Historic seaside pub reveals £60,000 B&B rooms
- Credit: Liz Coates
A seaside pub has transformed its derelict upper floors that were "going to waste".
David Taylor and Lisa Doughty took over the Belle Vue Inn in Gorleston in August last year returning it to its original name and making a raft of improvements.
Since then they have suffered two further lockdowns, giving them the time and space to work on the uninhabited upper floors which had to be stripped back to the bare brick.
Now with most of the work done they hope to welcome their first guests on May 17, subject to planning permission and if coronavirus rules allow.
The pub now has seven guest rooms, some with views over the riverside and harbour that chime with its historic name.
Mr Taylor, who grew up in pubs, said he was delighted to be able to see "the light at the end of the tunnel" after a tough few months.
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He said the upper floors were totally derelict, but costing him money in terms of council tax, meaning he had to "do something with it or walk away".
"It was proper derelict up there," he said.
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"The floorboards were up and the ceilings were hanging down. The kitchen was like something out of the film Trainspotting.
"We had a lot of help from friends and family and completely gutted it. Everything has been replaced - even the ceilings.
"We have gone out and bought seven beds, seven TVs, seven wardrobes - everything."
The renovations had cost around £60,000 - much more than he had first hoped.
With Gorleston at the hub of so much activity as both a popular resort and a base for major projects like the third river crossing he hoped to appeal to the worker market charging around £70 a night.
In the end the lockdown was useful allowing them to crack on with noisy, dusty building work while there was no-one in the pub.
Locally, people with family and friends due to visit said the pub rooms would be handy, and welcomed the changes, he said.
Having created extra space outside at the back he had been well supported since April 12, helped by the good weather and everyone's adhering properly to the rules.
They also plan to open a front hatch in the next few weeks offering takeaway food and drink too.