Heartwood takes on another freehold

The Royal Forest in Epping Forest has been acquired by Heartwood Collection.

The freehold of The Royal Forest in Epping Forest, Essex, has been acquired by Heartwood Collection.

The purchase by the Alchemy Partners-backed group adds to its ‘pubs with rooms’ portfolio, with Heartwood remaining on track to grow to over 60 inns and brasseries by June 2027, with an estate of over 500 bedrooms.

Designed by architect Edmond Egan, The Royal Forest is a historic public house that first opened in 1880 as The Forest Hotel and was renamed The Royal Forest in 1882 following a visit by Queen Victoria.

"The Royal Forest is an exciting acquisition for Heartwood as it marks our first pub with rooms in Essex," says Richard Ferrier, CEO of Heartwood Collection (pictured). "With its excellent transport links and beautiful location close to Epping Forest, we are confident this pub will be a fine addition to the local hospitality scene."

Location, location, location

The inn is located on the edge of Epping Forest, a haven for keen walkers and wildlife, and next to Queen Elizabeth’s hunting lodge, a Grade II-listed building used by Elizabeth I to watch the Epping Hunt.

Originally opened to receive visitors from London who disembarked at the newly opened Chingford Station, The Royal Forest will now undergo a multi million pound refurbishment that will restore original features including, a window on the stairwell that references Elizabeth I and her connection to the area.

Formerly Brasserie Bar Co, Heartwood Collection currently operates 21 Heartwood Inns pubs and 14 Brasserie Blanc restaurants across the UK. 

You may also be interested in…