Goodness, we’re already 1/12th of the year gone and before you know it, we’ll be planning for Christmas!

I’d like to kick off these blogs with a reflective look over the past year, or 14 months to be precise. The time since we opened the doors at The Black Horse on December 1st 2018 has flown by, but when I look back at what we’ve all achieved, I don’t mind admitting I feel proud (if at times just a little exhausted!)

The opportunity to take over The Black Horse was a brave one because we knew it would take some hard work and tlc to restore this pub to its former glory and atmosphere. But having grown up in the area and remembering how it used to be – a successful business with a vibrant atmosphere, Daniel and I could vision the potential and satisfaction to bring it back to life. And spurred on because we knew it was what the local community wanted, our motivation and decision was complete.

So when we were handed the keys, we set about changing EVERYTHING! We’d get rid of ‘the sea of grey’ everywhere and modernise the decor and furnishings to create a welcoming environment. We knew that the community wanted back their ‘country pub’ and we were going to give it to them with a menu of quality drinks and the best of home cooked food to match. We wanted to restore a social environment, some regular entertainment, a ‘go to’ place where anyone could meet and unwind from the pressures and stresses of the day. And we wanted a place where visitors to this beautiful region could relax, have a drink, maybe a lovely meal and in particular feel welcome. Our vision was complete. Luckily, Daniel and I knew the pub trade well, so we were confident we were on the right track. We just had to put it all in place! At this point, I’d like to say we are so grateful for the overwhelming love and support from the local community who encouraged us all the way. We took on a great team of enthusiastic staff who were not only supportive but also creative in their thinking to initiate new ideas.

I was fortunate enough to know Claire, (another one!) from our previous business, who had the brilliant idea to convert our old barn, adjacent to the pub, into a delightful character Tea Room. I was also lucky to be introduced to Gillian and her extraordinary baking talents, who is the mother of our trusted dog walker Becky. And sure enough, The Stables Tea Room opened its doors on April 1st 2019 with Claire and Gillian at the helm, running this wing of the business. Presenting a fantastic array of home-made cakes and scones to accompany a wide choice of delicious teas and coffee, we are now proud to provide cooked breakfasts, light lunches and our amazing ‘Stables Cream Tea’ to beat any other!

So we’ve completed our 1st year. It’s been an experience all the way, some great days and then others when we’ve pulled our hair out, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We’ve learned a lot and loved every minute and now have a thriving and growing business we love.

So a BIG THANK YOU to our amazing staff and loyal community for helping us get there. And with so many ideas for the future, we all look forward to welcoming and serving our lovely customers of The Black Horse and Stables Tea Room in 2020 and beyond.

With love, Claire x

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