A CELEBRITY chef is excited to finally reveal an expansion to a Chester venue that has been in the making since 1535.

Head chef Luke Anderson, who was crowned Flintshire chef of the year in 2010 and the winner of Big Brother in 2012, is looking forward to welcoming customers to expanded Pied Bull in Northgate Street.

The expanded Pied Bull in Northgate Street

The city centre inn, which has the warm feel of a country pub, is reputed as the oldest coaching house in Chester and has been a public house since 1535. The building, which dates back to the 11th century, is beaming with history.

And 2018 marks an exciting new chapter for the venue as the independent business is expanding and has created a new restaurant seating up to 50 people and an additional 11 bedrooms.

Last year, The Pied Bull purchased Grade II listed building Folliott House in Northgate Street and embarked on a renovation project investing £750,000 to extend the hotel and restaurant aspects of the business. Works began in July 2017 and the team have been hard at work to restore the once grand Folliott House into a stunning hotel and restaurant.

Nextdoor to the Pied Bull Inn, Folliot House, built in 1778 by the merchant W H Folliot, has been the type of building that is barely noticed. Once the residence of the architect of the Northgate Thomas Harrison, it was converted to offices and became home to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and other social services.

But that is about to change. Opening on Saturday, March 3, the new restaurant will see a new daily menu with dishes created by Luke.

Luke Anderson was Flintshire Chef of the Year in 2010 before winning Big Brother in 2012

Luke said: “Having a new restaurant space within an independent business is a great opportunity for me to create new dishes and showcase my passion for food.”

Luke, originally from Mynydd Isa, is classically-trained chef who previously worked at the Beaufort Park Hotel in New Brighton, near Mold, and Yo Sushi in Chester.

At the Pied Bull, the team of chefs prepare everything fresh and purchase local produce where possible, including from other independent businesses on Northgate Street such as The Cheese Shop and Francis Thomas Greengrocer.

Their own award-winning Pied Bull ales from the on-site microbrewery are an added ingredient to many of the dishes.

Above and below - Luke and the Pied Bull have been tweeting pictures of the progress at the new restaurant

The addition of the 11 new bedrooms will see The Pied Bull becoming a 31-bedroom hotel - currently there are 20 bedrooms, 15 in the main building and five in the brewer’s cottage on King Street. The current hotel has been refurbished over recent years but has strived to ensure the buildings distinctive heritage is retained around modern comforts and stylings.

“It’s a very exciting time in Northgate Street at the moment, with the opening of Storyhouse Theatre and the promise of more development on the way. We are very proud to be able to contribute to these developments by transforming Folliott House and bringing the building under The Pied Bull brand,” said operations director David Poynton.

“For a long time now we have wanted to be recognised for being more than just a pub, and we feel that opening our new restaurant space in Folliott House will certainly help that.”