Top Horsham chef launches campaign to transform former pub

The Chequers in Slaugham pictured when it was a pub in 2009. Photo courtesy of Google
The Chequers in Slaugham pictured when it was a pub in 2009. Photo courtesy of Google

A top Horsham chef has launched a new campaign in a bid to transform a building formerly home to a Sussex pub.

Matt Gillan is looking rejuvenate the building formerly home to the Chequers pub in Slaugham as he strives to create his own dream restaurant in the district.

SUS-151026-113207001

SUS-151026-113207001

The celebrated chef, who has appeared twice on BBC’s The Great British Menu, has launched a Kickstarter fundraiser with aim of raising enough money to convert the building into a ‘destination venue and gastronomic retreat’.

On his fundraising page he described the building - which has stood empty for two years - as a shell needing soul and said it is the perfect venue for him to realise his dream.

He said: “In my mind, there has always been a certain type of property that I believe is the perfect venue to realise my dream. Somewhere in the countryside, with bedrooms, a beautiful view and heaps of potential. These kinds of properties aren’t readily available, they don’t come cheap and they remain a fantasy.”

Matt has previously made his mark at The Pass restaurant in The South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding. He left in April 2016, after helping the restaurant achieve a Michelin Star and 4 AA Rosettes.

He said his vision for the scheme at the Chequers was to focus on people.

Matt explained as well as improving the downstairs of the building for the restaurant he also wanted to work on the rooms upstairs so the building could become a destination venue for people further afield.

On the page he says: “There will be a shift from pub to a restaurant with rooms, but we want to retain the accessibility and informality of its former life, and make the space part of the community once again.

“The rooms are really important. It allows the continuation of the experience and means guests can come from further afield and not have to even leave the building after dinner.”

He added: “When finished, this will truly be a unique place in Sussex. An independent restaurant with rooms, with the amenities of a hotel and the warm greeting of a pub.”

Those who would like to donate to his project will receive rewards from a day as a kitchen porter to getting the chance to name one of the new rooms guest will stay in.

To donate and find out more visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1357178620/heritage-a-country-side-retreat?ref=project_email