eighteen71 – new Guildhall eatery opens its doors!

A new eatery at the Guildhall in Winchester opened its doors for the first time on Friday 2 July.

Located on the corner of the Broadway and Abbey Passage, eighteen71 is a superb new space which overlooks the Broadway, Abbey Gardens and the Nunnaminster. Its light, cool and relaxing interior offers guests a choice of contemporary lounge style seating or comfortable dining tables and chairs, while the outside seating area gives customers the chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Broadway.

The name eighteen71 was chosen from numerous suggestions submitted by members of the public in a competition which appeared in the local press and Twitter.

The winning name was submitted by Alistair Cope from Sutton Scotney who explained: "It was the 22nd December 1871 when the foundation stone was laid for the Guildhall. I think this name is a nod towards the rich history of the building but I feel that the way it is written has a modern and contemporary feel, much like many of the artist’s impressions".

The completion of eighteen71 marks the end of the first stage of the Guildhall refurbishment project.

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Richard Izard, who officially opened the new eatery, said: "I am truly proud that it is my Mayoral year that will see such an amazing transformation of our historic Guildhall and I look forward to hosting events in the new spaces which I am sure will benefit my chosen charities"

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Leader of Winchester City Council, praised the vision of the designers and project team. She said: "With its views over Abbey Gardens and the Broadway, eighteen71 will complement the other eateries located in and around the Broadway and for the wider city it means we now have Jewry Street, the Square and the Broadway where tourists and local residents alike can sit and enjoy our fantastic city"

Designer and architect Martyn Wiltshire of Chaplin Farrant Wiltshire ltd who designed the project said: "The challenge was to transform the former conference suite into a vibrant meeting place that animates the street frontage without compromising the listed building. The juxtaposition of simple quality finishes and modern furniture has created a dynamic space "

Ray Jones from Gentle Consulting added: "While this first phase has proven to be a challenging introduction to the refurbishment project, careful resource and time management by Gentle Consulting ensured a successful delivery and what we hope will be a commercial success for our Client."

Eighteen71 is open seven days a week, and offers a take away facility as well as an inside and outside eatery.