Design Focus: The Seaglass Inn

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By Jason Caddy

Some pub refurbishment unveilings are so eagerly awaited that even the local MP puts in an appearance, like in the case of Star Pubs & Bars’ £425K refurbishment of The Seaglass Inn, Port Seaton.

Well, it was a double-whammy actually, because East Lothian MP Martin Whitfield AND MSP Iain Gray both arrived to toast the pub’s revival.

Said Martin Whitfield, “It’s great to see such major investment in an East Lothian pub and new jobs created. The Seaglass Inn is a welcome addition to the area for local residents and another attraction for visitors.”

Iain Gray added, “Good pubs play an important social role as hubs for the communities they serve. With so many people moving into this part of East Lothian, it’s good news to see a local pub given a new lease of life.”

The development of what was The Wemyss Hotel was several months in the making. Rough Design and Donaldson Construction worked on the project.

Star Pubs & Bars’ Investment Manager Matt Dyson told DRAM, “The premises was closed when we bought if from Punch. It was a wet-led boozer, with a front area and disused function room with a connecting corridor. “Getting the layout just right was the biggest part of the job and this involved us opening up the whole pub into one big room. There’s a
public bar at the front, leading into a transitional area, and then a dining area at the back next to the kitchen.”

He continued, “At the rear of the pub we have a secret garden with some interesting sign-writing and astro-turf. This is linked to the pub through bi-folding doors which flows through nicely into one large usable space.”

Mother and daughter team, Christine O’Brien and Sarah Couch, are the new licensees and Christine, who grew up in Prestonpans and also runs The New Plough Inn at Tranent, says customers’ jaws drop when they walk in.

She said, “The pub looks beautiful, and they can’t believe the transformation. They love the new design and ambience and having a family-friendly pub that caters for all in Port Seton. We’re seeing a real mix of ages and people who never visited the pub before: groups of ladies for prosecco; guys watching the football and families enjoying a meal out. The community has backed us right from the early planning stages, and we’re very grateful for their support.”

The overhaul has given The Seaglass Inn a stylish contemporary look and it was the neon sign on the wall displaying the legend ‘The sun shines here every day’ in yellow neon that first grabbed my attention. It kind of sums up a very clean, bright colourful design. So many pops of colour have been used without it looking cartoonish.

Highlights most definitely are the exposed stone walls and beautiful patterned parquet floors and the horseshoe-shaped turquoise booths and bar stools. The Seaglass Inn also has what we’ve clocked as being a bit of a design trend – an indoor tree or two.

The lighting is also bang on-trend, long spider-like pendants with exposed filament bulbs dangling on the end of them.
It’s fair to say that the focal point of The Seaglass Inn is the bar, with its zigzag front and pink and red illuminated back bar, which is simple shelving against an exposed stone background.

Elsewhere, a gunmetal grey colour has been used effectively on some of the walls, likewise on radiators, added to which are ‘eye-candy’ corners where the walls have been covered in various patterns and textures, plus there are also olive green, brown and plush velvet banquettes too. It all chimes tunefully together despite looking a little disparate on paper no doubt.

On a sunny day, the outside area has a by-the-seaside feel to it, possibly because of the deckchairs and the big yacht-looking sail, which fits its location down to the ground.

So there you have it. Another design triumph for Star Pubs & Bars as it continues to breathe new life into pubs that need it, and The Seaglass Inn’s refurbishment is, incidentally, part of Star Pubs & Bars’ £4 million investment programme for Scotland’s pubs in 2019.

18 Links Road, Port Seaton, Prestonpans

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