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£1.25m Grade II-listed Dorset hotel sold to Michelin star chef

The Bridge House Hotel, a Grade II-listed country town hotel in Beaminster, Dorset, has been sold through Christie & Co, off a guide price of £1.25m

Originally a clergy house and dating back to the 13th century, the property has been stylishly renovated but still retains many characterful features including stone mullioned windows, inglenook fireplaces and oak beams.

Benefitting from three main trade areas, the venue boasts a 50-cover dining room, a bar and restaurant with capacity for 30 covers each, alongside 14 bedrooms as part of the hotel.

Set on a third of an acre of land, the site features parking for 20 vehicles, an enclosed landscaped rear garden, and a large covered terrace that can be used for weddings and functions for up to 30 guests.

Situated on the doorstep of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage site, the hotel, bar and restaurant attract many repeat guests visiting the region to explore West Dorset’s rolling hills, dramatic cliff tops and beautiful beaches.

Previous owners, Mark and Jo Donovan owned and operated The Bridge House for the past 14 years, and having developed the business into a thriving operation, have decided to move on to pursue new ventures.

The Bridge House Hotel has been sold to Chris Staines and Silvana Bandini. Staines is a Michelin star chef with a wealth of experience, having spent the last five years as an Executive Chef at The Abbey Hotel in Bath, and Bandini is also very experienced in the hotel sector, having recently worked as the Assistant General Manager at The Pig Hotel near Bath.

Staines and Bandini commented, “We are delighted to have found the Bridge House Hotel – it is the perfect first venture for us and we are extremely excited to be taking it on. We are going to be making some significant changes over the next few months, moving away from the formality of a hotel towards a ‘restaurant with rooms’ concept, and are planning a re-launch closer to the summer.”

Matthew Smith, Director at Christie & Co's Bristol office, said, “The business attracted interest from a variety of buyers and we are thrilled to announce the sale. This is an exciting time for everyone involved in The Bridge House Hotel and we welcome Chris & Silvana, who have a great vision and skill, as they embark on a new phase for the business.”