Darwin returns to Shrewsbury


FBC Manby Bowdler has helped to bring Darwin back to Shrewsbury with a new boutique Bed & Breakfast.

Darwin’s Townhouse, which is located in the Grade 2* listed building formerly known as the Sandford House Hotel on St Julian’s Friars, is the latest launch by Ann DiTella

Legal advice for the purchase was provided by Shrewsbury-based solicitor Charlotte Nutting of FBC Manby Bowdler.

Already a familiar face on the Shrewsbury hospitality scene due to her involvement in Porterhouse SY1 and The Loopy Shrew, Ann had kept her eye on Sandford House Hotel for a while. However, with the acquisition in 2015 of The Loopy Shrew which is run by her daughter Danielle and business partner Luke Perks, Ann put thoughts of acquiring the hotel to the back of her mind.  

She explains: “We had an incredibly busy 2015 with the acquisition of The Bellstone which we transformed in to The Loopy Shrew so the timing wasn’t right to embark on another project. However, with Sandford House being actively marketed for sale, I was keen that we didn’t miss out on this opportunity so as soon as The Loopy Shrew had successfully launched, I approached the former owners with a view to purchasing the hotel.

“Boasting twenty bedrooms, right in the town centre, meant that the hotel, which we’ve renamed Darwin’s Townhouse, offered a huge potential for modernisation.  We believe that by offering a boutique B&B experience, as well as private hire for events, we’ll provide visitors to Shrewsbury with a unique and welcoming experience.”

Ann chose to close the hotel as soon as the purchase was finalised and embarked immediately on a complete renovation project, the results of which were unveiled earlier this month when the first guests were welcomed. 

Time was of the essence throughout the purchasing process and it was the speed and efficiency of the team at FBC Manby Bowdler that really set this project off on the right footing, as Ann adds: “Having decided that we would go for it with the hotel we were keen to have the sale completed by the start of the new year so that our renovation project could be carried out over the traditionally quieter months in the first quarter.

“This meant a lot of negotiating needed to take place over the Christmas period and Charlotte and the team at FBC Manby Bowdler demonstrated not only a commitment to completing the purchase in time, but also the utmost efficiency in communicating with us at every stage of the process.”

Charlotte Nutting, of FBC Manby Bowdler, concludes: “Ann is no stranger to projects of this type and this was clear in her purchase of Darwin’s Townhouse.  When she approached FBC Manby Bowdler to act on her behalf, she was still firing on all cylinders following the launch of The Loopy Shrew and so was keen to not lose any time in moving forward with her next project.

“We worked collaboratively with Ann and her team to ensure that all aspects of the purchase were completed quickly and efficiently; keeping them in the loop at every stage of the process and they responded to all our requests without delay.  This meant they were all set to start on the new project at the start of the new year.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing Darwin’s Townhouse become a key destination for visitors to Shrewsbury.” 

FBC Manby Bowdler has helped to bring Darwin back to Shrewsbury with new boutique Bed & Breakfast.

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