The new Verandah Bar is open!

Designer Liz Millington (L) with  Ragdale Hall co-owner, Penny Nesbitt

Designer Liz Millington (L) with Ragdale Hall co-owner, Penny Nesbitt

Our eagerly anticipated Verandah Bar extension project is now complete and the Bar opened to our guests this week – and we’re delighted that feedback has been fantastic. If you’ve been following our updates on the blog you’ll have seen the ‘work in progress’ photos, but we’re looking forward to getting our professional shots done very soon and will be sharing them on the website.

For anyone who hasn’t seen our updates, we have extended and completely refitted the very popular Verandah Bar. Not only has the space for dining increased, but a new bar area and kitchen have been installed, with new furniture and bespoke lighting completing the transformation. And the finishing touches are being made to the exciting al fresco area, including some ‘feature pieces’, which will be ready for the start of the warmer weather.

But it’s not just the new surroundings that are getting the great feedback, as new menus have also been launched. Our Executive Head Chef, David Ross, has carefully put together a range of tasty choices, with the extended evening selection in particular featuring his take on top quality ‘gastro-pub’ inspiration. Guests will also now benefit from table service, so dining in the Verandah Bar will become even more relaxing than it was before.

As is usually the case here at Ragdale, we have commissioned local companies to carry out the work wherever possible; the interior design of the Verandah Bar is by Leicestershire-based Liz Millington (above left), who is responsible for the majority of the interior design you see here when you visit. The tones used throughout complement the wallpaper, which is called Romo Pleasure Gardens and was Liz’s first (and favourite) element of the design – and inspired the whole look of the area.

The elegantly curved bar is by cabinet makers, Barrett and Swann from nearby Cropwell Butler in Nottinghamshire (who have previously made the Garden Room Bar, Reception desks and buffet and service furniture in the Dining Room). The front of the bar features a subtly shimmering surface called ‘Pearlamina’, making its Ragdale debut.

Lighting by Curiousa & Curiousa

Lighting by Curiousa & Curiousa

Two stunning handmade glass pendants by Derbyshire firm Curiousa & Curiousa complement the soft pastel colours of the  furnishings, with matching glass shades over the bar. An eclectic mix of new lounging and dining furniture completes the look – but keeps the feel of the previous Verandah Bar which we know our guests loved.


We want to thank guests who have visited while the work has been taking place for bearing with us. Everyone involved in the project worked to minimise disruption in the adjacent areas but, as this was a significant project, some inconveniences were unavoidable. We hope you agree it was worth it – and that you are able to visit and experience this fantastic facility for yourself soon. Please let us know what you think!


  • Maria says:

    The newly redesigned Verandah bar looks fantastic!
    Can’t wait to try ‘everything’ on the new evening menu.

    Looking forward to spending sunny afternoons outside enjoying tea and cake too!

  • Joy Townsend says:

    Just returned from a visit and the new bar is stunning. I think a notice to state that it is now table service would help as everyone, myself included, went straight to the counter and the staff have to keep asking people to sit down and a waiter will come to them. A few screens may help to break up the space as it seems rather large and open. Not as cosy as it was.

    • Tracy says:

      Dear Joy, thank you for your comments, which have been noted and shared with the relevant people as we fine tune the final details of the Verandah Bar.

  • Sally Byers says:

    Why, why, why???!!! So sad to see the lovely mixture of interesting and varied chairs have gone and now it looks like a modern cafe. It had such a lovely atmosphere before. I know things need updating but becoming more modern and streamlined means losing a lot of character. I hope you never replace the wonderful big settees and armchairs with modern furniture. They, and the old furniture of the verandah bar, created a world away from the usual modern seating areas that all the other spas, restaurants and leisure centres provide. It was lovely to enter a different environment when “getting away from it all”. I will badly miss tho old verandah bar. Very sad.

    • Tracy says:

      Dear Sally, the new sofas in the Verandah Bar are extremely comfortable, just like the old ones and, the Verandah Lounge remains untouched. We still have some final touches to add and some exciting features to add to the Verandah Terrace in time for the warmer weather.

  • Caroline H says:

    I’ve seen the Verandah Bar before the changes, during the changes and was actually at the Hall when it opened on Monday 15/02/2016. It is very lovely and quirky still with mismatched chairs and mismatched lighting too. An awful lot of thought and planning has gone into it from the menus, to special glasses for evening service, evening dinner table napkins presented in holders like little bows, special water bottles, VB staff wear pink aprons (Garden Room still waer the blue) and lots of other things. We must remember that it only opened on Monday 15/02/2016 so still at the beginning stages.
    I do agree, however, that it is now more of an “eating area” rather than relaxing area. The old seating meant you could sit at a table and really relax whilst having a tea or coffee whereas the current furniture more restaurant-like and the lighting is quite bright in the evening but these are minor things.
    I do love the music though – please can we have it in the day as well as the evening.
    Well done to all in the VB and enjoy your newly furbished home
    Caroline H xxx

    • Tracy says:

      Hi Caroline, thank you for your positive comments. We’re really glad you like the new Verandah Bar. There is music playing throughout the day and into the evening, however at the moment we only have one speaker, therefore it is quite quiet. Perhaps next time you visit, you could ask one of the Verandah Bar staff where the speaker is placed and find somewhere to sit close to it.

  • Caroline H says:

    Hi Tracy
    Great news about the music – when I was there staff told me it was only being played in the evening but I think it might have changed towards the end of my stay. I know exactly where that hard working little speaker is – was introduced to it on my last visit by a very lovely and knowledgable member of bar staff.

  • Loops says:

    Great design and a lovely experience. I loved the wood and white dining chairs when I was there – where are those from/who are they made by?

  • Kate Hooley says:

    Bring back the big fish that used to hang on the wall !!!!

  • Kate Hooley says:

    I agree with joy and Sally, it is nice but it isn’t Ragdale. It looks more like a garden centre coffee shop, than the cosy laid back eating lounge it was before. Screens are a good idea, and nicer chairs as before. I do like the new counter area though. You need to soften it up a bit, and make it more inviting for a longer stay not just in, eat and leave.

  • Anne presley says:

    Never mind the furnishings, I miss your lovely cat SO much! Cats are so relaxing and stroking one is proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure! Ideal to have in any spa!!! Please consider taking another needy feline!! Thank you !

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