A hotel and bistro in the region has spent the recent lockdown periods changing its image.

The Railway Hotel in Haydon Bridge has seen a revamp during the coronavirus pandemic and has begun welcoming back customers with a new South African theme part of its appeal.

"We are primarily a hotel and bistro," said Calvin Hood, who owns the business.

"We used to be a bar on the inside but we've kind of changed the clientele, we want to bring in a new crowd.

"With us remodelling the entire bar its brought in a different crowd and it has allowed us to launch the new restaurant.

"The menu is South African themed as well. If its not a South African dish its got South African spices in there and everything is from the country itself.

"We really are trying to get that South African theme across. It's just something different where someone wants to come in and experience something that they wouldn't really experience in this area."

As well as the restaurant receiving a makeover, the location has also benefited from a revamp of the rooms that make up the hotel as Calvin went on to explain.

"The hotel has all been re-done as well," he explained. "We completely painted it and changed the linen and went through the entire place.

"In the first lockdown we went through and did the entire hotel and in the last lockdown we did the bar and completely changed it.

"Our next step is to paint the front of the building white with different coloured windows, so we really are trying to change our image."

Calvin, who originates from Johannesburg, also admitted that his first interactions with the Railway Hotel were not as the owner.

"I kind of fell here," explained Calvin. "I came here as a chef - that's my profession - and I came for a chef interview with the owner!

"Her kitchen was closed for two of three months and we went from talking about a chef to me taking over the lease and ending up running it!"

"We've had it since November 2018 and we took it on and adapted what the previous owner had done as we didn't really know much about the businesses so we didn't want to change much.

"We just carried on and added our own little spin along the way and we just decided with this lockdown that it gave us a chance to do a re-model so its allowed us to change our operating times, our image and who we are."

The Railway Hotel in Haydon Bridge is open between 4pm and 11pm Monday - Thursday, while between Friday and Sunday they are open between 12pm and 12am.