The ongoing pandemic making it difficult to reopen and the need to vacate the premises of the post office they shared with their mother, post mistress, sisters Kirsty Kershaw and Katie Mace have decided to sell their Leadenham tea house to William Reeve of Leadenham House estate.
William has transferred the equipment and is on track with plans to reopen the tea room in the converted transport block as the centerpiece of his disused stables renovation project at the house.
With a lot of work to do, they hope to kick off on January 20 with a mini festival.
William said this exciting deal has been a draw for some time: “When Katie and Kirsty arrived eight years ago, I really enjoyed their formula, but it was clear they could get a lot more out of it if it was. space allowed it. “
He got involved in their second folk festival and things evolved.
“The girls have very loyal customers and since it was mentioned that the tearoom was moving into the shed, they have been inundated with support,” said William. “The excitement that the tearoom will relive is a testament to what they have accomplished. I want to keep their standards high, but it will really be a Leadenham Estate operation and with a lot more space. We are renovating the shed and then equipping the other stables with handcrafted retail units available to traders who come to our markets, ”he said.
“He has a fantastic Georgian heritage. We sanded the walls and you can see the historic masonry modifications. Two wooden rods descend from either side of the central arch, enclosing the clock weights, which were made by Charles Frodsham, a prominent Georgian clockmaker.
He intends to use expert advice to wrap the weights in glass so that they are visible.
He liaised with English Heritage and the district heritage officers, who he says understand these buildings need to be brought back to life. “Heritage is at the top of my priorities,” said William. “I am more than happy to compromise. The interior walls will be laid bare so that you can see the exposed construction elements and beams.
Her father, Peter, remembers when the building was still used as a shed before the stables were taken over by the farm in the 1960s.
William also wants to open up the dividing wall to a separate room at the far end of the building so that customers can see an internal roaster behind the counter.
“I am a coffee lover and want to roast our own varieties of coffee here. I also have a very good barista and trainer, ”he explained. Visitors will be able to browse the retail units in the stables, once set up, where there will also be a shop also selling work on behalf of the artisans.
William also intends to convert the barn within the complex into a reception venue that can accommodate up to 400 guests for his wedding events business, with the option of a bridal boutique as well. He has identified areas to accommodate a large parking lot for visitors where craftsman stands can be placed around the edges and old workshops will be renovated for craftsmen to demonstrate their processes.
He has another plan with a local brewer to create products from the estate. “There is a will and an interest in being sustainable again and not forgetting our heritage,” said William.
He also wants it to be a local community space for events, as well as a local history museum in the old firehouse. “There was an old maid during WWI who kept a diary in which she complained about zeppelin airships scaring the horses,” he said.