Hillbrooke Hotels, the company that specialises in coaching inns, is opening two sites in the historic town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, writes Paul Charity. The company has taken leases on two sites in the town owned by the Burghley estate. It has just reopened the Bull & Swan, which has seven bedrooms, after a three-month refurbishment. Hillbrooke also plans to reopen the former Lady Anne’s Hotel in the town as the William Cecil in June this year; it has 26 bedrooms. Founder Christoph Brooke made his name at the Victoria in Holkham, Norfolk, which was his first major pub scheme. His company’s six-strong estate, all free-of-tie leaseholds, includes the Bath Arms at Longleat and the Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard. Brooke said: “We’re in discussions over six or seven (sites). We try to find free-of-tie leaseholds with zero premium because we prefer to spend the money on refurbishing the sites to our standards. We’d like to have another three by the end of 2012.”