Berkeley Inns, the Derbyshire-based pub restaurant operator, has launched a new accommodation arm – Cow Hotels – with the re-opening of a site near Ashbourne.

Cow Hotels, which like Berkeley Inns is led by entrepreneur Howard Thacker, co-founder of uDate.com, has refurbished and re-opened The Black Cow in Dalbury Lees as The Cow, complete with 12 newly-decorated and furnished guest rooms alongside a restored bar and restaurant.

Berkeley Inns opened its first site in 2015 - The Three Horseshoes in Ashbourne with Michelin-trained chef Gareth Ward as head chef.

It followed this with the opening of the Cock Inn in Mugginton, following “substantial renovations, extension and redesign”.

Its board includes veteran property expert, David Newnes, formerly of LSL Property Services, where he oversaw the acquisition of YourMove; and Rick Palmer, formerly of the Mortgage Advice Bureau and chief executive of BriefYorMarket.com.

Newnes also helped steer the LSL through its float on the stock exchange in 2006, which valued the business at £208m.

MCA understands that the company has lined up the Blue Bell Inn in Kirk Langley, Derbyshire for a further opening this year.

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