In April 2020, we purchased the Travellers Rest Hotel, recognising that while the building had beautiful bones, there was considerable work to be done to bring it back to its Art Deco glory. In keeping with the philosophy of using local we want to share with you our journey.
It all started by us wanting to give the building a proud exterior. We looked around the local area and struck gold by finding Amelia Downie. We engaged her to work with us to transform the tired building to what we have today. Overcoming the limitations of site visits and personal interaction during the Covid shutdown, Amelia worked with us remotely to create a beautiful new look for the hotel. With subtle sophistication (and seemingly simple additions) the design of the front, the beer garden and the back deck, have transformed the building from a tired old lady to a new inviting hotel.
Then it came to the doing. We used Matt from MDG Landscapes to implement the designs from Amelia. What a sensational crew they were. They came (...and when they promised!), they saw and they conquered. There was no fuss, no problems that couldn't be solved, and when we forgot to think about external lighting, the team quickly provided us with a conduit solution that put our mind at ease. They were in and out within a jiffy - and despite a few delays with plant deliveries, all was done by the time the pub opened for the first time by the new owners.
When the painter that we had booked in months ahead, texted at 7.30am that he wouldn't make the 8.00am commencement time (....or in fact any other time!) we had a crisis on our hands. Timing was of the essence to ensure that all the pieces of Amelia's design came together. Step in who we now know as our 'Gus'. On the turn of a sixpence, Gus dropped everything and came to our rescue. He was up ladders, on the ground, on the north, east, south and west of the building; and before long the transformation from garden green to TRH blue took place. Gus earned extra brownie points by taking old signs down (I think there was a little bribe of a six pack from the General Manager), displaying endless patience while three of us debated colours, and managed (despite all odds) to get Dulux to match our corporate colours!
Just a quick shout out to Anthony, Linda and Russell, who produced the beautiful outdoor tables that sit in our beer garden. How great to use local timbers, produced by local millers. Having driven around the corner (when we say local…we mean local!) we put in our order and tout de suite, they were ready for pick up. Russell and Linda started the sawmill in Thorpdale in 2005 and pride themselves in only using locally acquired reclaimed timber which supports local farmers to maintain their properties. Check them out on www.ruslincypress.com.au
What is next? Well, we start on the inside.
Our plan is to bring back the Art Deco feel commencing in the restaurant/dining room. What a beauty that is, rich with potential.
To get the ball rolling we have invited a young fine artist Ella Johnson to create our very own TRH wallpaper. Ella is a Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the VCA, specialising in oil painting and screen printing. Some of Ella's designs can be seen by following this link to their instagram. We look forward to working with this young talented artist over the next few months.