A bed and breakfast business in an historic Lewes property has been given a new lease of life.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe, the Mayor of Lewes, performed the official opening on Monday of the recently refurbished Berkeley House B&B in Albion Street.
Built in 1822, this Regency town house was bought by the Government and operated as the County Probate Registry from 1862 – the massive strong room door is still present.
After 114 years, it was returned to private ownership in 1976, when it became a photographic studio and then a B&B, trading initially as Belvedere House.
The previous owners, Roy Patten and Steven Johnson, took it over in the late 1980s and ran it very successfully as Berkeley House until the end of last year.
The five-storey building has undergone an extensive programme of repairs, refurbishment and redecoration, in sympathy with its Grade II Listed status. The new owners, Amanda Deadman and Adam Frost, will be offering three rooms on a B&B basis, comprising two double rooms with en-suite facilities on the second floor and a self-contained suite on the lower ground floor.
Guests have use of a sheltered courtyard garden and can enjoy views of the South Downs from the roof terrace. The best of locally-sourced ingredients will be used in the extensive breakfast menu, which can be tailored to any dietary requirements.
Commenting on her new business, Amanda said: “Berkeley House has been a B&B since the late 1970s and I know I’ve got quite an act to follow.
“Roy and Steve, who ran it for the past 23 years, fostered great relationships locally, particularly with Glyndebourne, and were rated four-star with Visit England.
“I’m hoping we’ll be able to build on that reputation and continue to provide excellent hospitality to our guests.
“This is a new venture for us and I very much hope we’ll be able to provide bed and breakfast accommodation that will be an asset to the town and a bonus to its visitors.”
Cllr O’Keeffe said: “It’s beautifully presented and I wish the venture every success.”