Less than two hours from London and set in the heart of North Norfolk, in the village of Burnham Market, is a real gem of a project by a Master Builder.
Located halfway down Market Street, within a classic Georgian Grade II listed building dating back to the 18th century, is No. Twenty9; a unique and vibrant lounge bar and restaurant, full of character and history.
The story behind this former private Georgian residence was rediscovered in 2017 when work began on restoring and rejuvenating the building to convert it into commercial premises. The owner, Tim Roberts, had a vision to bring the former character of the building back to life, preserving its features and history, but he also wanted it to become a vibrant part of the village itself.
The brief involved restoring the past, while incorporating the modern; blending the old with the new, which required a sensitive approach and careful planning. The team behind the build are Ben Connolly and Steve Dawes of Daco Construction. Daco, which is an FMB member, and FMB Insurance client worked closely with architect ACS Architectural to ensure the brief was met. The build took part in two phases. The first stage was the creation of the lounge, restaurant and bar. Set over two floors, the rooms were created to respect all the original features of the building.
The project involved a lot of re-configuring to redefine and maximise the space, which included moving the original central kitchen. As work progressed, pieces of history from the building’s past kept resurfacing. A central fireplace that had walkthroughs on both sides was discovered, and was maintained in the refurbishment, alongside many other architectural details. Some modern pieces were also added to complement the overall aesthetics, such as a striking glass wine cellar, which is a central feature on the first floor and an open fire cooking pit.
“Converting a listed Georgian house into a contemporary restaurant with a modern kitchen and open firepit cooking range takes careful planning and a lot of skill,” said Ben. “The building couldn’t be altered structurally, and we also had to protect its fabric from further deterioration – and we had to bring the 21st century into it!”
The team were then asked to come back and work on stage two; the creation of six boutique style bedrooms at the back of the building. The bedrooms feature decorative brickwork and abstract plastering, which proudly displays Daco’s innovative approach to their work. The rooms are all finished to a high standard and in the theme of golden film stars of the past; from the Marley to the Monroe; they complement the main house beautifully.
The project was fully completed in 2019. A piece of history restored and rejuvenated; giving the building a new lease of life and enjoyment for many more years to come.
This article was published in the April / May 2020 edition of Master Builder; the magazine of the Federation of Master Builders. Click here to download the latest copy or click here to apply to join and gain unrestricted access to the back-catalogue.