Sunday, 19 September 2021

...And no better way to cool down than with a cuppa

A NEW café could be opened at Greys Court to serve the increasing number of visitors.

A NEW café could be opened at Greys Court to serve the increasing number of visitors.

The National Trust, which owns the property, has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council to change the use of its model farm, which was built in the Fifties and is currently used as office space, into a café.

The current catering operation, which is based in a 17th century stables tearoom, caters for 120 people but the building itself can only accommodate about 30 customers with the rest in a temporary marquee.

The new café would seat up to 92 people, with another 60 people able to dine in an outdoor seating area.

General manager JaneGreenhaf said: “We do have a tea room already at Greys Court and it has been in the Cromwellian building for the last couple of decades but because of the amazing local support that we have had and the visitors that we have got now, we have really outgrown our tearoom so we are moving it to a more appropriate part of the site and expanding our offering accordingly.”

Internal and minor external alterations will be made to the site, which lies to the south-west of the Grade I listed Great House and sits behind the existing shop and toilets.

Rotherfield Greys Parish Council has recommended the application is approved and the district council will make a decision next month.

The property shut in 2008 for a £1.6million refurbishment. The roofing timbers were repaired and insulation was installed.

The project was due to finish in 2009 but was set back a year when workmen discovered asbestos.

When it re-opened in 2010, a record 85,000 people visited. This was double the expected total.

In 2011, an old tractor shed on the site was converted into a gift shop at a cost of £150,000.

It was opened by Barnabus and Sir Hugo Brunner, the sons of Greys Court’s former owner Lady Brunner.

Before Greys Court re-opened this year, its car park was resurfaced.

For the first time this year, it is open seven days a week until October 31.

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