Cheshire-based DV8 Designs, have now put the finishing touches to their £2m refurbishment of the much-loved Guinness Arms at Icklingham in Suffolk, owned by the head of the famous Guinness empire Lord Iveagh.
The DV8 team have respectfully preserved the unique character of this beautiful thatched, 16th century inn, while also creating a stylish and elegant new aesthetic for the pub’s interior with eight new and individually designed bedrooms within the adjoining barns. The work has been inspired by the Guinness family who own the venue and the surrounding Elveden Estate.
Lee Birchall and the team worked closely with Lord Iveagh, head of the Guinness empire and owner of the Elveden Estate, who was inspired to name several of the boutique bedrooms after family members. These family members included an explorer, an inventor, a racing enthusiast and an artist. Therefore each room reflects both the character and the adventures of the Guinness family.
The DV8 Designs team have carefully selected the elements for each barn. For example, actor Sir Alec Guinness’ room has an eclectic mix of film memorabilia and Bunny Guiness’ room displays framed trowels and botanical books, reflecting her reputation as a gardening guru and bringing her passion for horticulture to life.
We are delighted to have brought new life into this beautiful 16th century building, the village has been crying out for a pub for almost 10 years and the reception we have received has surpassed even our own expectations. All feedback has been very positive regarding the seamless blend of industrial chic and classic Suffolk Inn.
Inside, the Grade I listed Guinness Arms has an industrial feel with the worn metal finishes and its aged timber beams softened with rich, warm colours and a grand, cosy seating arrangement around the fireplaces. DV8 Designs have created a bespoke bar boasting innovative cocktails and an extensive list of gins within the new 90+ cover restaurant as well as two terraces and a large feature garden, providing a stunning setting beside the River Lark. The site is also fully accessible for wheelchair users and has a dog-friendly area within the pub.
North-West based talent and director of DV8 Designs, Lee Birchall is no stranger to preserving historical buildings and projects on a national scale, and his recent commissions include the redesign of Southport’s Victorian era market hall, The Grade II listed Liverpool Gin Distillery and the prestigious Cunard Building on Liverpool’s historical waterfront.
It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the Lord Iveagh and Guinness family again on such a personal refurbishment scheme, bringing together our specialist knowledge of the sector, the family’s fascinating history and their affection for this very special location. We’ve also been so excited to see it being warmly received by local people.Lee Birchall, Director of DV8 Designs