New team at the helm of popular village pub near Peterborough
Well travelled local chef Frazer King is back on familiar ground, having taken over the Red Lion at West Deeping.
Things fell perfectly into place for Frazer while he was furloughed and learned the charming country pub was coming on the market –both he and wife Emma had long talked about opening their own business.
“It was a really good deal and we couldn’t turn it down,” said the chef with experience in Edinburgh and London, as well as the highly-rated Gunton Arms in Norfolk and Olive Branch in Rutland on his CV.
“I grew up in Market Deeping and Emma in Langtoft, so I had memories of coming here 15 or 20 years ago when it was something special.
“It is a beautiful old building with lots of space and I knew it had potential, that there is custom here, and the villagers have been so supportive, getting on board with what we are trying to do.”
The couple opened for drinks only during lockdown at the beginning of May and started with food a couple of weeks later.
“The restrictions in place at that time proved quite useful to be fair,” Frazer added. “We could only serve outside so it gave us time to do some work inside.”
The place has now been redecorated and some paintings and ornamental pieces put in place to make it feel more like their own.
They have also installed new garden furniture to make the most of the outdoor space they have.
As for the menu, with covid restrictions still having an impact on what can and can’t be done, it is a work in progress.
“I had an idea about what I wanted to do as far as food is concerned but we are not fully there yet,” he said, with reference to the main dining room area at the back of the pub not being in use yet.
“I want to be a destination, we need the business that brings, but at the same time I want to keep the village pub atmosphere.
“I don’t want to be seen as just a restaurant. We have to get the balance right. Somewhere locals can come and have a drink and a bar snack – a sausage roll or a Ploughmans or whatever.”
He is equally keen not to be pigeon-holed as a gastropub either, a term he says he has never liked.
“ I like to describe what we do as elevated pub dining,” Frazer pointed out. “We have what you would call ‘classic’ pub dishes (sausage and mash, fish and chips, steak and chips) but our food is well served, cared for and cooked well.
“We have our own sausages developed with Grasmere Farm that you won’t get anywhere else.
“We use Lavington Lamb that is used in Michelin restaurants, we use 32-day aged steak for more flavour. Things that we hope people will appreciate.”