Groucho Club duo refurb former care home into seaside hotel

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A new boutique hotel has been built in West Dorset by the duo behind the famous Groucho Club in London.

Formerly a care home, The Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock has been transformed into a luxury eight-bed boutique complete with 60-seater restaurant and bar overlooking Chesil Beach on the coast. The project is the brainchild of business partners Mary-Lou Sturridge and Tony Mackintoch , who are renowned for setting up the legendary Groucho Club in London’s Soho in 1985.

The duo drafted in Dorset-based builders C.G Fry & Son to refurbish the insides of the building, who came up against complications when storms battered the Dorset coast in October 2013.

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Speaking to Lyme Regis and Bridport News, Mary-Lou said: "On the day the roofers arrived in October 2013, we were hit with bad storms, the start of the worst weather for 250 years. It was a massive learning curve for all of us and probably the hardest working year of my life.

"We had constant communication throughout the project, site meetings with the architects once a month, as well as Phil Male, Fry’s contracts manager and his team every two weeks. These meetings were held off-site which worked really well.”

C G Fry & Son worked with Chassay Studio Ltd, a London-based architecture practice and built a new terrace on the front façade, installed a new commercial kitchen and created a 60 seater restaurant.

Fry’s joinery works built the bar in the separate bar area, which has the original Groucho Club stools, upholstered for a classic look. In the library, the joinery works made the shelves and also the cabinets in the guest’s servery.

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