The Samuel Ryder Office and Seed Hall, 27 – 29 Holywell Hill
“I’m a busy hotel at 27 Holywell Hill and she’s my neighbour, Miss French restaurant at no 29. We’re linked by history and we’ll tell you why.
(The hotel): from 1548, I was a coaching inn but four centuries later, in 1911, Mr Samuel Ryder commissioned me for his new red brick head office for the world famous Ryder seed company. I’ve been refurbished many times since then but i still have the fireplace in his old office with his initials, s r, carved into the mahogany wood, and i bet you didn’t know that there’s a beautiful glass dome in my roof.
(The restaurant): mais oui! She’s very grand, but I’m a restaurant and I’m the most beautiful, with all my glass windows and cream paint. Samuel Ryder owned me too and i opened in 1931 as the exhibition hall where he displayed all his seeds and plants. I was a glorious sight with the light streaming in – magnifique!
(The hotel): now we’re both grade ii listed buildings and we can’t be altered without permission so hopefully we’ll be around for many more years.”
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