The magnificently refurbished Owl at Hawnby, near Helmsley, has enjoyed a stellar year, despite the challenges of the global pandemic.
The Owl posted an impressive occupancy rate of 70 per cent through 2021 with Sunday lunches consistently fully booked once the strict Covid restrictions had been lifted.
Formerly the Inn at Hawnby, the Owl has been transformed into a beautiful country pub and restaurant with rooms in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.
The long-term leasehold of the Owl, which remains an integral part of the Hawnby Estate, has been bought by the flourishing Coastal and Country Inns Group.
“Taking everything into account, trade was absolutely amazing last year,” said Chris Hannon, managing director of Coastal and Country Inns. “We have been completely astonished and humbled by the response. Now, with the post-Covid feelgood factor returning, we are looking forward to a record-breaking 2022.
“The original lockdown in 2020 enabled us to complete the £650,000 refurbishment which has transformed the 19th century Owl into one of the finest inns with rooms in Yorkshire. It was frustrating not to be able to show everyone what we’d done at first, but now everyone is getting a good look.
“One of the highlights of last year, as Covid restrictions were eased to allow outdoor dining in April, was our brand-new Shepherd’s Hut, which served seven different wood-fired pizzas and a special every day. It went down a storm. Repeat bookings came in, day after day, with tremendous feedback, which was incredibly reassuring. As a result, we are opening our Shepherd’s Hut for pizzas in April.”
Numerous shooting parties are now booked in for this year, but there are still a few spaces available. Swift booking is recommended.
Situated on the Hawnby Estate, the Owl is integral to the village, serving as a hub for the local community, as well as being very popular with hikers, cyclists, countryside sports enthusiasts and tourists.
Upcoming highlights at the Owl this year include outdoor film shows, with the latest films; cut-price steak nights for two; free meals for women on International Women’s Day; gorgeous flower shows; special wine-tasting evenings; and a game season festival.
Jamie Savile, who runs the estate, commented: ““We are absolutely delighted that the Owl has enjoyed such a successful year and we are confident it will go from strength to strength in 2022. Country and Coastal Inns have a tremendous track record and they share our enthusiasm and desire to build a sustainable and successful business.
“We believe the Owl is now a destination pub and restaurant with rooms, becoming the beating heart of the village again, as well as a welcome oasis for hikers, tourists to the National Park and lovers of good food and drink.
“The success of The Owl is crucial to the estate and the wider village and we are extremely happy to have found somebody who shares our enthusiasm and desire to build a thriving rural business.
He added: “The restoration of the pub is part of an on-going regeneration of the whole village and this includes transforming a number of run-down properties into lovely holiday cottages and shepherd’s huts.”
The Hawnby estate was purchased by John Savile, the 6th Earl of Mexborough, in 1897 and Mexborough Estates, owned and operated by the Savile family, currently maintains a number of properties in the village.
The estate also received significant funding for the refurbishment of the Inn through the LEADER grant scheme. The LEADER programme is a European Union initiative to support the development of the rural economy.
Do watch the Owl’s progress on Instagram @coastalandcountryinns