Weston restaurant reopens with new menu and chef after makeover

Staff at the Old Thatched Cottage. Picture: Empica

Staff at the Old Thatched Cottage. Picture: Empica - Credit: Empica

Weston’s oldest building has undergone a makeover and a familiar face has returned to the business.

The revamped interior at the Old Thatched Cottage. Picture: Empica

The revamped interior at the Old Thatched Cottage. Picture: Empica - Credit: Empica

The Old Thatched Cottage has been a fixture on the seafront since the 18th century, but has been closed in recent weeks for refurbishment.

Redecoration work has been carried out apace and is welcoming diners again.

The building was built in 1774, originally as a holiday home, but since the 1960s has belonged to the Michael family.

The Michaels renovated the premises, turning it into a restaurant from a tearoom, and it has been run by Axentis Michael’s daughter Maria for the past 40 years.

She said: “We have introduced some subtle modern lighting which creates a warm atmosphere.

“We’ve also brought in some very experienced tradesmen who are skilled in techniques simply not used very often anymore, to created rounded edges in the walls, rather than the more common 90-degree corners.”

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A private dining room has been added to the restaurant too.

A new menu has been launched to coincide with the decor changes.

Some old favourites remain options for diners, but the new menu is being headed up by a familiar figure.

Maria said: “After a four-year absence, Natasha Sweeting is returning to the Old Thatched Cottage as head chef.

“She was here for eight years before moving on, and we are delighted to welcome her back here.

“The menu will have a big focus on steak and fish but a key feature will be the specials board.

“We will be speaking to all our local suppliers, asking what seasonal produce is available at any given time, and then creating dishes around that.”

Further improvements to the outdoor seating are planned and are expected to be completed by the middle of May.

Maria added: “I don’t think there are very many restaurants that have been run by the same family for nearly 60 years, and I think my father would have been delighted with what we have done over the past few weeks to ensure this restaurant will continue to serve the town for many, many years to come.”