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Nine out of Ten rated by The Times Cool Hotel Guide - not bad !
In a nutshell -Judith Glue had long admired a run-down Victorian herring-curing storehouse in the centre of Kirkwall, Orkney’s lively capital, where the knitwear designer runs a popular shop and café. “It was crying out for something to be done with it,” she says. “And we thought it would make a fantastic small hotel or restaurant.” After an ambitious £1.4 million restoration, it is now both. Working with her husband, David Spence, an architect, she has created a showcase of vibrant contemporary design and craftsmanship celebrating Orkney’s sweeping scenery.
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They don't open new hotels very often in Kirkwall – this is the first one to open for eighty years! – but when they do, they seem to be right on the money. This new restaurant with rooms, housed in a characterful old building, it is not only a great place to stay but a decent place to eat too, with a first-class restaurant that is just the ticket for the centre of Orkney's historic main town. The hotel occupies a converted herring store from the late-19th century, which had seen other uses until renowned local knitwear designer Judith Glue and her husband David Spence bought it seven years ago. They run Judith Glue and The Real Food Café, also in Kirkwall, so they have a track record in hospitality, and they've done a brilliant job not only in converting this historic, listed building with sensitivity and style but also in having the determination to see it through – just getting planning permission took five years!
What they have created has been worth waiting for – a very special boutique hotel with just eight en-suite rooms and a ground floor occupied by a contemporary restaurant that celebrates local cuisine and ingredients.
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Walking in through the old stone arches, you can’t help but be amazed at how it has all turned out. A bar and reception area leads into the Leonards Restaurant with its open kitchen, and the more intimate Aurora-themed dining room, which can be booked for private parties. The entire space is bright and airy, with a welcoming feel and beautiful fixtures and fittings.
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A traditional barn newly renovated into a hotel. The Storehouse keeps much of its original woodwork and stone arches. The cosy rooms have individual contemporary styles but all feature low beamed ceilings and wooden flooring. The innovative kitchen serves local produce. A charming stay. ”
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The Storehouse Restaurant with Rooms, Bridge Street Wynd, Kirkwall, KW15 1JD, Orkney, Scotland