Our vision for the Honest Miller stems from our understanding of why the pub has failed as a business in the past.
We know the pub and restaurant sector well and what will and what won’t work. Brook is a small village of around 300 people and is not on a major road or junction. If the pub is to succeed, and the 400 year old buildings to be protected, it needs to become a multi-functional destination that draws in customers from the wider area.
The current building layout does not allow for this: it has poor facilities and no decent connection with the outside space. The kitchen and back-of-house facilities are not up to modern standards.
These are our key principles for The Honest Miller:
1. An intimate village inn, where locals are valued and have the right space and products to enjoy.
2. There must be a quality but value for money food offering with a restaurant element that can compete with the other high quality local pubs, such as The Five Bells in Brabourne, The Tiger in Stowting and the Black Horse in Monks Horton.
3. It should have a function room/meeting room to support local need and special occasions.
4. It will ideally have letting rooms and manager accommodation.
5. It needs great outdoor space and seating with the right linkage to the indoors to succeed in the post-Covid world.
To help achieve our vision for The Honest Miller, we are delighted to be working with John Rogers Designs, a local firm who have a proven track record of returning closed pubs into thriving community use. Their success stores include The Five Bells Inn at Brabourne, The Woolpack at Warehorne, the Radnor Arms in Folkestone and the Globe-Inn-Marsh in Rye. These pubs are all highly viable, serving the local community with an excellent offer of excellent food and drink.
We will make the pub & restaurant fully accessible, so everyone can enjoy it. We will create a modern commercial kitchen space to prepare food in the right environment.
We will create over 25 new jobs, generating income that will filter back into the local economy.
You can see a plan of the proposed layout of the pub & restaurant below.
By sympathetically altering the internal layout, we will be able to provide around 85-90 covers indoors, with space for at least 50 covers outside.
There will be plans for landscaping and parking to protect the nature and use of The Street.
Pub and village memorabilia will be preserved after being cleaned and re-set and will be located appropriately in the property, to celebrate the heritage of The Honest Miller and the village.
Our proposals will present a professionally designed layout with appropriate new internal and external finishes. We will create a dining extension that will provide an intimate space for families and friends to enjoy, while retaining the character of a country pub.
The improved seating arrangements and new bar will have a balance that meets modern times and allows the business to flex to suit all customer needs, while still being a warm place of welcome to locals and regulars on quiet days.
Enabling this vision with new homes
To fund the works needed to make this vision come alive, we are proposing a small cluster of four family houses in the grounds of the pub. These will be a mix of 3 to 5-bedroom houses, built in a traditional style using high quality materials as you can see from the images below.
The expansive green space behind the pub & restaurant will remain and will not be built upon. This reflects our view on protecting the setting of the listed buildings, the countryside and the vista from the Downs and neighbouring countryside.
There is a real need for new housing, nationwide and in the Ashford area particularly. Our proposals will make a modest contribution to this, in a way that respects the local area and helps us bring The Honest Miller back into business.
The plan below shows the proposed layout of the pub & restaurant and new houses within the site.