THE owners of a new bar and restaurant are working round the clock to complete the major renovations in time for a June opening.
Robert and Jo Everett bought the building, in Buxton Road, with the dream of creating White's, a stylish place where guests could enjoy a relaxing drink after work or a gourmet style meal in fabulous surroundings.
Jo said: "The beautiful building has been given a much needed shot in the arm – the basis is all there but we've undertaken extensive works including damp proofing and much re-plastering, making for a sound and relaxing environment.
"We have then added more welcoming colours, giving it a laid-back feel."
On the ground floor there will be a restaurant with classic Georgian dimensions. Then, moving into what was the former White Lion pub, a raised bar and snug offers a cosy place to enjoy an aperitif or an after-dinner cocktail.
Jo said: "We want to serve food that we both love.
"Robert and I both lived in Hong Kong and France for many years so we want to bring influence from our travels and, of course, include the English classics but made from wonderful fresh ingredients.
"The emphasis is on casual dining – nothing starchy or forced."
White's will also have five en suite bedrooms.
Jo said: "Ashbourne has so much to offer and is a super weekend getaway. The rooms will all be decorated in soft colours, each with an individual style and crisp white bed linen."
Jo and Robert met and married in Hong Kong. They returned to the UK in the late 1990s.
They have lived in Oxfordshire and France, where they completely renovated a derelict farmhouse in Tarn et Garonne, turning it into a home with two holiday houses.
Jo said: "Although I have not lived here for nearly 30 years, our move to Derbyshire brings me full circle as I grew up in Repton, so it's great to be near so much of my family.
"They have been such an enormous help and support in our relocation and the renovations.
"We have had a very warm welcome from the Ashbourne locals. So many people have stopped to say hello, add their support and generally offer local information.
"It's turned out to be great move and we look forward to offering another venue for locals and tourists alike."
Further information is available online at www. whitesofashbourne.co.uk.