TV personality reveals plans for Sussex pub

The Star Inn in Alfriston has been taken over by Alex Polizzi and her mother Olga
The Star Inn in Alfriston has been taken over by Alex Polizzi and her mother Olga

A TV personality has revealed her plans for an historic East Sussex pub.

Alex Polizzi has bought The Star Inn at Alfriston with her mother Olga, an interior designer and hotelier.

Last night, the Hotel Inspector invited people to look at their plans for the 15th century building and said they would be working “hell for leather” to renovate it in time for it to reopen in June 2020.

Television personality’s family buys hotel in village outside Eastbourne

Guests were encouraged to explore the building and see before and after of what the hotel rooms will look like. Alex Polizzi said there would be a focus on making it a hotel for all year round, not just the winter months.

The Grade II listed building in the scenic village’s High Street closed at the end of October for “seven months of hard renovations” after it was bought by the mother and daughter duo.

They plan to reopen it next summer as a 30-room hotel, to be known as The Star, and the renovation process will be filmed for a Channel 5 television show.

Alex, who is a businesswoman and hotelier as well as presenter, said, “I am very excited to be working with my wonderful mother again, as it is 15 years since we opened Endsleigh together and we hope that our complementary skills will help us create a really special place to eat and stay.

“Channel 5 are going to film the renovation process and the excitement of the opening months, so it will be good for me to be challenged in the way that I challenge others on The Hotel Inspector!”

Olga Polizzi, director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels, also owns Hotel Tresanton in Cornwall and Hotel Endsleigh in Devon.

She said, “My home is in this part of the world and I’ve always longed for the opportunity to open a hotel in Sussex. When The Star Inn came on the market, Alex and I leapt at the project.

“We want it to be an integral part of the community and provide a welcoming environment for all, from walkers to opera goers.”

The Star Inn has been on the market for £2.6million, and was revealed to be ‘sold subject to contract’ and is to be owned by the Polizzis.

It is steeped in history and was once owned by Olga’s father and Alex’s grandfather, Lord Forte, who created the Trust House Forte group.

The Polizzis plan to restore The Star and revive its traditional role at the heart of the community. They say the hotel’s historical features will be carefully preserved.