LATEST IMPROVEMENTS TO THE D&P That smokey old fireplace just had to go!
Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Replacing the cantankerous and unpredictable old fire located in the small room to the left of the bar, has been on our very long list of ‘things to do’ for some time. This winter, it has been particularly problematic, some days burning away very nicely, but on other days, particularly when the weather was still, it puffed and smoked like an old coal driven steam engine!
So, we took the plunge and decided that it was high time we had this replaced with a new log burner. Mark Waring, who belongs to The Guild of Master Sweeps, came out to look at the job and because of the limited space, he recommended that we only needed to buy a small 5K stove. Also, we were concerned that anything larger would result in diners sitting in that room being uncomfortably warm.
Because the bricks on the old fireplace were blackened by soot and smoke, we decided to remove it altogether and put down a new hearth to stand the log burner on. Work started on Monday 11 February, allowing plenty of time for the works to be completed in time for Valentine’s Day, when we had a full restaurant in the evening.
Mark started to knock the brickwork out and, to the surprise of us all, behind that tatty old fireplace was a huge space! He removed three tonnes of rubble, with one piece so large and fused with twisted metal, it had to be carted away on a sack-truck because it was impossible to break up. But boy oh boy, just look at what we found!
To say that we were delighted was an understatement, but we were also a little worried that the stove would be lost in the space. Also, because of all the extra work which needed to be undertaken to remove the rubble, we were very nervous that the works would not be completed in time for service on Valentine’s Day.
However, Mark and his team worked tirelessly to plaster the space, extend and tile the new hearth with slate floor tiles, and fit the new log burner. Finally, he built new brick pillars either side of the fireplace to hold a sturdy wooden beam for the mantlepiece.
It was very tight, and we did go right down to the wire! Becky was still busy mopping the floor about half an hour before we were due to welcome our Valentine diners. We need not have worried about the burner being too small though, it’s just the right size and we have space either side to store logs.
We are absolutely delighted with the transformation of the space, and it has made that room far cosier and more welcoming.