THE new owners of The Old Vicarage hotel in Bridgwater are taking dinner bookings after refurbishing the property’s kitchen and restaurant and will welcome diners again after years of closure.

Husband and wife team Peter Starling and Candida Leaver have renovated the Grade II listed property’s restaurant and are open for bookings, so Bridgwater residents can see the results ahead of its official invite-only launch on June 8.

Candida said: “The renovation of the restaurant has been a huge success and it is looking fantastic.

“We are planning an invitation-only grand launch in June but are able to take bookings now from anyone who wants to dine with us. We can’t wait for people to see what we’ve done and try out our menus.

“The Old Vicarage used to be the place to dine back in its heyday in the 1980s and it has since fallen from grace under owners who haven’t been concerned about its food offering.

“We’re opening up the restaurant to non-resident guests after it has remained closed for many years, so this is quite a momentous occasion. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to diners old and new.”

Dan Lay will be the head chef, having previously worked at The Bower Inn.

The Old Vicarage’s license currently only allows it to serve alcoholic drinks to residents and diners who have booked in, so cannot serve drop-ins.

Candida added: “The Old Vicarage is a charming building with some wonderful historical links to Bridgwater’s past including reputably being the place Judge Jeffreys stayed and, also, providing lodgings for Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the train station and a bridge in the town.

“The hotel is at the very heart of Bridgwater and it desperately needs some TLC.”

The Grade II listed building dates back to 1327.

Peter and Candida owned The Bower Inn, running it from 2010 to 2017 before selling the business to Butcombe Pubs chain.

To book a table at The Old Vicarage call 01278 458891.