Creating a Vintage Mobile Bar in Nottingham

Project Heston Restoration – Our Mobile Bar in Nottingham!

Creating our vision for a vintage mobile bar in Nottingham has been a very exciting journey and last weekend was the big push to get Heston ready for serving the best drinks around! So what have we been up to? Here’s an exclusive low-down on how we have transformed Heston the horse box into a fabulous vintage bar – and if we do say so ourselves we think he’s now, by far, the best looking mobile bar in Nottingham…..if not the world! (can you tell we’re rather proud of ourselves?!)

Heston the horsebox bar3Having been transformed from horse box to horse box-bar by the incredibly talented guys at Bingham Catering Trailers Heston was returned to Tipple & Toast HQ for the final interior work to commence.

My first task was to create a back-splash for the counter top where most of the drinks will be poured for our customers…..


One-a-Penny Two-a-Penny

So how do you create a back-splash that will be a talking point at any event…make it out of pennies of course! Having seen a couple of examples on floors, feature walls and table tops it was agreed that this shiny copper effect was definitely something that needed to feature in Heston. I started by making a rather embarrassing trip to the bank to ask for a huge amount of penniesIMG-20160311-WA0000 – ‘this isn’t a practical joke is it?’ was the cashier’s first response to my request! Once we established that I wasn’t intending to pay a bill using just 1p coins (Did you know that 1p’s are only legal tender up to 20p?!) two very heavy bags of pennies were handed over the counter, thankfully Stuart was there to rescue me and carry them back to the car, (I may have needed a wheelbarrow otherwise).

Next, I had to get all these pennies clean. Definitely a job that required a good playlist and a toothbrush!!

Once they were all as clean as I could possibly get them, I started to lay them out on a piece of MDF cut to the size of the back-splash….

….1250 pennies later I was ready to glue them down, a job that proved more difficult than I first anticipated as the glue I was using, not only stuck the pennies to the MDF, but everything else they came into slight contact with, including my hands!!

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Ta-Dah! It took a whole day of gluing and more cleaning with wire wool…..but the result was so worth it!!

 A Fresh Lick of Paint

Moving on, the inside of Heston was looking in need of freshen up. The yellowy shade of paint that was on the interior was making it look a little dull and dreary so we brightened things up with a nice fresh coat of ‘cosy cream’ paint.

8The stabilisers and doors all needed to be down for this as I wobbled around on a pair of step ladders to reach the curved ceiling!

A steady flow of tea was also required as a good four coats was needed to get it looking it’s best 🙂 phew!

Once the paint was dry we were ready for our epic weekend of interior design…..

Get your Wax on!




The first job for the guys was to sand the wooden slats on the rear ramp and apply a good layer of wax. We wanted to restore it back to it’s original beauty and protect it from future wear, because when the rear ramp is up, it makes a great feature inside the bar.

With that done, the original rustic wood and hessian now add a beautiful, quirky vintage feel inside Heston, the most unique mobile bar in Nottingham 🙂

The crates also needed cutting down to make them shallow enough to fit above the counter top without us bashing our heads off them! Once they were at the right depth they were bolted to the back wall, just above the shiny penny back-splash which had been fixed and grouted to make it splash proof.

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Of Course, these were then put to the test of holding the liquor bottles!  You’ll be pleased to hear they passed 😉

A Sign of Things to Come…

The exterior signage had been the subject of much discussion prior to the weekend. We wanted it to be hand-painted, not only because that fit with the vintage style, but also because the amount of groves that run along the horse box panelling cause an issue when looking to stick anything to it. Luckily for us, Jade is a dab hand at things like this  and managed to carefully create a perfect stencil which she was able to draw around using permanent marker. This acted as the outline ready for a steady hand and a lovely cream gloss paint.

Mobile bar in Nottingham!

To compliment the Tipple & Toast sign we also created a chalk board sign to go above the hatch – allowing personalised messages to go above the bar at every event. How cute will this look at weddings with the newly wed’s name above the bar?


So as you can see, we have been busy getting Heston all ready for his first event! It’s been a lot of fun and we are extremely pleased with the results. Heston is the only horse box mobile bar in Nottingham, but he’s not limited to this area, in fact we can travel pretty much anywhere in the UK, we have even taken a booking this week for a wedding in Devon. So if you like our quirky vintage bar, why not book us for your next event, we are a friendly bunch and love to hear from people, so give us a call and let us take care of all your refreshment requirements 🙂

P.S. If you like what you have seen in this blog post about our vintage mobile bar in Nottingham, why not pop along to the Pop Up Wedding Village at Calke Abbey on 24th April where we will be exhibiting….We would love to meet you 🙂

3 Responses

  • Alexandra // // Reply

    Hi there!
    I live in Sweden and are about to convert a horsebox into a cheese business… Just wondering if you are happy with the company that converted Heston for you? What did they do? Exterior paint job, hatch, electrics, sinks etc? Anything else? Are you happy with their paint job? Thanks so much for your reply! (in advance) And best of luck to you guys!
    Best regards, Alexandra R, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Stuart Hallam // // Reply

    Hi Alexandra, thanks for your comment!
    We used a company called ‘Bingham Trailers’ and are very happy with the work they carried out. They completed exterior paint, the hatch, the electrics, the bar and ‘bolted’ down the big electrical s.
    They can be found at
    Many thanks :).

  • Rebecca // // Reply

    Hi I am in the process of converting a caravan as a mobile desert and coffee van. Love your horse box conversion I was torn between a horse box or caravan! I am in South Wales. I have so far sent the caravan away to a joiners to have a servings hatch cut out and all wooden window fitted. If you have any advice regarding conversion or the best way of getting events booked I would be so grateful!

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