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The upstairs bar at the Thomas Ingoldsby

Think top Spoons is much the same? Think again…

The refurbished top Wetherpoons is a very different place following its five-month £2.5 million refurbishment.

It may not have looked it from the picture we published earlier in the week, but it really has changed.

The old gloomy pub now has a light and airy interior which features a new white ceiling with a large square hole cut in it to allow extra light in.

Downstairs is a fully revamped bar with a shiny white countertop.

The big money, however, has been spent on the two upper floors.

View of the Cathedral from Spoons

Firstly, there’s a whole new drinking and eating area on the first floor with a long bar and a kitchen.

It’s a very attractive room in which you can choose a seat that gives you a view of the Cathedral’s Bell Harry tower or one looking out on to Burgate.

But the real jewel of the refurbishment and enlargement project is the 13-room hotel on the second floor.

It’s likely to be busy a lot of the time.

Rooms can be booked from just £39 a night, offering guests direct and immediate access to Canterbury city centre – and its most important building just a five-minute walk down the road.

They can accommodate a mixture of double, twin and family occupancy and there is a room specifically for guests with disabilities.

Each has an en-suite bathroom, tea and coffee-making facilities, hair dryer, flat-screen television with Freeview TV and unlimited free Wi-Fi plus air-conditioning and temperature control.

The downstairs bar at the Thomas Ingoldsby

Invited guests were given an early look inside the refurbished Wetherspoons yesterday (Friday) ahead of its formal opening on Tuesday.

It will have 150 staff with many of the employees using yesterday as a way of getting to grips with their new jobs.

Manager Ali Stevenson said: “Wetherspoon has spent £2.5million on the pub refurbishment and new hotel in the heart of the city centre.

“The project has created more jobs for local people and provided further investment into the area.

“We are confident that the hotel will also be a great addition to the Canterbury community.”

Lifts inside the building mean people who are frail or disabled can reach the upper floors.

Meanwhile, works by local artists including David Arbus, Graham Lock Anna Allworthy are on display throughout.

The building, which had been a furniture store until 1997, looks like it’s going to remain Canterbury’s busiest pub for a very long time.

The question is, therefore, why didn’t Wetherspoons carry out this work years ago?

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