OWNERS of a popular town centre pub have paid out more than £1million to transform it into a classy restaurant, bar and hotel.
The Kings Arms in Berkhamsted now boasts 15 en-suite rooms, open fires and soft leather seating, a contemporary stainless steel bar and a restaurant with sliding glass doors.
Oakman Inns and Restaurants, who also own The Akeman in Tring and The Red Lion in Water End, have even recruited their own celebrity chef.
The High Street restaurant will now be led by Maria Elia, who has been on TV shows like Ready Steady Cook and Market Kitchen.
She is a regular food writer for BBC Good Food, Olive, Food and Travel and Waitrose and Sainsbury’s magazines.
She said: “From the age of four I knew I wanted to be a chef. Food and cooking is in my blood.”
Oakman chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said: “We have long wanted to own a business in Berkhamsted.
“It is a thriving town with a discerning population and we felt there was a clear gap in the market.
“We have worked very hard to gain an understanding of the type of place Berkhamsted people want.
“The size of our investment reflects our confidence that The Kings Arms will be a great success.”