L ocal resident, photographer and conceptual artist Maxine Fox has been busy transforming former pub The Centurion – you know, the unappealing modern building that’s also been the New Brunswick and the Pickled Newt – into what she hopes will be a democratic creative hub, arts and foodie venue.
Called The House – which, of course, conjures up images of you-know-who – it will throw open its doors for the first time this weekend (and the following two) for a special Christmas run with a grotto, festive treats, arts and crafts market and an opportunity to meet local artists, including Stephanie Buttle and Helen Brough.
“I love the idea of taking over an unloved venues,” she says, “and wanted to create a home-from-home space filled with works by talented and inspirational artists. Families can hang out here during the day, and it’s also a place to chill in the evening for people living and working in the area.”
Having been closed for a year, Fox has carved the large space in into smaller rooms, creating places to socialise, play, work and be entertained (complete with vintage grand piano, above).
But what we reckon most of you will be most excited about is the bar, which takes centre stage at The House and will be serving home-made cakes, sandwiches and snacks together with Caravan coffee, hot chocolate, mulled cider, fine wine and bottled craft beer. Nice.
And there’s lots planned. From January the venue will be host to a weekly line-up of streetfood purveyors, as well as creative workshops and a busy calendar of arts events.