Second Shepherd Neame site for Kent couple

The White Horse in Boughton-under-Blean has reopened its doors after a massive refurbishment.

The White Horse in Boughton-under-Blean has reopened its doors after a massive refurbishment, which has seen it transform into a boutique hotel, restaurant and bar.

Transforming the Shepherd Neame-owned building has been a labour of love for licensee Natalie Hennessy and her husband Andrew, who already run The East Kent in Whitstable, also owned by the Kent brewer and operator.

Following an eight-month project, which has seen a sympathetic renovation of the historic building, the venue has been turned from a pub into a premium cocktail bar and restaurant, offering 13 guest rooms and a treatment room.

“When I visited the pub as it was before, I could see it in my mind just as it is now. But being eight months pregnant at the time, I couldn’t get on with it as quickly as I wanted to,” says Hennessy.

Externally, the site has been fully landscaped and redecorated, with new furniture in the garden and a pergola where dogs are welcome. 

A trained chef and experienced businesswoman, Hennessy has strong family ties to the village and building, as her great grandfather used to run two pubs in the village and her aunt once worked at The White Horse.

In 2018, the couple transformed The East Kent in Whitstable into a thriving gastropub. Both sites were also opened on Friday the 13th, which she believes is a lucky tradition for her.

“We are delighted with the finished results of this major project to transform The White Horse and take it in an exciting new direction," says Greg Wallis, Shepherd Neame’s director of tenanted pub operations. "Natalie and Andrew have done an amazing job at The East Kent and we are confident that they will go from strength to strength with this new venture.”

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