funding will support the Group’s continued growth in freehold pubs and freehold pubs-with-rooms.
Richard Ferrier, Managing Director, Heartwood Collection, said: “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of The White Horse, Dorking as Heartwood Inns’ first pub with rooms. The pub is steeped in history and will fit beautifully with the rest of our pub estate. This represents a significant step for the Group as we accelerate our ambition to become the market-leading operator of premium freehold pubs and pubs with rooms in the UK”.