If, like me and many others, a meal at Stroud’s Imperial Hotel was the highlight of the month you’ll be interested to hear how plans for its reopening are progressing.
On a tour of Gloucestershire in 1950 even Princess Elizabeth – now Queen Elizabeth II – dined at the Imperial.
Located next to Stroud Railway Station, the Imperial was fondly known as the Imp and in its heyday was part of the chain of Berni Inn steakhouses, where in 1973 you could drink a glass of Beaujolais for £1.37, dine on rump steak for £1.04, gammon, egg and chips for 90p or plaice and chips for 75p. By 1984 prices had risen and an 8oz sirloin steak would set you back £4.80 but you could still enjoy cheesecake for a mouthwatering 75p.
Simon Berg, Director of London-based S2 Estates invited Stroud Times to a behind-the-scenes tour of the 200-year-old former coaching inn which has been in mothballs since the doors closed in May 2020 when it was previously run as a Thai restaurant.
He spoke to Ash Loveridge and Matt Bigwood about his ambitious plans for the newly-listed Imperial, where an extensive 20-week refurbishment will take place to give the building a boutique hotel feel, with the aim of giving Stroud and the Imperial a much better dining and accommodation experience.
Listen to Simon discuss the next chapter for the Imperial in our video and see how it looks now in our gallery. Pictures by Matt Bigwood.