Monday, 22 April 2013

...old england inn...

There is a place near where my parents grew up, called the Old England Inn. Well, it's called the "English Inn and Resort Now". The other day when I was driving by, I saw that there was a rezoning sign. After panicking a bit, I read an article in the newspaper saying they're wanting to tear down some of the out buildings and the replica of Anne Hathaway's cottage to subdivide. I decided to walk up and take some photographs....
A little history. The manor house was originally called "Rosemeade" (so pretty!) and was built in 1906. It was built in a Tudor style (which I absolutely adore). In the 1950s/60s it became a bit of a tourist attraction... quaint, quirky, and kind of kitschy. Tudor+history+kitsch = amazing. They used to have tours too. 

My grandparents stayed at this hotel when they were newly weds. My mother worked in the kitchens here in high school. My dad was a waiter at the same time. He did this dressed in a doublet and knickerbockers... as the restaurant was themey. I remember eating there as a small child and having a kids menu that featured knights and ladies, and being served by a lady in a long dress that laced up the front with big sleeves. The inside was full of beautiful carvings and grand rooms. It was truly awe inspiring for a kid. 

I forgot to mention, my parents were married there in on a sunny winter day in 1986. My mum threw her bouquet from a window in the grand hallway. I always thought I would get married there too when I was older.... unfortunately it has fallen into disrepair. 

They stopped offering dinners (which is terrible, as the restaurant is walking distance to my parents house, in a large residential area with poor dining options), the grounds are overgrown and unloved-looking, and they repainted the house (probably with great expense) a taupe and rust colour, which is so bland compared to its white and black Tudor glory. They took out the beautiful carved staircase and replaced it with a finger-print infested glass railing. They added leather couches and made it look modern... too modern. It just seems like someone had the wrong vision for the place, and now it has failed... the reviews are terrible... poor service, gross rooms, bad breakfast, and owners that didn't seem to care about their guest's experience. It's such a shame to see a place with such potential being mismanaged.

There's so much family history here, it breaks my heart to see that some of it might get torn down. I'm hoping that they can restore it to its former glory, with a nice family restaurant to walk to, updated rooms full of happy paying customers, with the unique and well maintained grounds its so well known for.

1 comment:

  1. It's always SO depressing to see heritage buildings go so unloved...I felt the same way about the empress and the paramount in chilliwack. And the same way about the old market here in surrey. And all the old houses and barns you see with developers just waiting for them to fall down so they can build townhouses. </3 Just no pride in craftsmanship like there used to be....
    Our generation is starting to stand up and say that we want these things to stick around, though! So there is a glimmer of hope for the future. :)

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