The Andover Arms

57 Aldensley Road, Hammersmith, London W6 0DL

This small 19th century pub, tucked away between rows of terraced housing in Hammersmith, always had a loyal – but small – clientele. Unfortunately, constant changes to its interior and exterior meant it had lost its sense of identity. The new owners wanted to change this, to attract more people from further afield, and to establish the Andover Arms as a hidden gem worth seeking out.

The Process

To transform a pub through refurbishment, you need to understand the vision of its owners. There can be no predetermined ideas about what needs to be done. That’s why The Pub Doctor team spent lots of time with the Andover Arms’ new owners, deciding on the ways that they could best bring the pub’s new personality to life. Tom brought in a team of interior designers to help bring the owner’s ambitions to life, completely redeveloped the menu and drinks offering, and helped establish the Andover Arms as the ‘hidden gem of Hammersmith’.

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The Lord Palmerston

10 Annette Road, Holloway, London, N7 6ET

During the noughties, there was a shift away from the masculine cliche of pubs, to a more unisex, couple-friendly approach. For a lot of pubs, this amounted to painting everything off-white, replacing tables and chairs with sofas and coffee tables, and serving a wider selection of wine. The Lord Palmerston in Tufnell Park was a prime example of this, and last year its owners correctly recognised that the gastropub movement was over — and that their pub was in need of a refresh.

The Process

To know a pub is to know where it resides. That’s why The Pub Doctor always makes sure to get to know the local area. Here, Tom and the team discovered that The Lord Palmerston was perfectly situated to cater for a new trend: family-friendly pubs.

As well its location in Tufnell Park, the pub’s architecture was just right. Its upstairs function room was essentially unloved and unused, but would make for a spacious lunch room during the day, which could double as a cosy, luxurious cocktail lounge in the evenings.

As well as knowing the area, it’s key to know your customers. Speaking to the local community, The Pub Doctor learned that people wanted lighter, healthier food for their pub lunches, including vegetarian and vegan options. A healthy new menu, along with simple touches like a coffee machine and bowls of fresh fruit, let people know that The Lord Palmerston was a great place to bring the family during the day.

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The Thatched House

115 Dalling Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 0ET

Built in the 1850s, Thatched House was the last pub in London to be serviced by the dray horse from the Wandsworth brewery. Since that time, the pub had undergone many alterations, with many of the beautiful original features being lost or covered up along the way. When it was bought from a big chain in 2015, The Pub Doctor was tasked with restoring it to its former glory.

The Process

First impressions are key. Not just to whether people want to step inside your pub, but to expressing its overarching feel and philosophy. That’s why the major change that was decided upon for Thatched House was outside — repainting and redesigning the exterior to bring back into focus the beautiful stained glass windows that had for years been hidden from view. This striking feature, while only one of the changes implemented by The Pub Doctor, made great strides in rebranding the pub as a real blast from the past.

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