Christchurch hotel discloses plans to renovate former bowling green

A HOTEL in Christchurch has revealed plans to transform an open space in the centre of the town into a garden kitchen, complete with vegetable patches and edible flower beds.

The King’s Arms Hotel say they wish to optimise the Bowling Green, opposite the hotel, which they took over from the Christchurch Bowling Club after its disbanded in 2016.

Ahead of their reopening on May 17, the hotel on Castle Street say they wish to re-establish themselves as a focal point for the community, having already agreed to host the launch and one of the performances for this year’s Living Advent Calendar, organised by Christchurch Rotary.

Chef Patron, Alex Aitken said: “When I took over at the Kings, I wanted to make sure that we didn’t alienate our local residents like so many hotels do. We aim to look after them and they do continue to come back here.

“The council said that they will no longer managing the green, so we have now found a company to take care of it on our behalf. The green and maintenance guys came in on Thursday and have done a great job so far.

“The BCP Council used to take care of it and would plant flowers in the beds as part of Christchurch in Bloom. We have also tracked down the people who were doing the flowers for the council and they will be doing some hanging baskets for the hotel and the flower beds on the green.”

Bournemouth Echo: Christchurch’s Bowling Green, now under the ownership of The King’s Arms Hotel

Whilst the green is still open to the public, the hotel, owned by Harbour Hotels, currently use the green to host wedding ceremonies and drinks receptions.

Although it will be closed at night, the green will be open for public use during the day.

The hotel are also looking to revitalise the green to make an outdoor dining experience and help the hotel’s sustainability, whilst also creating a space for the community to enjoy.

“If the green will not be reinstated as a bowling green, which I think it won’t, one idea that we have for it is to have a little kitchen on the green,” said Alex Aitken.

“It would be nice to be able to grow a little of what we needed on the green, whether that is vegetables, lettuces or edible flowers.”

Although the concept is still in its early stages, the hotel have said that they do plan on making extra flower beds and planting flowers this year.

He added: “It is an exciting project for us.

“We were also thinking about planting some trees around the green so add to the aesthetics but when we thought about what types of trees to plant there, it would be logical for them to be fruit trees.

“We are always trying to think outside the box. People will still want to get married on a green which has flower beds and vegetable patches, but it will take some time and effort to get to that stage.”

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