THE Architect promises to draw customers into what promises to be a traditional country pub in the heart of the city when it opens this Christmas.

Brunning and Price, whose other pubs include Old Harkers Arms in Chester and the Grosvenor Arms at Aldford, will open the alehouse on Tuesday, December 18, after an extensive conversion of St Martin’s Lodge overlooking the racecourse.

The Architect is named in honour of 18th century Chester architect Thomas Harrison who designed and built St Martin’s Lodge.

Founding partner Graham Price said: “The villa was built as his own residence by Thomas Harrison, the architect of the Grosvenor Bridge and much of Chester Castle, so it carries a lot of significance to the city.

“The original Georgian listed building has naturally lent itself to a series of intimate dining rooms which we’ve decorated in classic style.

“Through a glass link is a new garden room extension which is a spacious open plan room with a bar at its heart which will have a more buzzy, pubby feel to it, with doors leading out on to elevated dining terraces.”

The pub will seat about 140 diners inside, and a prominent feature is its acre of grounds for al fresco eating.

Landlord Jon Astle-Rowe added: “We’ve landscaped the grounds to reflect its parkland setting so, while lying in the heart of the city, The Architect nevertheless feels like a traditional country inn.

“This has been such an exciting project to be involved with, and our crew of 45 are raring to go.

“I’ve come from running the Armoury in Shrewsbury, a sister pub to The Architect, but its great to be returning to Chester where I first started in the catering business, in Watergates Wine Bar, more than 20 years ago.”

The pub will feature up to 10 cask ales and its menu is described as ‘modern British cooking’.