Coffee, cocktails and hearty food replaces fine dining at reopened Fleece Hotel

Fleece owner Chris Miles.

Coffee, cocktails and hearty food have replaced fine dining on small plates at the Fleece Hotel in Richmond, says the new owner.

The venue relaunched last month after former investor Chris Miles took over the lease on the building from the administrators.

Chris, a business consultant and director of Delcon Construction, which invested in the initial scheme to redevelop the historic building, says the offer at the Fleece is now “completely different” to what was available previously.

While fine dining was initially promised at the Fleece when it first opened last year, Chris says the venue will now focus on providing a more relaxed environment, with good coffee, cocktails, local beers and hearty food being served at keen prices.

Chris said that as well as looking to draw in visitors, with bookings now being taken for the ten boutique hotel rooms, he was also determined the Fleece would appeal to the local market by providing something different to what was already available in the town.

“We want to create a place where people can come in for pint or a glass of wine or cocktail and enjoy themselves and maybe stay longer for something to eat.

“We want to offer something that is popular with our local customers that at the same time visitors to the town will also enjoy.”

Chris said the menu would evolve over time, adding: “We are still learning about the market and are taking a cautious approach. We want to see what goes down well with the market and what doesn’t.

“If we get it right people will come and if we don’t they wont.”

Both the bar and dining area have been redesigned in a bid to create a more comfortable and relaxed environment, with sofas and bench seating among the new additions.

Chris has appointed Daniel Williams as manager, with Amy Wade as deputy.

“I’m very positive about what we’ve done here and the initial feedback has been really good.

“This is exactly the kind of place I like to spend time and I hope people will feel the same.”

The hotel has reopened after closing in December last year when the previous company which ran the venue, Best Friend Limited, was placed in a creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Papers revealed there were 71 creditors, including members of staff, suppliers, directors and others, who were owed a total of £239,812.